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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
State Board of Education adopts digital learning standards guidance
May 24, 2021
The following State Board of Education report was prepared by Lee Angela Reid and Caitlin Jung of Capitol Advisors Group.
Actions at the May State Board of Education meeting mirrored efforts across the state to make a path back to normalcy — a mix of measures to move us forward from the pandemic and prepare for any similar situations (pandemics, natural disasters, locusts) in the future, as well as to restart work that was placed on hold when the pandemic hit.
Below you will find a summary of the major issues and takeaways from the meeting followed by information on the regular agenda items and waiver requests heard by the board.
Some highlights include:
  • California Digital Learning Integration and Standards Guidance adopted. The board adopted distance learning curriculum and instructional guidance for mathematics, English language arts and English language development for Local Education Agencies to use as a resource.
  • California State Accountability System Update: Student Growth Model Methodology adopted. As part of the item on the implementation of the Integrated Local, State, and Federal Accountability and Continuous Improvement System, the board approved the methodology for the student growth model and received an update on the work under consideration for future California School Dashboards.
California Digital Learning Standards Guidance
As part of the state’s response to COVID-19 school closures, Senate Bill 98 directed the Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools and the Sacramento County Office of Education to develop draft distance learning curriculum and instructional guidance for English language arts, mathematics and English language development. SB 98 also required that the draft guidance be presented to the SBE for consideration by May 31, 2021.
The document presented to the board was the culmination of 10 months of work by SCOE, including the creation of an advisory committee made up of representatives from various LEAs, labor unions and equity groups to provide stakeholder feedback throughout the process.
Along with unanimously approving the draft guidance, the SBE also approved changing the name of the guidance to California Digital Learning Integration and Standards Guidance. CDE had recommended the title change to better reflect that the document is not limited to guidance on the use of technology for distance learning but also on how to leverage technology to transform learning in the in-person classroom setting as well.
Over 500 pages long, the guidance is divided up into three main sections and includes all of the following:
  • A framework for addressing critical standards.
  • Guidance and resources for formative and diagnostic assessment.
  • Guidance on recommended aggregate time for instruction and independent work by grade span.
  • Guidance on embedding social emotional supports for pupils into distance learning curricula.
During the brief board discussion on the item, a number of board members expressed their support for the draft guidance and appreciation for how readable the document was given its length. However, Board Member Patricia Ann Rucker also acknowledged that the board’s approval of the guidance was just the first step and Vice President Ilene Straus stressed the importance of continued stakeholder outreach as the guidance is rolled out and integrated out in the field.
Staff from SCOE seemed to agree with the board’s sentiment, concluding their presentation by highlighting a number of additional resources that they are continuing to explore to help facilitate use of the guidance, including an e-book version of the guidance, a website that would allow educators to search within the document and supplemental video content.
California State Accountability System Student Growth Model
Since the initial development of the Local Control Accountability Plan, there has been interest among SBE members and LEA stakeholders in creating a student-level growth model. As mentioned in a prior SBE update, the board previously directed CDE to further explore a residual gain model for possible inclusion in the Dashboard. The RG model describes student growth as the difference between the student’s current status and an expected status based on prior performance or scores; in other words, whether the student has fallen short of or exceeded expectations.
Over the last several months, Educational Testing Service has been working on the development of a new methodology to improve the accuracy and stability of the RG model. The “empirical best linear prediction” (EBLP, pronounced E-Blip) uses a weighted average of the individual growth scores generated from the RG model to create a more accurate aggregate measure of those scores than one obtained from the simple average of the individual scores. ETS further found that using both the EBLP and the simple average (what they are calling a hybrid approach) significantly increases the accuracy and year-to-year stability of the growth model methodology.
At the May SBE meeting, the board adopted CDE’s recommended student growth model methodology, which includes using RG scores for student growth and the EBLP hybrid approach to report aggregated student growth. The board also adopted the following score reporting:
  • Report the EBLP weighted average for schools, student groups in a school, the “All” student group in an LEA, and student groups in a district with 500 or fewer students (with test scores).
  • At the LEA level, report the simple average for all race/ethnicity and program participation student groups with more than 500 scores.
CDE plans to report student growth scores in 2021 at the LEA, school and student group levels. CDE is developing a communications plan to assist the public with the interpretations and purpose of these data and will continue to solicit feedback from focus groups and stakeholders on the best approach to display this data in the future. CDE will also develop a report that displays the English Language Proficiency Assessment for California levels with growth score results.
Three years of California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress summative assessment scores are required to produce growth results and, due to the suspension of summative assessments in 2020 and action related to assessments in 2021, there will be a two-year gap in statewide assessment results. Therefore, the next time a growth model using current data (CAASPP assessments from the Spring of 2022, 2023, and 2024) can be produced is December 2024.
