Arizona’s plan includes little information about how it would incorporate subgroup performance into school ratings beyond the statutorily required information.
The state’s proposed n-size of 20 is encouraging, and the state presents data about how many different subgroups will be captured under a group size of 20 versus other alternatives. But it’s hard to tell what practical impact that would have, because Arizona does little more than promise to meet the minimal federal definitions to identify schools with low-performing subgroups for targeted support efforts.
Subgroups are also barely included in the state’s A-F grading system.
They’re not included in high school ratings at all, and for elementary and middle schools they would play a very small role (schools could earn up to 6 points out of 100 for reducing school-level achievement gaps), but only if they chose that item on Arizona’s “menu” of school quality indicators.
Arizona proposes including former students with disabilities in the students-with-disabilities subgroup for two additional years after they are no longer receiving services.
Since exiting students tend to have higher performance, the state should monitor its data to ensure it is not masking the performance of students who are still receiving services.