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How State ESSA Accountability Plans Can Shine a Statistically Sound Light on More Students

As states finalize their ESSA accountability plans, they must determine what size of subgroups to study and how to combine data over grade levels, school years, and/or groups of students. FutureEd advisor Nora Gordon uses national school-level enrollment data by race/ethnicity to show how many students in different subgroups are covered under different approaches. Pooling data across years and grades will include most students in accountability systems, but for lower enrollment populations, pooling across racial/ethnic groups may provide an opportunity to include students in accountability systems in cases where subgroup size is otherwise too small.