A California Chamber of Commerce-supported bill that will help improve school accountability awaits action by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
AB 2548 (Weber; D-San Diego) will help employers, parents, educators, lawmakers, and other stakeholders hold schools accountable for student performance and improvement, and ensure students are being adequately prepared to enter the workforce or college, by requiring that the state’s new accountability system tracks sufficient information to allow for meaningful comparisons of schools and districts.
AB 2548 will ensure that California’s new K-12 school accountability system is aligned with recently adopted federal accountability requirements, sets ambitious standards for student performance, and establishes meaningful expectations for improvement to encourage continuous improvement and close opportunity and achievement gaps.
Back in 2010, California put in place the first in a series of major education reforms by adopting the Common Core state standards for math and language arts. In 2013, the state adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, which, like Common Core, are designed to give students a deeper understanding of the concepts they are learning and make those concepts more applicable to real-world situations.
As part of the 2013-14 Budget Act, lawmakers also overhauled the state’s school funding system by adopting the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which gives local school districts much-needed flexibility to use state funding in ways that best serve the needs of their students, and directs additional funding to schools that serve low-income students, English learners, and foster youth to ensure they have enough resources to properly serve those student populations.
The final component in this series of reforms is a new accountability system that will ensure educators, parents, policymakers, employers, and other stakeholders can monitor implementation of these major policy changes and evaluate whether they are improving student performance. AB 2548 will ensure that California’s new accountability system provides the public with critical information on the performance of schools and districts, and allows for transparent and meaningful comparisons across schools and districts with respect to academic performance, student growth, equity, school climate and student engagement.
In this way, it will allow the public to make sure that all students make meaningful progress in school and are prepared, upon graduation from high school, to enter the workforce or pursue postsecondary training without the need for substantial remediation.
The health of California’s economy depends on the quality of the state’s education system and its ability to adequately prepare all students to compete in the workforce. AB 2548 will enable parents, community groups, educators, policymakers and other stakeholders to monitor how our schools are doing, provide support to schools that are struggling, and guarantee that future graduates are prepared to succeed.
CalChamber is encouraging businesses to contact the Governor and urge him to sign AB 2548.
Staff Contact: Karen Sarkissian