California School Dashboard
SBE annually reviews the California School Dashboard indicators and performance standards to consider whether changes are needed. The annual review requires that CDE update the board on which indicators are under consideration for review and revisions for action by SBE. At the May hearing, CDE presented their proposed 2021 accountability workplan.
Teacher Data for LCFF Priority 1: As mentioned in a prior SBE update, Senate Bill 75, the 2019 Education Budget Trailer bill, provided a timeline and direction for inclusion of local indicators in the state accountability system: “No later than January 31, 2021, local indicators shall reflect school-level data to the extent the department collects or otherwise has access to relevant and reliable school-level data for all schools statewide.”
CDE reviewed each local indicator and identified one data point of State Priority 1, “appropriately assigned and fully credentialed teachers,” to explore further whether it might meet the criteria outlined in SB 75 for local indicators.
In addition, on Nov. 6, 2019, SBE approved updated definitions for “ineffective” and “out-of-field” teachers to be included in California’s Every Student Succeeds Act consolidated state plan.
CDE has been working with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing through a data sharing agreement to obtain the data necessary to meet the federal reporting requirements in the state plan as well as the state requirements under SB 75. In February, CDE received individual teacher and course level data on “Ineffective” and “Out-of-Field” teachers for the 2019-20 academic year from CTC.
In Spring 2021, CDE plans to report 2019-20 Teacher Assignment Monitoring-related reports on DataQuest and as downloadable files and, in Summer 2021, CDE will provide 2019-20 New Staff-, Course- and Class-related reports and downloadable files.
In Fall 2021, as there will only be one year (the 2019-20 school year) of data available, CDE will add an additional report on the Dashboard which will link to the DataQuest report.
CDE expects that data from the 2020-21 school year will be processed through CTC’s system and returned to CDE later this fall.
With this second year of data, CDE will be able to engage stakeholders and technical experts to propose objective criteria for SBE to consider. CDE will also review options to meet the reporting requirements to include this data on Priority Area 1 on the 2022 Dashboard.
For the 2020-21 School Accountability Report Card, due Feb. 1, 2022, CDE plans to pre-populate staff tables with these data. (In past years, districts have manually entered these data into the SARC application.) CDE will present these updated tables for consideration at the July 2021 SBE meeting.
Dashboard Alternative School Status Schools
The Alternative Schools Task Force’s November 2020 report to SBE recommended adding a positive transition rate for DASS schools as a new local indicator to focus on alternative school students’ continued path to further education.
As adding a new local indicator would require a change in current LCFF statute, CDE is instead proposing to report this data in an additional report for information purposes using the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System exit codes for DASS students.
DASS enrollment patterns
When SBE approved the methodology to calculate the DASS graduation rate in 2018, members raised concerns about the potential for the modified Graduation Rate Indicator to impact mobility between non-alternative and DASS schools. Specifically, there was concern around the possible increase of student transfers from non-alternative high schools into DASS high schools. In response, SBE directed CDE to conduct analyses of enrollment data when it became available.
CDE provided analysis in August 2019 that showed transfer patterns for race/ethnicity student group and program student group counts stayed relatively consistent. Overall, trend data in student transfers remained relatively stable from 2017-18 through 2019-20 (excluding the months immediately after the pandemic closures).

Student-Level Data Files – College/Career Indicator and Academic Indicator: CDE is proposing to produce student-level data files for the CCI and Academic Indicator to share with authorized LEA staff. For several years, LEAs have requested access to student-level reports that identify student results in both indicators. Currently, LEAs can connect to specific student-level CALPADS reports that are tied to the following state indicators: graduation rate, chronic absenteeism and suspension rate.
While LEAs can also access CCI results through these reports, the process is burdensome as the indicator contains numerous measures, so LEAs have to connect to multiple CALPADS reports. A streamlined student-level report for the CCI and Academic Indicator will better enable LEAs to have the data necessary to conduct in depth analysis for all state indicators.
New CCI Measures: As part of the effort to continue to build out the CCI, CDE will work with the CCI Work Group, the Civic Engagement Work Group and the Alternative Schools Task Force to develop civic engagement and industry certifications for possible inclusion in the CCI. The earliest collection in CALPADS will be 2022-23 as new data cannot be collected during 2021-22 due to a restructuring of the CALPADS system.
2021 reporting
In April, the U.S. Department of Education granted California a waiver of the federal accountability and school identification requirements. Specifically, the state is not required to implement and report the results of its accountability system, including calculating progress toward long-term goals and measurements of interim progress or indicators, or to annually differentiate among its public schools using data from the 2020-21 school year.
CDE is working with the administration and the Legislature to ensure alignment with state accountability requirements. Instead of reporting the usual Dashboard, CDE is proposing to develop reports for informational purposes only. These reports would not contain performance determinations, but would reside in the Dashboard as a “Modified Dashboard,” to provide data at the LEA, school, and student-group levels in three priority areas: student achievement, student engagement, and school climate to support LEAs in the development of their LCAPs.
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