Connecticut says it plans to incorporate 12 total indicators into its accountability system.
Elementary schools are held accountable for four measures: student proficiency (including English language arts, math, and science), growth, chronic absenteeism, and physical fitness. But not all measures apply to all schools.
Connecticut deserves credit for attempting to include a range of different measures.
Considering the limitations in statewide data collection of measures other than state-administered assessments, the indicators reflect an effort toward achieving a more comprehensive, holistic evaluation of school quality. For example, it has proposed ways to incorporate physical fitness and art into its accountability system. However, while the physical fitness measure appears to be grounded in an objective, statewide rating system, it may be inappropriate for many students with disabilities. And the state’s proposed arts access measure could allow schools to game the measure in unhelpful ways by labeling classes as “art” that might not be truly comparable, especially since the indicator is a measure of access, not success.
Connecticut deserves credit for incorporating college-going rates.
This will help bridge the gap between K-12 and higher education and encourage schools to pay attention to what happens to students after they graduate. The state could further strengthen this indicator over time by also incorporating college remediation rates, as well as career-ready metrics like industry certifications or employment rates.
Connecticut plans to combine English language proficiency and academic growth into a single indicator.
This could be problematic if it conceals student performance on English-language proficiency. The state has not yet provided the weights of each of these components within the overall total. Connecticut would have a stronger plan if it described the weight it planned to give English-language proficiency and if it was sufficient to matter in a school’s overall rating.