Policy Updates graphic

State Accountability

California’s New Accountability and Continuous Improvement System

In 2013, California initiated a new funding system, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). The LCFF changed how California distributes resources to districts throughout the state according to the student demographic characteristics, and holds local educational agencies (LEAs) accountable for improving the performance of all student groups. District stakeholders design plans based on local circumstances and report progress annually in their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP). The LCAP encourages local educators and communities to build systems with structures and supports that will assist students to reach their full potential. This new accountability system replaced the Academic Performance Index (API) which relied mostly on test results.

In September 2016, the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the accountability component of this system, known as evaluation rubrics. The rubrics include state and local performance standards for the LCFF priorities. These tools are intended to assist LEAs to identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas in need of improvement. Information will be reported for the following elements: readiness for college and careers, graduation rates, progress of English learners, suspension rates, Smarter Balanced assessment scores (English language arts and mathematics), and chronic absenteeism (future). When available, local indicators for the following topics will be included in the rubrics: basic conditions at a school, progress in implementing State standards, parent engagement, and school climate.

The rubrics provide graphic illustrations that show how students perform on the multiple measures prescribed under the LCFF. These reports will provide a more comprehensive picture of the educational experience offered by schools and districts for students. The rubrics consider the status as well as the change in student performance over time. The tools include equity reports that will identify student group disparities. The rubrics will assist in determining which LEAs and schools need additional assistance or intervention.

The State intends to integrate the California accountability model with the system that will be designed to meet the requirements in the federal law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The initial rubrics for schools and districts are expected to be available in early 2017.

Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF):