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FAQs for 2016 Accountability

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) posed by schools, districts, and the public.
NOTE:
When the new accountability system is released to districts, schools, and the public in 2017, the section in this Web page titled "New Accountability System: Local Control Funding Formula Evaluation Rubrics" will be updated to capture questions commonly asked about the new system.

2016 Accountability Transition Report

  1. Each year, the California Department of Education (CDE) produces the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Report, but I see that this year's report is called the 2016 Accountability Transition Report. Is this report the same as the AYP Report?

    No. When the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into federal law in December 2015, one of the requirements under the law is for states to have a new multiple measures accountability system in effect by the 2017–18 school year.

    On September 8, 2016, the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted a new accountability system. California's new accountability system is based on multiple measures and will be reported through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) Evaluation Rubrics, a Web-based system, scheduled for release in 2017.

    During the transition to the new accountability requirements under the ESSA, the CDE released the 2016 Accountability Transition Report which displays the following requirements under ESSA: (1) the 95 percent participation on the statewide assessments for local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools, and (2) the four-year cohort graduation rates. ESSA does not require LEAs or schools to meet graduation rate targets or the 95 percent participation rate target in the transition year. As a result, the report does not indicate whether LEAs and schools met those targets. Because Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) are no longer required under ESSA, states are not required to report performance against AMOs for the 2015–16 school year. Therefore, unlike in prior years, LEAs and schools are not required to meet academic targets.

  2. Given the information in question 1, why are data beyond the participation rate being reported in the 2016 Accountability Transition Report?

    The 2016 Accountability Transition Report displays the following data for the following purposes:

    • Participation Rate: As noted in question 1, the ESSA requires that at least 95 percent of students in LEAs and schools participate on the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments or the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) in English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. Therefore, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is requiring that the participation rate data be reported. In addition, the ESSA requires states to incorporate the 95 percent participation rate goal into their new accountability system. (Note: Students who took the CAA are not included in the calculation of the participation rate in the November release of the 2016 Accountability Transition Report.) For further details on the new accountability system, see the section titled "New Accountability System: Local Control Funding Formula Evaluation Rubrics." See question 3 on the participation rate target; question 5 on the CAA; and questions 6 and 7 regarding the rules for calculating the participation rate.

    • Cohort Graduation Rate (Class of 2014–15): The cohort graduation rate is reported for all schools and LEAs that had grade twelve enrollment or at least one graduate in the 2014–15 graduation cohort (Class of 2015). Because the local control funding formula (LCFF) treats charter schools as LEAs and the SBE directed CDE staff to develop a separate accountability system for alternative schools, the LEA-level 2014–15 cohort graduation rate excludes charter and alternative schools' graduation rates.

      The 2014–15 cohort graduation data will be used for the new accountability system. For further details on the new accountability system, see section titled "New Accountability System: Local Control Funding Formula Evaluation Rubrics."

    • Three-Year Average Cohort Graduation Rate: The weighted three-year cohort graduation rate average is based on the prior three years of four-year cohort graduation data, specifically the Class of 2014, 2013, and 2012. In order to obtain the weighted average, the total number of graduates in the Class of 2014, 2013, and 2012 is divided by the total number of students in these three classes. If an LEA, school, and/or student group does not have cohort data for all three graduating classes, then the weighted average is calculated using the one or two years of available cohort data. Because the three-year average will be used for the initial release of the new accountability system, the CDE is displaying these data so that LEAs and schools may review them prior to the release of the new system. For further details on the new accountability system, see section titled "New Accountability System: Local Control Funding Formula Evaluation Rubrics."

    • Program Improvement: The Program Improvement (PI) Report supplements the 2016 Accountability Transition Report by providing information on the PI status of LEAs and schools. The 2016–17 school year will be the final year that LEAs and schools will receive a PI determination. As states transition to their new accountability system, ESSA provides greater flexibility in holding schools accountable for student progress.

      Therefore, LEAs and schools that received Title I, Part A funds and had a PI placement year (e.g., PI Year 2) for the 2015–16 school year will retain (or carry over) their same PI status and placement for the 2016–17 school year.

