CORE Districts: School Quality Improvement Index and Network Improvement Communities

CORE Growth Model

In 2015, EA began working with the CORE Districts, a collaborative of large urban districts in California, to design and implement a student growth model. EA and stakeholders from each of the CORE Districts initiated a growth model "co-build" process to explore the use of student growth percentile (SGP) models to suit the policy context of CORE districts. EA worked with CORE staff to develop a toolkit of resources for educator communication and professional development (PD). PD materials explain the underlying concepts of the methodology used, as well as specific details of how it is implemented for CORE. Analogies and examples using animated and narrated videos supplement results and reports.

School Quality Improvement Index & CORE Dashboard

The CORE Growth Model and measures of SEL are two components in CORE’s SQII reports. EA produces the SQII metrics by implementing the business rules agreed upon by the CORE Districts and running each district’s data through those rules to populate the CORE Dashboard. The SQII metrics include academic domain metrics, such as high-school readiness and graduation rates, as well as non-cognitive metrics, such as chronic absenteeism and English learner re-designation.

Screen capture of public-facing CORE Dashboard.

Social Emotional Learning

Another key component of CORE’s school quality improvement index (SQII) reports is a focus on high-quality measures of student’s social-emotional learning (SEL) and school culture and climate. EA has partnered with leading researchers across the country to understand how to effectively measure SEL in schools and leverage the results to inform continuous improvement around problems of educator practice. Since 2014, EA has helped CORE launch one of the nation’s largest-scale panel survey of four elements of students’ SEL—growth mindset, self-efficacy, self-management, and social awareness—and four elements of school culture and climate—support for academic learning, sense of belonging, knowledge and fairness of rules and discipline, and school safety. Each year, we analyze the results of these surveys to provide CORE Districts with recommendations to continuously improve the survey measures in order to meet the changing and diverse needs of collaborating districts.

Network Improvement Communities

Beginning in early 2017, EA has been supporting CORE’s implementation of a Network Improvement Community by partnering with districts to produce timely and user-centered analytics that support continuous improvement work. Through close and frequent collaboration, EA has expanded its range of analytic offerings to CORE in response to the questions, needs, and interests of collaborating districts. For example, in addition to measures of student growth that were part of our initial work with CORE, EA now provides metrics of student achievement gaps, non-cognitive indicators of success, and college and career readiness.

Leveraging the scale and diversity of schools in the CORE data collaborative, EA’s analytics support network improvement communities contextualize their own data. This includes identifying schools serving similar student populations that are producing high student growth. Additionally, EA creates indices that help schools understand how their data compares to other schools across the state.

The data system that EA and CORE have co-built provides rigorous analytics that support target setting and discovering whether initiatives implemented at the district level improve student outcomes. EA is committed to providing high-quality data to support the entire cycle of continuous improvement for schools and local educational agencies throughout California.

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