Update on CCSA's Draft Academic Accountability Framework

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February 16, 2016 A Message from Malka Borrego, Chair, CCSA Member Council and Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Equitas Academy Charter School.

February 16, 2016

Dear California Charter School Leader,

As Chair of the Member Council, I am pleased to provide you with an update on CCSA's academic accountability work.

Accountability matters to the California charter school movement and CCSA members. Since 2009, CCSA's Member Council has led CCSA's accountability advocacy efforts for renewing and replicating charter schools, including the development of CCSA's Accountability Framework that sets Minimum Academic Accountability Criteria to measure academic performance of charter schools. Academic accountability is a key ingredient in the success of California's charter schools and the students they serve. Charter schools have thrived, in part, because clear minimum performance standards have created an environment of freedom and autonomy in exchange for accountability, where high performing charter schools have flourished and many underperforming schools have closed.

CCSA's straightforward and transparent Accountability Framework provides all charter schools with tools to examine their individual performance, and also helps present a clear picture of the performance continuum across the entire movement.

With the guidance of Member Council, CCSA is currently piloting an updated draft Accountability Framework to align to Common Core and postsecondary readiness measures. CCSA's Member Council and Board will approve a finalized Accountability Framework and associated Minimum Academic Accountability Criteria for full implementation beginning in 2016-17. As with the prior framework, CCSA would support the renewal and replication efforts of charter schools performing above these Minimum Criteria and oppose the renewal and replication of those below. You can learn more about the development and components of this framework at www.ccsa.org/advocacy/accountability/.

Please be on the lookout for an email directly to you from CCSA in the coming weeks that will privately share your school's results on CCSA's Minimum Academic Accountability Criteria, and a draft example of what the Academic Accountability Report Cards will look like once they are public in 2016-17.

We welcome your feedback, questions and input on your school's individual results as well as the design and information contained in the report card.

CCSA's Draft Academic Accountability Framework

Learn more, visit www.ccsa.org/advocacy/accountability/.

While there are many important aspects to measuring the performance of a charter school, CCSA believes student academic outcomes should be the single most important measure of a school's success at the time of charter renewal or replication. CCSA's Accountability Framework is made up of two parts - an initial review of state test score performance and then a Multiple Measures Review.

Below is the draft Accountability Framework in pilot now.

Initial Filters: 3 measures of state test scores and postsecondary readiness serve as "initial filters"

  1. Status measure: Above 40th percentile on SBAC (CCSA uses a weighted average of SBAC scale scores measuring how far the average student is above/below the "Met" standard)
  2. Growth/ Postsecondary readiness
    Elementary/middle schools: Growth over time on SBAC (to be finalized in 2016-17) High schools: 75% or more of 12th grade graduates completing all "a-g" requirements
  3. Similar Students: Within or above predicted on CCSA's Similar Students Measure (measuring how schools are performing with similar students across the state)

Multiple Measure Review: Schools below ALL the initial filters can share outcomes aligned to California's 8 state priorities as described in the school's Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). Schools can tell their own story of success by choosing measures most closely aligned to their mission.

Charter schools that meet ANY ONE of the initial filters OR demonstrate academic success through the Multiple Measure Review qualify for CCSA's full advocacy support for renewal or replication. CCSA opposes renewal and replication for schools that perform below ALL initial filters AND that do not demonstrate academic success through the Multiple Measure Review.

Note that CCSA's Minimum Academic Accountability Criteria do not apply if a school is: ASAM, Alternative, less than four years old, or has less than 30 valid test takers.

CCSA's Member Council and Board believe continued leadership on academic accountability demonstrates that California's charter schools are serious about ensuring they improve learning and creates significantly better learning opportunities for all students.

If you have questions about CCSA's accountability work, please contact accountability@ccsa.org or visit CCSA's website for more information about the Accountability Framework. Look for more details in the coming weeks.


Malka Borrego
Chair, CCSA Member Council
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Equitas Academy Charter School