BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 180
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          AB 180 (Carter)
          As Amended  September 2, 2011
          Majority vote
          |ASSEMBLY:  |60-0 |(April 14,      |SENATE: |35-0 |(September 7,  |
          |           |     |2011)           |        |     |2011)          |
           Original Committee Reference:    ED.

          SUMMARY  :   Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction 
          (SPI) and the State Board of Education (SBE) to allow dropout 
          recovery high schools (DRHS), numbering no more than 10, to 
          report the results of an individual pupil growth model, that the 
          SPI certifies as meeting specified criteria, in lieu of other 
          indicators under the state's alternative accountability system.

           The Senate amendments  : 

          1)Clarify that these provisions are implemented as part of the 
            alternative school accountability system developed pursuant to 
            current law, or any successor system; 

          2)Delete legislative findings and declarations specified in the 
            bill; and,

          3)Limit the provisions of the bill to no more than 10 DRHS.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Requires the SPI, with the approval of the SBE, to develop and 
            implement the Academic Performance Index (API) to measure the 
            performance of schools, and to include a variety of 
            indicators, including achievement test results, attendance 
            rates, and graduation rates in that measure.

          2)Requires the SPI, with the approval of the state board, to 
            develop an alternative accountability system that may be used 
            for schools under the jurisdiction of a county board of 
            education or a county superintendent of schools, community day 
            schools, nonpublic, nonsectarian schools, and alternative 
            schools serving high-risk pupils, including continuation high 
            schools and opportunity schools; also, authorizes schools in 


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            this alternative accountability system to receive an API 
            score, but prohibits the inclusion of those schools in API 

          3)Defines DRHS, for the purposes of prohibiting the inclusion of 
            graduation rates in the API and for calculating "full year" 
            dropout rates, to mean a high school in which 50% or more of 
            its pupils have been designated as dropouts pursuant to the 
            exit/withdrawal codes developed by the California Department 
            of Education (CDE).

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill was substantially similar 
          to the version passed by the Senate, except for limiting the 
          provisions to no more than 10 DRHS.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    According to the Senate Appropriations 
          Committee, the CDE review and certification required by this 
          bill creates potentially significant general fund start-up 
          costs, as well as ongoing costs that will depend upon the number 
          of schools that develop and propose individual pupil growth 

           COMMENTS :   Current law requires the SPI to develop and 
          administer the school accountability system which assigns each 
          school a score on the API that is based on measures of 
          performance that are aggregated for all students in that school. 
           Only achievement test results are currently incorporated into 
          the API; however, having an API that focuses solely on 
          achievement test results is overly narrow and does not reflect 
          information about student outcomes (e.g., dropout and graduation 
          rates, college readiness, preparation for the workplace) that is 
          important in measuring the performance of districts, schools and 
          subgroups.  The Legislature foresaw this issue when it 
          authorized the API in 1999 to be a broad-based measure of school 
          and district performance based on a variety of indicators, 
          including, but not limited to, achievement test results, 
          attendance rates, and graduation rates.

          Since the reliability of an API score based on small numbers of 
          pupil test scores is questionable, current law instructs the SPI 
          to compute an API score for schools with less than 100 pupil 
          scores, but to not include the school's API in state rankings.  
          Similarly, the API scores of community schools, continuation 
          high schools and non-public schools that serve special education 
          pupils are not considered reliable due to both small numbers of 


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          scores and the fact that most pupils are placed in the schools 
          for less than a year.  Accordingly, the SPI is directed in 
          current law to develop an alternative accountability system 
          under which these schools may receive an API score, but are not 
          included in API rankings.  The Alternative Schools 
          Accountability Model (ASAM) is the alternative system developed 
          by the SPI for this purpose.

          However, even the alternative accountability system may not 
          appropriately evaluate all schools. The DRHS targeted in this 
          bill are small in number and have a student population 
          (effectively dropouts who are re-enrolling in an alternative 
          school and jobs program) that is relatively unique, even among 
          alternative school populations.  For example, rapid turnover of 
          pupil populations and short stays by students are common across 
          many alternative programs, but DRHS typically have students who 
          will enroll and dis-enroll through multiple cycles during the 
          school year; the instructional program is also individually 
          tailored to help speed-up the pupil's progress toward completion 
          of the program in the short time that they may be enrolled.  
          Between small populations, enrollment cycling and tailored 
          instruction, any measure that either provides a point-in-time 
          snapshot of student performance or that is aggregated across a 
          cohort of students may have absolutely no meaning with respect 
          to the school's student population at the time that the results 
          of that measure are reported, since those results may not apply 
          to any of the pupils enrolled in the school at that time.  In 
          these cases measuring the growth of individual pupils without 
          aggregating those results and building an accountability model 
          that is individually based and tailored to that school, rather 
          than based on the aggregate performance of a cohort of pupils, 
          may more appropriately reflect the progress that a DRHS is 
          making.  The state does not have such a tailored individual 
          growth model for each school, and building such models at the 
          state level would not be cost effective; a reasonable solution 
          to this problem is to authorize this small group of schools to 
          report pupil results from their own individual pupil-based 
          accountability model in lieu of other required indicators, while 
          conditioning that authority on the SPI's certification of the 
          individual growth model and limiting this authority to no more 
          than 10 DRHS.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Gerald Shelton / ED. / (916) 319-2087 
                                                               FN: 0002558 


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