BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 2548 (Weber) - School accountability:  statewide  
          accountability system
          
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          |Version: May 27, 2016           |Policy Vote: ED. 8 - 0          |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: Yes                    |
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          |Hearing Date: August 8, 2016    |Consultant: Jillian Kissee      |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.




          


          Bill  
          Summary:  This bill requires the State Board of Education  
          (Board) to establish state performance standards for key  
          indicators and adopt an accountability system for kindergarten  
          through grade 12 public schools that is aligned to the  
          requirements of federal law, relies upon data from specified key  
          indicators, and ensures the creation of a data and reporting  
          system that provides meaningful and accessible information on  
          school and school district performance.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
           Unknown, but likely significant costs in the hundreds of  







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            thousands, to the California Department of Education (CDE)  
            related to the creation of a data and reporting system on  
            school performance according to the specifications provided in  
            this bill.  See staff comments.  (General Fund)
           Possible reimbursable state mandate costs for county  
            superintendents of schools to analyze data related to the  
            state priorities to align the level of support and  
            intervention provided to the needs of the local educational  
            agencies (LEAs).  See staff comments.  (Proposition 98)  


          Background:  The Budget Act of 2013 established a new formula to allocate  
          funding to LEAs.  The formula consolidated most of the state's  
          numerous separate funding streams and associated restrictions.   
          The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), among other things,  
          requires LEAs to develop and annually update a local control and  
          accountability plan that includes a description of the annual  
          goals to be achieved for each of the eight state priorities and  
          a description of the specific actions that will be taken to  
          achieve the identified goals.  The LCFF statute directed the  
          Board to develop significant components of the accountability  
          system through regulations.  The Board is currently developing a  
          system that relies upon multiple measures and includes a system  
          of continuous improvement and support for schools.  In addition,  
          the federal government adopted the Every Student Succeeds Act  
          (ESSA) in December 2015 which provides an opportunity to create  
          one coherent accountability system.
          The Board is scheduled to adopt evaluation rubrics in September  
          2016 to assist LEAs in evaluating its strengths and weaknesses;  
          to assist a county superintendent of schools in identifying  
          school districts and charter schools in need of technical  
          assistance; and for the Superintendent to identify school  
          districts in need of intervention.  As part of the evaluation  
          rubrics, the Board must adopt standards for school district and  
          individual school performance and expectations for improvement  
          regarding each of the state priority areas outlined in existing  
          law.




          Proposed Law:  
            This bill requires the Board to adopt a statewide  
          accountability system that ensures alignment with the state  








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          priorities established in current law and with the  
          accountability system requirements of the federal Every Student  
          Succeeds Act (ESSA).
          In addition to satisfying federal law, the Board must adopt a  
          statewide accountability system that:


             1.   Aligns the state's framework of identifying and  
               supporting LEAs with the additional need to identify,  
               support, and improve the state's highest need schools.  In  
               doing so the Board is required to:


                  a.        Set clear, ambitious statewide standards for  
                    performance and expectations for improvement toward  
                    each of the key indicators for all students and for  
                    each numerically significant subgroup.  The bill  
                    provides that, to comply with federal law, the  
                    standards must be differentiated by subgroup so that  
                    subgroups that start off from at a lower performance  
                    level makes greater growth to achieve statewide  
                    standards.


                  b.        Establish a mechanism to: 


                        i.             Meaningfully differentiate the  
                         performance of all public schools to identify  
                         LEAs in need of intervention on an annual basis  
                         based on outcomes for all students and for each  
                         subgroup of students using multiple measures.


                        ii.            Distinguish multiple levels of  
                         performance for continuous improvement,  
                         transparency, meaningful stakeholder engagement,  
                         recognition, and support, including the  
                         identification of: at least the lowest performing  
                         five percent of all school receiving federal  
                         Title I funds and all high schools failing to  
                         graduate one-third or more of their students; all  
                         schools in which any subgroup of students is  
                         consistently underperforming;  and all schools  








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                         where any one subgroup of students would lead  
                         that school to be in the lowest five percent of  
                         schools for students overall.


                        iii.           Support parents in making informed  
                         decisions on behalf of their children.


                        iv.            Enable LEAs, the CDE, and the  
                         Collaborative to identify schools for  
                         recognition, support, and assistance, and ensure  
                         that support and assistance is provided to at  
                         least those in the lowest-performing five  
                         percent.


