Elementary and middle schools will receive star ratings based on student assessments in reading, mathematics, science, social studies and writing; and student growth in reading and mathematics. High schools will be rated based on student assessments in reading, mathematics, science and writing; transition (academic or career) readiness; and graduation rate. Elementary and middle school accountability will contain a measure of growth on (and high schools for attainment of) English language proficiency for English learners on an exam that includes speaking, listening, reading and writing in English.
The 5-star accountability system is designed to focus attention on the need to close achievement gaps. A school or district that would have been a 5- or 4-star will be reduced by 1 star if it has significant achievement gaps between the performances of groups of students.
“If a school has very high scores, for example, but also has a group of low income students who aren’t seeing that same academic success as their peers, the school’s 5-star rating would be lowered to a 4-star,” Sims said.