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CA Dashboard Participation Rate

California Charters, SBAC Participation Rate Matters More Now Than Ever!

By Jennifer Reyes, Educational Support Services Manager

December 10, 2019

Starting with the 2020 CA School Dashboard, there will be a greater penalty to the Academic Indicators if a school’s participation rate falls below 95% on Math or ELA for the SBAC or CAA. The change will result in a greater decrease in Distance from Standard than the methodology used in the 2018 and 2019 Dashboards for schools that did not meet the participation rate threshold.  The Academic Indicators in the 2020 Dashboard will be calculated based on 19-20 CAASPP results.  That means schools have the opportunity NOW to plan for 95% or higher participation rates in Spring 2020 to avoid the new larger penalty.

Why the change?

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to test at least 95% of all students and student groups in ELA and mathematics.  California introduced a methodology for factoring participation rate into scores in 2018.  This methodology will be applied once more in the 2019 Dashboard release (with test results from 2018-19).  The federal Education Department reviewed the California Department of Education (CDE)’s methodology and determined that it does not meet ESSA requirements.

What is the current methodology?

For the 2018 and 2019 CA Dashboard data, CDE calculates the number of percentage points that the school, LEA, or student group falls short of the 95% participation target.  For each of these percentage points, they reduce the Distance from Standard (DFS) by 0.25 points.

What is the new methodology?

Instead of a 0.25 point penalty for each percentage point below 95%, the CDE will assign the Lowest Obtainable Score (LOSS) for each student needed to bring the school, district, or student group to a 95% participation rate.  Under the new methodology, the calculation will add the number of students needed to reach a 95% participation rate into the DFS calculations, and these students will be assigned a predetermined LOSS score.  The LOSS in Level 1 varies by subject and grade level.  The calculation will assign the LOSS among the school’s tested grade levels that penalizes the school the least.

Are there any exceptions to the participation rate requirement?

Students flagged with the “Medical Emergency” condition code will be automatically removed from the participation rate calculation unless they log onto both parts of the test.  English learners new to the country (enrolled in a U.S. school for less than one year) are exempt from taking the ELA portion of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments.  It’s important to note that parent waivers do not exempt students form the participation rate calculations. Also note that the same LOSS will be applied to students who do not take the California Alternative Assessments as for those taking the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments.

What can I do to ensure 95% participation?

Awareness, advance planning, and strong systems can all be leveraged to ensure a strong participation rate.  Educate staff, parents, and students about the way in which your school performance is tracked and publicized on the CA School Dashboard.  When stakeholders mobilize around school goals, everyone is invested in having their school represented in the best possible light.  When planning the window and logistics of the testing, it’s important to solicit staff, parent, and student input to avoid unanticipated barriers to participation and optimize the testing schedule for everyone.  Be sure to include a cushion of time for make-up testing for absent students. Finally, set up systems for reminding everyone of their role in successful testing, and closely monitor participation rates while still within your window and respond accordingly until you hit or surpass 95%.

Is your school ready to hit 95% participation on SBAC/CAA Math and ELA? Let us know how you plan to prepare in the comments section below!

California Charters, Know the Impact of Participation Rate on Your School’s Academic Indicators!

By Annice Weinstein, Senior Manager, Assessment Data and Analysis

March 29, 2019

In 2018, the California Department of Education added participation rate as a factor into the calculations for the Academic Indicators on the CA School Dashboard. But how exactly does that affect your school?

For both ELA and Math, the goal is to have a participation rate of 95% or higher on the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments (SBAC) and the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs.) If the participation rate falls below 95%, a fourth of a point (.25) is deducted from the Distance from Standard (DFS) for that subject for each percentage point below the target 95%.

For example, if a school had a participation rate of 91% on the SBAC/CAA ELA and a DFS in ELA of 9:

95% – 91% = 4 (points below the target participation rate)

4 x .25 = 1 (deduction amount from the DFS)

9 – 1 = Adjusted DFS of 8

Participation rate is calculated for every subgroup with 11 or more students and factored into the Academic Indicators for all reported Dashboard subgroups.

The following students are not included in the participation rate calculation: students absent from testing due to a significant medical emergency who are also flagged with the medical emergency condition code on the CAASPP file, and for the ELA portion of the SBAC/CAA, English learners enrolled in a U.S. school for less than one year. Parent waivers do not exempt students from the participation rate calculations.

Schools are also responsible for testing students who transfer in during the beginning 14-day grade period or during the Accountability Testing Window. These students will be included in the participation rate calculation. Schools are not responsible for testing students who transfer in during the ending 14-day grace period or transfer out during the beginning 14-day grace period. However, schools are responsible for testing students who transfer out during the Accountability Testing Window or during the ending 14-day grace period.

