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Williams Legislation Overview

All California schools are impacted by the result of the Williams Lawsuit Settlement, enacted into law in September 2004.  The law seeks to ensure that all students have equal access to the basics of a quality education, including textbooks and instructional materials, safe and decent school facilities, and qualified teachers.

Legislation resulting from the Williams Settlement created an expanded role for the County Superintendent of Schools to monitor and report on low-performing schools ranked in the bottom one-third (deciles 1-3) of the Academic Performance Index.  In Alameda County, there are approximately 90 schools ranked in deciles 1 through 3.

The ACOE’s Williams Task Force, comprised of key staff from Business Services, Educational Services, Human Resources, and Communications, are responsible for:

  • Conducting annual visits to schools during the first four weeks of class
  • Determining whether all students have sufficient access to instructional materials in all core subject areas
  • Monitoring whether teachers have the appropriate certifications and classroom assignments
  • Reviewing that school facilities are maintained in “good repair” and that buildings and grounds are safe, clean and functional
  • Verifying the accuracy of School Accountability Report Cards relevant to instructional materials, facilities, and teacher credentialing
  • Ensuring the school has posted the district’s Uniform Complaint Procedure and that district quarterly reports are submitted
  • Reporting to the governing board of each school district, the County Board of Education, and the County Board of Supervisors on the schools

What about schools in decile 4 or higher on the 2010 Academic Performance Index?

Although low-performing schools are the primary focus of Williams Legislation, all schools are required to complete annual School Accountability Report Cards (SARC Reports); however, these reports are not validated and reported on by the County Superintendent of Schools.