      All other LEAs and schools that received Title I, Part A funds for the 2015–16 school year will have a PI status of "Not in PI."

  3. Will LEAs and schools be identified for improvement if they do not meet the 95 percent participation rate?

    Under ESSA, the participation rate requirement remains at 95 percent. However, unlike in prior years, LEAs and schools will not be identified for improvement if they do not meet the 95 percent participation rate requirement. However, the ESSA does require states to incorporate the 95 percent participation rate goal into their new accountability system. Therefore, the CDE recommends that LEAs and schools review their participation rate data.

  4. I was informed that students whose parents submitted a waiver to opt them out of taking the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments in ELA and mathematics do not hurt our school's participation rate. Is this accurate?

    No. The ED does not recognize parent waivers; therefore, students who do not take the test due to a parent waiver will be included in the calculation of the participation rate. In other words, they will counted as not participating which will decrease the school's participation rate.

  5. Are the students who took the California Alternate Assessment included in the participation rate?

    Students who took the 2016 CAA are not included in the initial release of the 2016 Accountability Transition Report because the data are not yet available. The 2016 Accountability Transition Report will be updated in the spring of 2017 to incorporate the CAA participation rate.

  6. How is the participation rate calculated?

    For the initial release, the denominator includes all students eligible to take the Smarter Balanced test who were enrolled during a school's testing window. The numerator includes all students who participated in the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments.

    To be counted as a "participant", a student must have at least logged on to both the computer adaptive test (CAT) and performance task (PT) for each content area activity.

    See question 7 regarding additional rules to calculating the participation rate. See question 5 on students who took the CAA.

  7. I had students who transferred in or out during my school's testing window. Which of these students are included in my school's participation rate?

    Because schools have longer testing windows, during which students may transfer in and out, grace periods were developed to hold schools harmless for not administering the assessments to these students. Depending upon the length of a school's testing window, one or two grace periods may be applied at the beginning and/or end of a testing window. Keep in mind that a school’s testing window is set up in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) Test Administration Setup module by the LEA California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) coordinator.

    The general rules for grace periods are as follows:

    • A student who had not yet tested and transferred out during the beginning grace period is not included in a school's participation rate (i.e., the school is not held responsible for testing the student). The "beginning grace period" is one that is applied at the start of the testing window.

    • A student who transferred in during the ending grace period is also not included in a school's participation rate (i.e., the school is not held responsible for testing the student). The "ending grace period" is one that is applied at the end of the testing window.

      Specific information and examples of grace periods and when a transferring student is included or excluded from a school's participation rate are in the "Participation Rate" section of the 2016 Accountability Transition Report Information Guide posted on the CDE AYP Web page.

  8. LEAs and schools were required to meet the attendance rate target last year. Is there a requirement this year?

    No. Last year (for 2015 reporting), federal law required schools and LEAs to meet an additional indicator which the ED approved as the attendance rate for California. However, there is no federal requirement for LEAs and schools to meet any indicators (or targets) for 2016, and as a result, attendance rate data will not appear on the 2016 Accountability Transition Report.

  9. Are the grades five, eight, and ten CAASPP science results incorporated in the 2016 Accountability Transition Report?

    No. As in prior reporting years, federal accountability reporting is based only on the ELA and mathematics content areas. Science results are not used to calculate the participation rate.

Program Improvement

  1. The 2016–17 PI Report shows my school in PI Year 4. I thought that LEAs and schools were no longer being identified for PI. Are LEAs and schools still held responsible for meeting PI requirements for the 2016–17 school year?

    The 2016–17 school year will be the last year that LEAs and schools will receive a PI determination. All LEAs and schools that received Title I, Part A funds during the 2015–16 school year have a PI status reported for the 2016–17 school year. LEAs and schools that received Title I, Part A funds and had a PI placement year (e.g., PI Year 2) for the 2015–16 school year will retain (or carry over) their same PI status and placement for the 2016–17 school year. All other LEAs and schools that received Title I, Part A funds for the 2015–16 school year will have a PI status of "Not in PI."

