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2016 Participation Rate

Explanation of how the participation rate was calculated for the 2016 Accountability Transition Report.

Background

In December 2015 the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law, which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and replaced the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. One of the requirements under the new federal law is for states to have a new accountability system in effect by the 2017–18 school year.

In order to give states time to transition from implementing requirements under the former law to the new law, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is not requiring Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) to be produced based on 2015–16 school year assessment results. Because the 95 percent participation rate is required in ESSA, states are required to report participation rates. Therefore, the California Department of Education (CDE) will release a 2016 Accountability Transition Report displaying the following:

Participation Rate

The report will display LEA, school, and student group participation rates in ELA and mathematics based on the 2016 assessment results. While the report will not indicate if the LEA, school, and/or student group met the 95 percent participation rate target, the target will be displayed on the report. The assessments used to calculate the participation rate will be the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments and the California Alternate Assessment (CAA).

NOTE: For the initial release of the 2016 Accountability Transition Report, the CAA will not be included in the participation rate. The CDE will re-run the participation rate calculation after the CAA data file is received from the testing vendor. Once the participation rates have been re-calculated, the 2016 Accountability Transition Report will be updated online in 2017.

Graduation Rate

The 2016 Accountability Transition Report will also display LEA, school, and student group 2014–15 cohort graduation rates, if applicable. Because states are not required to produce AYP reports, graduation rate targets are not applicable. Therefore, the report will not display graduation rate targets and will not indicate if the LEA, school, and/or student group met or did not meet the target(s).

Note: Because charter schools (both direct and locally funded) are treated as LEAs under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), charter schools were removed from the LEA-level graduation rates. In addition, since a separate accountability system will be developed for alternative schools, all alternative schools (i.e., Alternative Schools Accountability Model [ASAM]) were also removed from the LEA-level graduation rates. Therefore, the LEA-level 2014–15 cohort graduation rates displayed on the 2016 Accountability Transition Report will not match the 2014–15 cohort graduation outcome reports available on the California Department of Education DataQuest Web page.

Three-year Average Graduation Rate

Finally, the 2016 Accountability Transition Report will also display three-year average graduation rates for LEAs, schools, and student groups, if applicable. The three-year average graduation rates are only being displayed for information because these data will be used in the initial release of the new accountability system. The three-year graduation rates will specifically be used for the Graduation Rate Indicator which is one of the state indicators that will be reported in the LCFF evaluation rubrics.

This Web page contains the rules used to calculate the 2016 participation rate. More detailed information regarding the 2016 Accountability Transition Report will be made available in the 2016 Accountability Transition Report Information Guide posted on the AYP Web page. In addition, details regarding the new accountability system, specifically on the state indicators, will also be made available, in a guide, on the AYP Web page when the LCFF Evaluation Rubrics are released.

Testing Window

Prior to calculating the participation rate, a school's testing window was used to determine which students should be included or excluded in the participation rate calculations. For the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, the testing windows were based on the test dates set up by LEA California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Coordinators in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) Test Administration Setup module.

The CAA testing window was set between April 11, 2016 to June 17, 2016.

Participation Rate Denominator: Enrolled

Students Who Do Not Transfer In or Out During the Testing Window

Students who are enrolled during a school's testing window, and do not transfer in or out during the testing window, are included in the enrolled count (i.e., included in the participation rate denominator).

Students Who Do Transfer In or Out During the Testing Window

Because some students transfer in and/or out during a school's testing window, grace periods were developed. These grace periods only apply to certain students who transfer in and/or out during the testing window to hold schools harmless when there is inadequate time to administer the tests.

Since the length of schools' testing window varies, and because the CAA field test window was set for all schools, the following grace periods were applied to determine the accountability testing window, which is defined in the "Accountability Testing Window" section:

Grace Periods for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments

All grace periods are "calendar days" meaning that weekends and holidays are included in the count. In addition, the testing windows includes any extensions added to the original testing window per request by the LEA.

  • Testing Window is 14 Calendar Days or Less: Schools with a testing window of 14 calendar days or less do not have any grace periods. In this instance, the 14 days (or less) is the accountability testing window.

  • Testing Window is 15 to 30 Calendar Days: Schools with a testing window of 15 to 30 calendar days have a 14-day grace period applied at the end of the testing window.

  • Testing Window is 31 or More Calendar Days: Schools with a testing window of 31 or more calendar days have two 14-day grace periods: one at the beginning of the testing window and one at the end.
Grace Periods for the California Alternate Assessment
  • Because the testing window for the CAA was set between April 11, 2016, and June 17, 2016, two five-calendar day grace periods will be applied: one at the beginning and one at the end of the CAA testing window.

Accountability Testing Window

The days not covered by the grace periods reflect the accountability testing window (i.e., the grace periods do not overlap into the accountability testing window). The following diagram illustrates the differences between the testing window, grace periods, and accountability testing window.

The image illustrates the Testing Window for 31 days or more. The testing window is broken into three parts: Beginning grace period, Accountability Testing Window, and Ending Grace Period.

Students Who Transfer In or Out

Students who do not test will be excluded or included in a school's participation rate based on when the student transferred in or out:

  • Transfer In

    Referencing the preceding diagram, schools are responsible for testing students who transfer in during the beginning grace period or the Accountability Testing Window. These students will be included in the enrolled count (i.e., included in the participation rate denominator).

    However, schools are not responsible for testing students who transfer in during the ending grace period. These students will not be included in the enrolled count if the student was not tested.

  • Transfer Out

    Still referencing the preceding diagram, schools are not responsible for testing students who transfer out during the beginning grace period. These students will not be included in the enrolled count (i.e., not included in the participation rate denominator) if the student was not tested.

    However, schools are responsible for testing students who transfer out during the Accountability Window or the ending grace period. These students will be included in the enrolled count (i.e., included in the participation rate denominator).

Participation Rate Numerator: Tested

For students who took the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, to be considered as "participating" and included in the count as tested, they must:

  • Be "enrolled." Only students who are included in the count for enrolled are included in the count for tested, and

  • Log onto (or have a test completion date) in both the CAT and the PT in the same content area.

    For example, if a student logs onto the ELA CAT and does not log onto the ELA PT, the student would be counted as "not participating" in the ELA assessment. Similarly, if a student logs onto both the ELA and mathematics PT, but not onto the ELA and mathematics CAT, the student would be counted as "not participating" in both ELA and mathematics.

For students who took the CAA, they must log onto the CAT to be counted as participating.

Additional Information

For more information on the 2016 Accountability Transition Report, please refer to the following Web pages:

For more information on the new accountability system, please refer to an Information Guide that is forthcoming (coming soon).

Questions: Academic Accountability Team | aau@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0863 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, November 29, 2016
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