The Alternative Schools Accountability Model (ASAM) was developed following the passage of the 1999 Public Schools Accountability Act (PSAA), (California Education Code Section 52052 [h]), which required that by July 1, 2000, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, with the approval of the State Board of Education (SBE), "shall develop an alternative accountability system for schools under the jurisdiction of a county board of education or a county superintendent of schools, community day schools . . . and alternative schools serving high-risk pupils, including continuation high schools and opportunity schools."
Participation in the ASAM is voluntary. ASAM schools include community day schools, continuation schools, county community schools, county court schools, Division of Juvenile Justice (formerly California Youth Authority) schools, opportunity schools, and alternative schools of choice and charter schools that meet SBE criteria.
Approximately 1,000 schools participate in the ASAM with an estimated enrollment of approximately 115,000 students. Because these schools serve highly mobile student populations, the actual number of students served by these 1,000 schools is more than twice the census day enrollment count.
In July 2000, the SBE approved the framework for the alternative accountability system developed by the PSAA Advisory Committee. Based on that framework, the resulting ASAM included SBE-approved performance measures that assessed a school’s ability to serve high-risk students. From 2001–02 to 2008–09, schools participating in the ASAM selected three of fifteen indicators, and those three indicators comprised their school-level ASAM report. The ASAM school-level reports were publicly posted each year on the CDE DataQuest Web page.
Due to budget constraints beginning in 2009–10, ASAM schools are now held accountable under the Academic Performance Index (API) and receive growth targets as all other schools. However, ASAM schools do not receive API ranks. ASAM schools are no longer required to collect and report data to the California Department of Education on ASAM performance measures as required in previous years.
Under federal requirements, ASAM schools must meet the same Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) criteria as all other schools. As for all schools, ASAM schools may be identified for Program Improvement (PI) if the school misses AYP for two consecutive years.