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.

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.

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.

 

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.  

Infographic & Presentation: California's Education System: Is it Fair?

A startling new infographic and presentation from The EducationTrust—West (ETW) exposes previously hidden gaps in California’s college and career pipeline, impacting more than four million students. Combining new data from the U.S.

Publication date: 
August 28 2012

New Analysis of Civil Rights Data Highlights Critical Need for Reforms to California’s Education System: Education Trust—West Calls for State to Follow the Lead of Innovative Districts and Charters

OAKLAND, CA (September 6, 2012)On the heels of the release of the 2012 STAR testing data, a startling new infographic and presentation from The Education Trust—West (ETW) exposes previously hidden gaps in California’s college and career pipeline, impacting more than four million students. Combining new data from the U.S. Office of Civil Rights (OCR) with data from previous ETW reports, the analysis reveals how low-income, Latino and African-American students in California are getting less of everything they need to achieve their college and career dreams. As a result, nearly a third of these students fail to graduate from high school and only 14% of those who do graduate enter the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) system. According to the analysis, low-income students in California’s schools receive:   

Broad Coalition of Education Stakeholders Opposes AB 5

OAKLAND, CA (August 22, 2012)A broad group of reform minded school districts, education advocacy and civil rights organizations have come together to oppose California Assembly Bill 5.  AB 5 guts all objective accountability on adult job performance in public schools while undermining local authority and adds new unfunded state mandates of over $50 million.

Latest Graduation Data Reveal an Ongoing Crisis for California’s Highest Need Students

OAKLAND, CA (June 27, 2012) – For the second year in a row, the California Department of Education (CDE) has released accurate and transparent graduation and dropout rate data thanks to the state’s use of CALPADS, the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System. The data once again reveal that California’s schools are graduating Latino, African-American, and low-income students at alarmingly low rates.

EQUITY ALERT: 2011 California District Report Cards

Just as students receive report cards that measure their performance and progress in school, The Education Trust – West develops annual report cards that grade California school districts on how well they serve their Latino, African-American, and low-income students. This brief summarizes the findings of our Second Annual District Report Cards. District leaders create the conditions for reform at the school and classroom levels that lead to improved student achievement. Our 2011 report cards focus on the critical role districts play in improving Latino, African-American, and low-income student achievement, closing achievement gaps, and preparing students for college eligibility.This year’s report cards reveal many of the same patterns as last year’s, with noteworthy changes in some districts and regions. As in 2010, the largest unified districts in Southern California tend to achieve better outcomes among their traditionally underserved students than Northern California districts. And of the large, unified districts assigned grades in both 2010 and 2011, most districts maintained the same grades overall and across indicators. While some districts improved or declined, twice as many districts improved their overall grades as those that slid backward.

Publication date: 
March 22 2012

The Education Trust—West Issues Statement as California State Board of Education Considers a Waiver of No Child Left Behind

OAKLAND, CA (March 7, 2012) – The Education Trust—West issued the following statement as the California State Board of Education considers an application for a waiver of No Child Left Behind:

“The Obama administration has offered California an unprecedented opportunity to apply for a waiver of No Child Left Behind. To date, thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia have seized this opportunity and submitted waiver applications. This includes states with Democratic and Republican leadership. It includes states that have, like California, suffered from sizable budget deficits. In contrast, California’s leadership has failed to submit an application and focused instead on criticizing the Obama administration for the reasonable requirements of the waiver application process. These requirements include the implementation of Common Core State Standards adopted by the California State Board of Education; the development of a robust district and school accountability system focused on closing achievement gaps; and long overdue reforms to California’s abysmal teacher and principal evaluation requirements. Rather than seizing this opportunity, Governor Brown and Superintendent Torlakson have decided to submit a ‘California-specific waiver’ that would ignore the administration’s application requirements. Given the high stakes, this approach is appalling. Like thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia, California should support the Obama administration’s plan and submit a waiver proposal that adheres to the requirements of the application process. Doing otherwise would be an incredible lost opportunity and an abdication of our leadership’s responsibility to improve California’s education system. We encourage the state board to reject the California-specific waiver proposal and vote to submit a high quality waiver application that adheres to the Obama administration’s requirements for approval.”     

The Education Trust—West’s Statement on President Obama’s Plan for Waivers to NCLB

OAKLAND, CA (September 22, 2011) – The Education Trust—West issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement that it will provide states with the opportunity to apply for waivers to No Child Left Behind (NCLB):

“President Obama’s announcement of an application process for waivers of No Child Left Behind provides California with an unprecedented opportunity to improve our education system to better serve all students. Our state’s leaders have been consistently critical of NCLB and asked for relief from its requirements without presenting a real vision for closing California’s persistent achievement gaps. They now have the flexibility to develop a new accountability system focused on cutting our state’s achievement gaps in half. They also have an opportunity to reform our broken teacher evaluation system and guarantee access to college and career ready curriculum for all students. In a state where students of color and low income students represent the majority of our student population, closing opportunity and achievement gaps and implementing critical reforms should be our leaders’ top priorities. California’s future and our students’ hopes and aspirations depend on the willingness of our state leaders to be courageous enough to turn this unprecedented opportunity into a reality.”