    For information on meeting any PI requirements for the 2016–17 school year, please contact the District Innovation and Improvement Office by phone at 916-319-0836.

New Accountability System: Local Control Funding Formula Evaluation Rubrics

  1. I heard that California is developing a new state accountability system. What is the current status? Is there a place online that I can access to stay apprised of the latest information?

    On September 8, 2016, the SBE adopted a new accountability system. Specific details of this system will be made available on the CDE Web site when the new accountability system is released.

  2. Given the answer to question 11, when will the new accountability system be released? And where will I be able to access the information?

    The new accountability system will be reported through the LCFF Evaluation Rubrics which is a Web-based system current in development and scheduled to be online in 2017. The CDE will link to this system once the LCFF Evaluation Rubrics are available.

    More information about how to access the LCFF Evaluation Rubrics and the information within the rubrics is forthcoming.

  3. When the initial LCFF Evaluation Rubrics are reported online in 2017, will it be used to identify which LEAs are eligible for technical assistance or more intensive state support/intervention?

    No. The initial LCFF Evaluation Rubrics released online in 2017 will not be used to determine which LEAs are eligible for technical assistance or to assist the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in determining whether LEAs are eligible for more intensive state support/intervention. The CDE is releasing the data to provide LEAs and the public an opportunity to become familiar with the LCFF Evaluation Rubrics before they are used to determine technical assistance or intervention.

    However, beginning in the fall of the 2017–18 school year, the data reported in the LCFF Evaluation Rubrics will be used to determine eligibility for technical assistance and intensive state support/interventions.

  4. I am a district accountability coordinator and have been asked to gather our district's data for the state indicators. What are the state indicators that will be reported in the LCFF Evaluation Rubrics?

    The state indicators that will be reported in the LCFF Evaluation Rubrics are:

    • Graduation Rate Indicator
    • Suspension Rate Indicator
    • Academic Indicator
    • English Learner Indicator

In the future, chronic absenteeism and the College/Career Indicator will be included as state indicators.

Data for state indicators will be pre-populated by the CDE in the LCFF Evaluation Rubrics. (Data for local indicators [i.e., parent engagement; local climate survey; implementation of state academic standards; etc.] will be uploaded in the LCFF Evaluation Rubrics by LEAs. As noted in the November 2016 SBE Agenda Item 3, the CDE is convening work groups, technical experts, and stakeholders to provide input on the local indicators and provide the SBE with recommendations for further development and refinement.)

Information on state indicators and the rules used to determine which students are included and excluded from the state indicators will be posted on a new CDE Web page that is currently under development.

  1. Will there be an information brochure for parents that includes a general overview of the LCFF Evaluation Rubrics?

    Yes. A parent guide will be made available in 2017 and will be posted on a new CDE Web page that is currently under development.

Academic Performance Index

  1. I see that the Academic Performance Index (API) has not been reported for the past few years. What is the status of releasing a new API Report?

    California's education system went through landmark changes in 2014 with the implementation of the LCFF, the transition to a new testing system, and the shift to develop a new state accountability system. Given these changes, the SBE approved the State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s recommendation to not calculate the API for LEAs and schools for the 2014 and 2015 academic years. As a result, the 2014, 2015, and 2016 API reports will not be produced.

    The new accountability system will replace the API, which will better measure California's educational goals. See the section titled "New Accountability System: Local Control Funding Formula Evaluation Rubrics."

  2. I know that ranking data have not been reported for the past few years but will decile ranks ever be released again?

Effective July 1, 2013, California Education Code Section 52056(a) requiring API ranking of schools was repealed. As a result, beginning in 2014, the CDE discontinued producing the statewide and similar schools ranks.

The final statewide and similar schools ranks were produced based on the 2013 Growth API data and reported within the 2013 Growth API reports.

Questions: Academic Accountability Team | aau@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0863 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Related Content
  • Accountability Progress Reporting (APR)
    California's integrated accountability system that reports both the state Academic Performance Index (API), and the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and Program Improvement (PI).
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