High-Stakes Accountability and Equity: Using Evidence from California's Public Schools Accountability Act to Address the Issues in Williams v. State of California
Arizona State University
Analyzes the relationship between the school resources identified in the Williams case -teachers, textbooks, and facilities- and the state's main measure of school performance.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
American Educational Research Journal
Vol. 41, No. 4, pp. 763-795
- Basic educational necessities targeted by the Williams case should be the object of state policy in conjunction with accountability policies.
- As the percentage of students receiving reduced-price or free lunch, student mobility, and the percentage of English learners decreases, API scores rise.
- In the High School model, the coefficients for the variables measuring teachers' credentials are much larger compared with the other elementary and middle schools, as is the coefficient for teacher education. These suggest the importance of specialized subject matter training at the higher grade levels and in particular for high school teachers.
- As the student-teacher ratio increases, API scores decrease.
- The more the school district spends per pupil on instructional salaries, the higher the school API.
- With other factors stayed equal, schools in districts that spend more money on textbooks scored higher on the API in 1999.
- Schools following year-round, multiple track calendars tend to have lower API scores than schools following a traditional calendar or year-round, single-track calendar.
- A more equitable distribution of resources across schools should be viewed as the first crucial step in a broader process that would, ideally, include more fine-grained analyses of how to use resources most effectively.
- Accountability must encompass policies that promote equity.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Accountability, Composition, Equity, SES, Teachers
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Schools in California
Unit of Analysis:
- Data generated by the Public Schools Accountability Act (PSAA) of 6,813 schools in the 1999 data set made available by the California Department of Education, 6,602 had full information on all variables and were included in the analysis.
- the original API data was augmented with other California Department of Education data and two National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data sets: the common Core of Data (CCD) and Census 2000 data matched to school districts.
- DV: Uses the Academic Performance Index (API) which is the summary score assigned to each school in the state, ranging from 200 to 1,000.
- IV: variables related to students' socioeconomic backgrounds (percentage reduced-price or free lunch, mobility, limited English proficiency); variables related to the main issues in the Williams case (teachers' credentials, experiences, and educational attainment; the school calendar as the best available proxy for adequate facilities (including year-round, multiple track, concept 6, and others); and district textbook expenditures); and school and district level control variables ( such as student-teacher ratio, school size, the size and locale of the school district, a measure of districts' instructional expenditures, and the districts' tax base per student).