A group of the largest school systems in the state met recently to discuss methods used to measure the success of their schools. Collectively known as CORE, the group of school systems has developed a new formula that will be used to measure their public schools.

Exploring New Metrics

With its new formula for measuring school success, new metrics will be taken into consideration. Among these will be:

  • Academic Performance
  • How Quickly Non-English Speaking Students Learn to Speak English
  • How Safe Student Feel at School
  • School Scores
  • Student Self-Control Skills
  • Student Social Awareness Skills
  • Suspension Rates

Currently, schools in California are evaluated on their performance on the Academic Performance Index standardized testing. In February, a group of six school districts within the CORE group will start grading schools according to the new metric referred to as the School Quality Index.

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Overall, the goal is to evaluate the schools in ways that are not included in more traditional tests while also capturing a broader picture of what takes place in the schools. The districts included in CORE want to serve as a model of how to measure schools in a more holistic manner that takes educator feedback into consideration.

Looking Toward the Future

In an effort to lay down the preliminary groundwork with the new testing metric, CORE will release its first round of reports in February. The new system is meant to provide schools with the information they need to improve while holding them to a tougher standard. Meanwhile, the state has suspended API as it tries to determine how to measure schools and transitions to new testing that has been aligned to the Common Core learning standards.

Just as the state is undergoing a transition with its testing standards, federal laws associated with education are changing. Last month, the House of Representatives approved the Every Student Succeeds Act, which is designed to replace the No Child Left Behind Act. The new law will give states more freedom to determine methods for identifying and disciplining underperforming schools. Depending on the outcome of the federal changes, the CORE board hopes to replace API by July.

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In measuring the success of schools for the 2014-2015 school year, the six CORE districts will use academic performance as 60 percent of the overall score. This score will be comprised of English Language Arts and math exams as well as high school readiness among 8th grade students and high school graduation rates. The other 40 percent will be determined by a variety of other factors, including how many students are expelled and suspended and the number of student absences. Next school year, after there is data for two consecutive years of new state testing, the academic component will include an evaluation of how the scores change over time. It will also incorporate data from student, parent and staff surveys as well as non-academic “social emotional” skills data.

The bottom line is that California continues to strive toward being a leader in the world of education as it improves the overall quality of its schools. To learn more about what the area has to offer, contact our team of experienced real estate professionals. We specialize in luxury properties in Southern California’s most exclusive communities.

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