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Document Number: 3273

Rewarding Schools Based on Gains: Itís All in How You Calculate the Index and Set the Target - The authors identify three core elements of an accountability system: (1) the index or scale used to rate school performance for accountability purposes; (2) the target, or those index values that determine a schoolís status or rating in the accountability system; and (3) positive or negative consequences, such as rewards or sanctions. This report uses multiyear data from California schools to model the effects of using different formulas to calculate school growth and eligibility for rewards. It concludes that small differences in formulas have considerable effects on how schools are rated and which are eligible for rewards. The report is available at no charge from RAND: toll free 1-877-584-8642 or P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138. (Brian Stecher and Jeremy Arkes, RAND, April 2001) ...

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