New 2016-17 Academic Accountability Reports and Tools for Schools

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October 21, 2016 A Message from Malka Borrego, Chair, CCSA Member Council and Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Equitas Academy Charter School.

Dear California Charter School,

As Chair of the Member Council, I am pleased to provide you with an update on CCSA's academic accountability work. In June, the CCSA Member Council notified all charter schools that CCSA had updated its Academic Accountability Framework. This Framework sets Minimum Academic Accountability Criteria that guide CCSA's advocacy for renewing and replicating charter schools. In that June email I also noted that this fall, CCSA would publicly release Academic Accountability Reports for every school statewide on CCSA's Minimum Academic Accountability Criteria.

These Academic Accountability Reports are now available for each public school (charter and non-charter) on CCSA's website (, along with a sortable spreadsheet of all schools in the state. To help schools better contextualize their performance, we're translating these measures into "state ranks" and "similar schools ranks." More details are included below.

Accountability is a key ingredient in the success of California's charter schools ( Charter schools have thrived, in part, because clear minimum performance standards have allowed high performing schools to flourish with autonomy and underperforming schools to be closed. In the current rapidly changing state and federal accountability landscape where the criteria assessing school performance are in transition, we know that increases in academic achievement for all student groups remain the most important factor in a charter renewal determination. CCSA's straightforward and transparent Accountability Framework provides all charter schools with tools to examine their individual performance, as well as to provide vitally important points of comparison to help a school contextualize its performance for its authorizer, families, and entire school community.

CCSA uses these metrics as "initial filters" in its Academic Accountability Framework. For renewing or replicating charter schools below all filters, CCSA engages in a deeper Multiple Measure Review. In a few weeks CCSA will publicly call for the non-renewal of charter schools performing below all of the initial filters that have also not demonstrated student outcome success through the Multiple Measure Review. Early in 2017, CCSA will release its annual Portrait of the Movement, which will explore in more detail how charters are performing on these measures, including analyses by region and type of charter school.

The state and similar school ranks are based on the following measures:

  • State rank: CCSA has created a weighted average of proficiency, called the Average Point Difference (APD). This measure uses current year CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) data and takes into account the performance of every tested student in the school, not just those that are over the "met standard" bar. It helps a school understand how far above or below proficiency its students are performing.
  • Similar schools rank: Also based on the current year CAASPP data, this measure helps schools benchmark their performance in comparison to others serving similar demographics of students statewide. This Similar Students Measure helps contextualize a school's performance, while accounting for all significant subgroups served by the school.

Resources for Members:

Please note that this is based on the CDE data file released on August 24, 2016. On October 20th the state updated its data file. Over the next couple of weeks, CCSA will refresh the reports with the updated data and will notify you through the Weekly Member Digest and on the CCSA website when they are updated. If you have questions about CCSA's accountability work, please contact or visit CCSA's website for more details.

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