Additional Measures of School Performance

Family with big puppetsMany states have their own school accountability system, which may differ in key ways from what ESEA requires. For example, some states, such as Florida, grade schools from A through F based on academic performance. Other states, such as California, have developed indexes for schools based on test performance and compare schools’ performance with that of other schools. But these measures often use different criteria than the Federal determinations; for example, they might not consider the performance of subgroups. Thus the ratings for schools on the state and Federal measures might differ. 

Some states and school districts require norm-referenced tests (NRTs), which compare a student’s performance to the other students who took the assessment, rather than whether or not a student knows a sufficient amount of material to be considered passing.

The U.S. Department of Education has authorized the use of “growth models” in 15 states for use in Title I accountability determinations. These models indicate whether student performance has improved over the course of a year, not just whether students have reached the proficiency bar.