What’s special about the SPF?
When thinking about school quality, many people tend to gravitate to a single measure: results on standardized tests. Alternatively, word of mouth, and therefore often socioeconomically defined networks of friends and acquaintances, can define reputation more than any objective set of measurements. Both of these extremes are too one-dimensional, or worse, misleading.
The new School Performance Framework from OUSD is a much more equitable, comprehensive, and developmental.
- It looks at both whole school populations AND subgroups that are often left behind in classrooms, such as low-income or African-American students. This highlights achievement gaps between groups of students that might not be immediately evident.
- It captures a number of different factors that contribute to school quality. The SPF includes metrics related to both academic (state testing, reading levels, etc.) and climate (suspensions, EL reclassification rates, etc.). Hooray for a multi-measure approach! All the metrics are scored and weighted, resulting in an aggregate score from 1 to 6 (rounding down to get the tier).
- It considers both absolute performance AND growth. Knowing how much a school has improved is critical for highlighting historically lower-performing schools that are now making huge strides for students.