                        v.             Comply with all notification,  
                         stakeholder engagement, school support, and  
                         implementation activities required by federal  
                         law.


             2.   Relies upon data from key indicators established  
               pursuant to the evaluation rubrics adopted by the Board.   
               At a minimum the key indicators must include, if not  
               already included by the Board, a measure of all of the  
               following:


                  a.        Student achievement in at least in English  
                    language arts, math, and science


                  b.        Academic growth


                  c.        Progress toward English proficiency


                  d.        Chronic absenteeism


                  e.        School climate.








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               Key indicators specific to high schools also include a  
               measure of graduation rates and a measure of college and  
               career readiness.  Certain high school key indicators as  
               well as the performance of subgroups are required to  
               receive additional weight.


             3.   Provides the Collaborative, county superintendents of  
               schools, and the public with data to be used in a  
               multi-tiered system of review and assistance.  


             4.   Ensures the creation of a data and reporting system that  
               provides meaningful and accessible information on school  
               and school district performance that is displayed through  
               an electronic platform.  




          Staff  
          Comments:  The actual costs attributed to this bill are  
          difficult to identify at this time as the net effect of the  
          bill's requirements is unclear.  Some of the requirements in  
          this bill are consistent with recent Board actions, some preempt  
          decisions that have yet been made, or conflict with past  
          decisions.  In addition, it is difficult to know if the  
          requirements in this bill will be inconsistent federal law as  
          federal regulations are still under development.  
          With regard to including specified key indicators in the state  
          accountability system, the Board included a high school college  
          and career readiness indicator, consistent with this bill.  It  
          has also included chronic absenteeism, but there has been no  
          final decision on including this as a key indicator specific to  
          high school.  In addition, this bill requires two separate key  
          indicators for student achievement in statewide assessments and  
          academic growth.  However, the Board has adopted a state  
          indicator that combines student achievement, when available,  
          with a measure of individual student growth.  Therefore, if  
          enacted, the Board would have to revisit this decision.  Staff  
          notes that the new statewide science assessment is in  








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          development, and no data are currently available to be included  
          in the indicator.  Also, the Board has not yet taken action  
          relative to weighting certain key indicators and subgroup  
          performance as federal regulations are still being developed.


          The major cost driver of this bill relates to the creation of a  
          data and reporting system that provides information on school  
          and school district performance that is displayed through an  
          electronic platform.  It further specifies that parents and the  
          public are required to have the ability to easily access,  
          compare, analyze, and summarize school reports, student  
          performance results, and the progress made by schools and school  
          districts in reaching all of the state's priority areas.  The  
          bill establishes the Legislature's intent that the web-based  
          data and analysis tools enable stakeholders to identify  
          strengths and weaknesses, identify inequities between schools  
          and subgroups of students across multiple measures, monitor  
          academic achievement and improvement, provide for meaningful  
          differentiation, and to allow users to download data and  
          reports.  


          Though this bill requires the Board to ensure the development of  
          this data and reporting system, the CDE is the entity with this  
          responsibility.  CDE currently provides comprehensive data on  
          school, district, and statewide performance and the Budget Act  
          of 2016 includes funding for the San Joaquin County Office of  
          Education for the development of the evaluation rubrics, the  
          School Accountability Report Cards, and a data dashboard.   
          Existing data systems do not include the analytical and  
          reporting features required in this bill.  Therefore it is  
          likely that significant resources would be needed to fulfill  
          these specifications.  According to the CDE, it is unclear  
          whether this could be accomplished through enhancements to  
          existing systems or whether a new system would need to be  
          developed.  


          Finally, this bill could result in possible reimbursable state  
          mandate costs for county superintendents of schools to analyze  
          data related to the state priorities to align the level of  
          support and intervention provided to the needs of the LEAs.   
          Incremental costs beyond existing law are unclear as county  








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          offices of education are currently required to provide technical  
          assistance under certain circumstances, including to any school  
          district that fails to improve student achievement across more  
          than one state priority for at least one student subgroup.  The  
          evaluation rubrics will be used to assist county superintendent  
          of schools in identifying school districts and charter schools  
          in need of technical assistance.  It is unclear how existing law  
          and this bill's requirement will interact and whether it will  
          create additional workload for county offices of education.   
          However, by specifically mandating this activity in statute, a  
          county office of education may be able to submit a claim for  
          reimbursement of related activities to the Commission on State  
          Mandates.  


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