ERIC Number: ED439137
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Nov
Evaluation of California's Standards-Based Accountability System. Final Report.
Guth, Gloria J. A.; Holtzman, Deborah J.; Schneider, Steven A.; Carlos, Lisa; Smith, James R.; Hayward, Gerald C.; Calvo, Naomi
In June 1998, California started an evaluation of standards-based accountability. The evaluation focused on the status and impact of local accountability systems, content standards, assessment measures, use of data, consequences and incentives, and assistance in school districts across the state. In the course of the study, the California legislature enacted a new state-driven accountability plan that replaced the system the evaluation was examining. Data from the field thus reflected the existing program and attitudes toward the new program, which included an academic performance index and assistance, intervention, and incentives plans for schools. The school district was the primary unit of analysis, and the cornerstone of the evaluation was a survey of 200 California school districts that included the state's 120 largest districts. Interviews with administrators and teachers, as well as educational policymakers, provided study data. At the time of the surveys, most districts were still in the early stages of developing their local standards-based accountability system. The most common elements implemented to that point were content standards and assessments. Findings show that the development of accountability systems is a long and messy process. Although people hold varying views on accountability, many equate it with assessment. Many people support the concept of accountability, but there is less support for the details of its implementation. Recommendations are made for coherence in the accountability system, communication about accountability, assessment for accountability, and capacity building. Overall, educators in California need to align what already exists more than they need to move forward with new initiatives. An appendix contains the application for funding categorical aid programs and the interview protocols from the study. (Contains 27 figures and 37 references. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento.
Authoring Institution: WestEd, San Francisco, CA.
Identifiers - Location: California