State Board of Education explores new color-coded accountability system to show school performance

The Academic Performance Index is out, set to be replaced by — well, that remains to be seen.

But as reported this week by the Orange County Register, the state Board of Education is exploring a new school accountability model that will use colors and boxes featuring evaluation rubrics to indicate progress.

An image of students in a classroomEstablished in 1999, the old API was heavily reliant on test results to measure academic performance – and to determine which schools needed improvement. Scores for each school were based on a scale of 200 to 1,000, with 800 established as the state ideal.

Meanwhile, California has adopted new standards and implemented online assessments. In March 2015, with those assessments not yet in place, the state board voted to suspend the API, citing the need to develop a more comprehensive accountability system based on multiple measures.

“In addition to scores on standardized tests in English and math, schools will be held accountable for students’ college and career readiness, proficiency for English learners, graduation rates, chronic absenteeism, suspension rates and school climate, basic conditions at a school, implementation of academic standards, and parent engagement,” according to a news release issued this week by the California Department of Education.

Expect to hear an update on the new accountability system sometime in September. In the meantime, click here to read the Orange County Register story, which features a comment from OCDE’s own Christine Olmstead, assistant superintendent of instructional services.