To see how participation rate may have affected your school’s Academic Indicators in 2018, schoolwide and for each significant subgroup, enter your school name into the box on this site:

https://public.tableau.com/profile/aweinstein#!/vizhome/2018_Participation_Rate_Impact/ParticipationRateDashboard

We Need Proof: Capture & Demonstrate Student Performance across a Data Spectrum

by Annice Weinstein, Senior Manager, Assessment Data and Analysis 

May 23, 2018

With so much going on at your charter school on a day-to-day basis, it can be difficult to remember what data your staff needs to track throughout the year. This data is necessary to stay on top of accountability requirements and be able to demonstrate student performance to your stakeholders, as well as for your LCAP, charter renewal, WASC, and grants. This article takes a step-by-step approach to help you evaluate your data needs and establish processes for collecting that data.

Start with your Charter

When your school’s founding team wrote the charter, they laid the foundation for what the school aims to accomplish, student performance goals, and how it plans to measure its progress over the duration of the charter period. Because your LCAP is an annual reflection of the school’s performance and plan for improvement, aligning the goals and measurable pupil outcomes in your LCAP to your charter is critical. This will also save you time when you renew your charter, as aligning the two documents is a requirement for renewal.

As a next step, you’ll need to track progress towards the measurable outcomes you set in your LCAP. For example, if one of your student performance goals is that all students enrolled at your school since ninth grade will graduate and be accepted to college, then you need to have processes in place to track progress towards graduation requirements and college acceptance rates. To accomplish this, you could assign a member of your data team to collaborate with the school’s guidance counselors and college counselors to determine the best way to gather this information. If one of your metrics for academic achievement is that all students enrolled at your school since kindergarten will be reading on grade level by the end of 3rd grade, then you need to have processes in place to track reading levels for a cohort of students over time.

Data Integrity

You won’t be able to evaluate your progress and student performance toward LCAP goals and tell your school’s story without consistent, reliable data. What’s more, your CALPADS data will be used to calculate the CA School Dashboard state indicators, so it’s extremely important that it’s complete and accurate. Review all CALPADS certification reports carefully. Take the time to download all student-level state test results from TOMS, CELDT, ELPAC, and testing systems to a safe place at your school. The data may not always be available to download when you need it; for example, TOMS only houses two historical years of data.

For all local test data, make sure to include student IDs so you can calculate longitudinal progress. Include proficiency levels where applicable to make it easy to determine the percentage of students on grade level or meeting the standard. Make sure the team in charge of data at your school is aware of the important role they play in compliance requirements and storytelling, and work with them to establish standard processes for tracking and reporting all data. You’ll want to make sure that everyone involved in these processes is kept informed of critical updates and timelines.

Use Data to Tell Your Story

CA School Dashboard Indicators

When it comes time to tell your story, it’s important to present the school’s performance in a clear, honest, effective way. In addition to the good news, you’ll also need to communicate dips in performance and indications of achievement gaps. You can use your Dashboard indicators to identify achievement gaps by identifying any student groups performing two or more levels below the school’s overall performance. You should also be prepared to explain how you are using data to assist in improving performance or closing the achievement gap.

Your Dashboard indicators are also useful for identifying and highlighting progress in student performance, such as an improvement in the test performance of English Learners. Whenever possible, try to identify specific programs or lack of programs that can be tied to progress or setbacks; this will weave a thorough story and set the stage for you to provide related recommendations about the best way to allocate resources going forward.

Local Metrics

You can also use local metrics to highlight your school’s performance. If you’ve had success in a particular area, you’ll want to make sure to share this with your stakeholders. Here are a few examples of metrics that might make sense for your school to track and report:

  • College Application, Acceptance, or College-Going Rate
  • AP Course Enrollment or AP Pass Rate
  • GPA
  • Participation in Programs (extracurricular activities, arts & science programs, leadership)
  • SAT/ACT Scores
  • Fundraising Success
  • Community Service Hours
  • Re-Enrollment Rate or Waitlist Count (to indicate satisfaction with or interest in your school)
  • Results of Parent/Student Surveys

Performance Analysis

There are two main ways to demonstrate student performance when telling your school’s story: longitudinal progress and comparison view. The longitudinal view compares performance for the same set of students over time. The comparison view shows school-wide performance by grade level or subgroup compared to demographically similar, resident, or district schools. When comparing performance, be sure to select comparison schools based on specific criteria such as similar demographics or geographic proximity. In the end, it all goes back to data integrity, as both views depend on access to complete, accurate data.

Summary

The most effective way to prepare to demonstrate student performance at your school is to outline a data collection strategy and plan. Make sure the relevant staff are on the same page regarding your school’s goals and implementation of those goals, so you are capturing the information you need to tell a powerful story. Schedule time throughout the school year to review progress on the measures established in your LCAP, accurately maintain your CALPADS data, and thoroughly understand your Dashboard. All of this will prepare you to explain both the progress and struggles reflected in your data.

Find out more about EdTec’s Student Performance Services.