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Tier III (Desk, Phone, and Onsite) Reviews and Support: Compliance, Implementation, and Program Effectiveness

Tier III reviews ensure ESSA requirements are implemented with fidelity and in a manner that will improve outcomes for students.  CDE’s focus is to support LEAs and schools in ensuring that the reasons school(s) were identified for support and improvement are being addressed, particularly schools that continue to be re-identified for three or more consecutive years, and that school(s) are making progress toward exiting improvement status. LEAs selected for tier III review will partner with CDE to ensure that identified schools have the necessary tools, resources, and support to address the reasons for ESSA identification and that the LEA has appropriate processes in place to support implementation of selected evidence-based interventions (EBIs), strategies, and programs, and to monitor and evaluate their impact to determine if desired outcomes are being achieved.

LEAs that have high proportions of schools identified for ESSA support and improvement (visit CDE’s website for methods and criteria for ESSA identification) will participate in tier III review. As part of the tier III review process, CDE and LEAs will analyze data trends and root causes that contributed to school identification, the LEA’s guidance and support to identified schools around improvement planning (visit CDE’s website for ESSA improvement planning requirements), supports and services offered to identified schools, and how ESEA formula and competitive funds are used to improve outcomes for students in identified schools. One focus of tier III reviews will be equitable distribution of resources to identified schools and ensuring that LEAs and schools with inequities are, or have a plan for, addressing identified resource inequities.  How LEAs and schools have used local evaluation results to inform and adjust how evidence-based programs, services, strategies, or interventions are implemented to ameliorate the reasons for identification are also of interest. 

At the beginning of each school year, LEAs will be selected for tier III review and follow-up during that school year, based on selection criteria delineated below. CDE will notify LEAs selected for tier III reviews, which will consist of both desk and onsite monitoring. CDE will desk review all evidence and information submitted through universal processes, as well as any additional evidence provided prior to the site visit. Additionally, CDE will review the supports, interventions, or programs implemented at the school(s) or by the LEA. CDE will work collaboratively with the selected LEAs to schedule and plan onsite visits to ensure an efficient and effective process.  Please see the Monitoring Process page for more information.  If either further evidence of compliance or corrective action are necessary, CDE will build the timeline and plans for follow-up and follow-through with the LEA and provide technical support until compliance can be achieved and schools progress towards exiting ESSA improvement status. For additional information regarding next steps, see Monitoring Follow-up section. 

Selection Criteria for Tier III Review 

LEAs that have more than three (3) schools and more than 10 percent of their schools identified for comprehensive (CS) or targeted (TS) support and improvement that have not participated in an tier III review during the previous five years will participate in tier III reviews.