Washington Releases New School Accountability Index under ESSA
The Washington School Improvement Framework grants the public unprecedented access and identifies schools that will receive additional support.
OLYMPIA — March 15, 2018 — Today, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the State Board of Education (SBE) released the Washington School Improvement Framework (WSIF) for 2018–19, identifying schools for supports under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
The Framework marks a notable shift for school support in Washington. Under the previous law (No Child Left Behind), schools that were identified for support were required to implement specific improvement methods.
Under ESSA, schools will partner with OSPI to develop programs to improve student performance that will work best for their local schools and communities.
“We are excited about the opportunities our new support system provides to our students,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. “In partnership with the State Board of Education, we created a state accountability system that will emphasize and provide supports for: equity, closing gaps between students, educator effectiveness, and truly embracing continuous improvement alongside our districts and their communities.”
In the WSIF, schools are measured along nine indicators. Six of the measures are academic, including graduation rates, growth and proficiency on state tests in math and English language arts, and English learner progress.
The other three indicators included in the WSIF are new to school accountability. They are designed to give an understanding of a students’ opportunity to learn, and they include:
· 9th graders on track to graduation, and
· Dual credit/advanced course-taking opportunities.
“The Board is pleased with the new School Improvement Framework, as it incorporates both academic and nonacademic school quality and student success measures to create a more holistic view of a school’s environment for students,” said SBE Chair Kevin Laverty.
The Framework’s broader view of school success is reflected in the new data dashboard provided to families and schools. Information provided will be not only for schools as a whole, but also for the following individual student groups: race/ethnicity, low-income status, students with disabilities, and English learners.
This deeper dive into data by student group is designed to show where opportunity gaps persist, so schools can make the changes necessary to improve success for each and every student.
In the WSIF, schools will be identified for either Comprehensive or Targeted supports.
· Comprehensive supports are developed with schools that fall into the lowest performing 5 percent for all schools across the state or have a graduation rate below 67 percent.
· Targeted supports are developed with schools that have three or more student groups who fall below the 5 percent threshold set by all schools.
· Schools that have one or two student groups that fall below the 5 percent threshold will receive a suite of self-directed supports to help spur continuous improvement in their schools.
OSPI and SBE are working together to establish criteria for school recognition, which will be announced later this year.
The development of the Washington School Improvement Framework was part of the state’s ESSA plan approved by the U.S. Department of Education in January 2018.
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