The Education Trust-West works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-k through college.

Accountability

Accountability

In 1999, California’s state leaders passed the Public Schools Accountability Act, creating the state’s accountability system, and led the nation in setting rigorous content standards for what all students must learn.

And in 2001, the reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), pushed California and the nation even further. A key purpose of NCLB is to close the achievement gaps between low-income students and students of color and their peers.

As a result, California’s schools currently answer to two accountability systems. However, even with multiple measures intent on holding schools accountable for preparing students for success in college and career, far too many schools across the state fail to execute this charge.

  • The state accountability system, the Academic Performance Index (API), asks schools to make annual academic growth targets, until they reach a statewide goal. The API holds schools accountable for student achievement on the California Standardized Tests (CST) in math, English, science, and social science, in conjunction with results from the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). These scores are used to determine the Annual Performance Index (API) of each school and to rank and compare the performance of schools across the state. Schools are expected to make significant growth in performance on their API scores across all subgroups each year.
  • The federal accountability system, Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), requires schools to meet annual benchmarks toward an ultimate goal of 100% of students scoring proficient or above in English and math by 2014. In addition, to make AYP, schools must test 95% of students, have an API of at least 650 or increase it by one point, and high schools are required to graduate at least 83.1% of students, or show improvement under specific formulas.

Polices providing guidance to schools must be rigorous, laden with high expectations, and resources necessary for academic success must be provided if we are truly to ratchet up education for our most vulnerable students and forever close the achievement gaps that plague our state.

To read the Education Trust-West’s published work on Accountability, please see below.

The Language of Reform: English Learners in California’s Shifting Education Landscape

The Language of Reform: English Learners in California's Shifting Education Landscape

October 22, 2014

Amber Banks, Practice Associate
The Education Trust—West

Leni Wolf, Data and Policy Analyst
The Education Trust—West

To watch a video recording of the webinar, click here

Presented: 
October 22 2014

The Language of Reform: English Learners in California's Shifting Education Landscape

California, a state rich in cultural and linguistic diversity, serves 1.4 million English learners—more than any other state in the country and accounting for almost one-third of English learners in the entire U.S. Too often, these students face insufficient academic supports, ill-prepared teachers, and less rigorous coursework, causing them to struggle academically. However, a new analysis finds it does not have to be this way. The Education Trust–West identifies a number of districts across California that are breaking this pattern.

Publication date: 
September 23 2014

LCAP Evaluation Checklist

This month, districts across California are holding public hearings on their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) and will adopt final budget plans by the end of June. During this exciting time, stakeholders have the opportunity to review and comment on these plans. To help support that process, The Education Trust—West (ETW) has developed a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Evaluation Checklist.

Publication date: 
June 6 2014

Ed Trust-West Releases LCAP Evaluation Checklist

Dear Friends and Partners,

This month, districts across California are holding public hearings on their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) and will adopt final budget plans by the end of June. During this exciting time, stakeholders have the opportunity to review and comment on these plans.

To help support that process, The Education Trust—West (ETW) has developed a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Evaluation Checklist. Our LCAP Evaluation Checklist is designed to help stakeholders—including advisory committee members and the general public—review district LCAPs and frame their comments and questions. It is meant to assist in evaluating whether an LCAP meets legal requirements and whether it clearly communicates district goals and plans in keeping with the spirit of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). It is not meant to evaluate the quality or likely effectiveness of proposed programs and services.

Learning from District Success:Promising Practices from The Education Trust–West’s District Report Cards

Learning from District Success:
Promising Practices from The Education Trust–West’s District Report Cards

 

April 30, 2014

Dr. Jeannette LaFors, Director of Equity Initiatives, The Education Trust-West
Leni Wolf, Data & Policy Analyst, The Education Trust-West  

To watch a video recording of the webinar, click here

 

Presented: 
April 30 2014

Ed Trust–West Releases Fourth Annual Report Cards Grading the Largest Unified School Districts on Outcomes for Latino, African-American and Low-income Students

OAKLAND, CA (April 8, 2014) – Today, The Education Trust–West (ETW) releases its fourth annual District Report Cards, grading and ranking California’s largest unified districts on academic and college readiness outcomes for Latino, African-American, and low-income students.

 

The Education Trust-West 2014 Policy Agenda

The past several years have jolted California’s education system like never before. Seismic shifts in school finance, standards, curriculum, and instruction sent shockwaves through our state’s education policy landscape. Long-familiar landmarks in school finance, accountability, and assessment were replaced by a host of new initiatives, including the Local Control Funding Formula, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, Common Core State Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards. In the coming years, as they ripple through our education system, these new initiatives have the potential to shift California’s focus more towards equity and close our state’s achievement and opportunity gaps. But we also know that without close attention to equitable implementation, these initiatives could widen existing gaps and create new fissures between our highest need students and their more advantaged peers. In our 2014 Policy Agenda, we recommend steps that policymakers should take in four core policy areas to ensure that students of color, low-income students, and English learners benefit from the changes in our education landscape.

Publication date: 
February 14 2014

Learning from District Success:Promising Practices from The Education Trust – West’s District Report Cards

"Learning from District Success: Promising Practices from Education Trust-West's District Report Cards"

By Jeannette LaFors, Director of Equity Initiatives, The Education Trust-West;
Lindsey Stuart, Data and Policy Analyst, The Education Trust-West 

Webinar
April 11, 2013

Presented: 
April 11 2013

Ed Trust–West Releases Third Annual Report Cards Grading the 148 Largest Unified Districts on Outcomes for Latino, African-American, and Low-income Students

OAKLAND, CA (April 3, 2013) – Today, The Education Trust–West (ETW) releases its third annual District Report Cards (http://reportcards.edtrustwest.org/), grading and ranking California’s largest unified districts on outcomes for Latino, African-American, and low-income students. Once again, this year’s report cards reveal higher poverty districts that are consistently achieving strong academic results, and graduating high numbers of college-eligible Latino, African-American, and low-income students.   

“Just as students receive report cards that measure their performance and progress in school, ETW develops annual report cards that grade California school districts on how well they are educating their Latino, African-American, and low-income students,” said Lindsey Stuart, Data and Policy Analyst at The Education Trust–West.  

At a Crossroads: A Comprehensive Picture of How African-American Youth Fare in L.A. County Schools

Today, The Education Trust–West releases At a Crossroads: A Comprehensive Picture of How African-American Youth Fare in Los Angeles County Schools and accompanying Prezi. Using data from multiple sources, the report finds that academic and socioemotional outcomes for African-American students in L.A. County are poor overall. However, it also identifies school districts where African-American students are doing better on a range of outcomes including academic performance, graduation rates, A-G completion rates, suspension rates, special education identification rates, and health and wellness indicators.  

Publication date: 
February 25 2013