The Impact of CSI Designation in Multiple Measure ESSA Accountability Systems

Teacher helping pupils study

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) made several key changes to how states design accountability systems, introducing a system of multiple measures that require states to include at least five accountability indicators. ESSA also required states to identify the bottom 5% of Title I schools based on all measures as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) schools, and to intervene in these schools to promote improved student outcomes. In a departure from No Child Left Behind, ESSA provided states flexibility to determine which interventions to use in CSI schools, only requiring that at least one intervention in a CSI school be evidence-based, meeting certain standards of evidence of effectiveness.


The CSI School Study

The purpose of the study is to examine whether student outcomes in CSI schools improve and whether CSI schools differ from non-CSI schools in other dimensions related to principal decisionmaking and the policies and practices used to improve student outcomes.

AIR is conducting this study through an Education Research grant from the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. The study will address four primary research questions:

  1. What is the impact of CSI designation on student outcome measures included in the accountability system?
  2. How does the CSI designation influence behavior of school-level stakeholders, including principals’ prioritization and selection of interventions, as well as teacher and student mobility?
  3. How influential are individual accountability measures in determining which schools are low performing?
  4. Among the states included in this study, what is the underlying rationale for the design of the accountability system and associated supports for CSI schools? How are these supports perceived by local stakeholders?