Dear Charter School Authorizer:
On March 13, 2014, the State Board of Education (SBE) approved not calculating the 2014 Growth and Base Academic Performance Indexes (APIs) and the 2015 Growth API. Since the first Smarter Balanced assessment results will be available after the Spring 2015 administration of the assessment, Base to Growth comparisons will be reported in 2015–16. Three alternatives were authorized by Assembly Bill 484 to meet legislative and/or programmatic requirements: (a) the most recent API calculation;
(b) an average of the three most recent annual API calculations; or (c) alternative measures that show increases in pupil academic achievement for all groups of pupils school wide and among significant student groups.
The California Department of Education (CDE) will calculate the three-year average API and post the report on the CDE Web site in May.
Additionally, California Education Code (EC) Section 52056(a) requiring API ranking of schools was repealed. As a result, beginning with 2014, statewide and similar schools ranks will no longer be produced. The 2013 ranks will be posted on the 2013 Growth API Report released in May. For more detailed information regarding the changes in academic accountability reporting, see the enclosed April 2, 2014 letter located at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ap/letter040214.asp from Deputy Superintendent Deborah Sigman, regarding “Changes in Academic Accountability Reporting,” and subsequent e-mail on May 7, 2014 from Division Director Keric Ashley to accountability coordinators, located at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cs/re/sssr.asp, regarding “2013 Statewide and Similar School Ranks.”
As a result of these changes in the academic accountability system, charter school authorizers can consider a range of options in determining increases in pupil academic achievement for charter renewals.
Pursuant to EC Section 47607(a)(3)(A), located at: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=EDC§ionNum=47607 the most important factor in determining whether to grant a charter renewal is the increase in pupil academic achievement for all groups of pupils served by the charter school. With the SBE’s action on the API, charter school authorizers have the three options for determining academic achievement for charter renewal stated above, in addition to an option in current law, EC Section 47607(b)(4)(A), located at: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=EDC§ionNum=47607.
“The entity that granted the charter determines that the academic performance of the charter school is at least equal to the academic performance of the public schools that the charter school pupils would otherwise have been required to attend, as well as the academic performance of the schools in the school district in which the charter school is located, considering the composition of the pupil population that is served at the charter school.”
This determination is based on all of the following:
It is important to note that local educational agencies, including charter schools, will not receive results for students participating in the Smarter Balanced Field Test for English-language arts and mathematics. However, results will be provided for the Smarter Balanced assessments beginning in 2015. Therefore, data for comparison schools will be limited for 2014.
The charter authorizer shall not grant a renewal until a minimum of 30 days has elapsed after the charter school submits information specific to this determination.
In addition, EC Section 47607(b)(4)(C) located at: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=EDC§ionNum=47607, indicates the chartering authority is to submit to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) copies of supporting documentation and a written summary of the basis for an academic performance determination made in renewing a charter petition using the alternative criterion referenced above.
The California Department of Education (CDE) provides a submission process (enclosed) for charter authorizers to use when submitting to CDE documentation of an local educational agency (LEA)’s academic performance determination in compliance with EC Section 47607(b)(4)(C) located at: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=EDC§ionNum=47607.
All materials are submitted electronically on a CD or by e-mail along with the printed and signed form and mailed to:
California Department of Education
Charter Schools Division
Attn: Charter School Renewal–Academic Performance Determination
1430 N Street, Suite 5401
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901
As a reminder, the charter authorizer is responsible under EC Section 47604.32(e) located at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=EDC§ionNum=47604.32 and California Code of Regulations (CCR) 5 Section 11962.1 located at https://govt.westlaw.com/calregs/Index to provide timely notification to the CDE if the charter renewal is granted or denied, charter revoked, or the charter school ceases to operate for any reason.
If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact the Charter Schools Division, by phone at 916-322-6029 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Russell, Director
Charter Schools Division
Keric Ashley, Director
Analysis, Measurement and Accountability Reporting Division
cc: District and County Superintendents
Charter School Administrators