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Dorn Requests Adequate Yearly Progress Relief
Wants districts not to be required to send letter to parents

OLYMPIA — June 30, 2014 — A request by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, if granted, would not require districts to send letters to parents about their school(s) not meeting a federal measure.

The measure, part of the federal No Child Left Behind law, concerns Adequate Yearly Progress. Schools that do not meet AYP are to notify parents no later than 14 days before the start of the school year of their school’s AYP status.

“Earlier this month, my office sent a letter to the Department of Education,” said Randy Dorn, state superintendent. “I asked if districts could get out of this requirement. I don’t think the letter serves any useful purpose.”

The letter cited four main reasons for the request:

  1. Nearly every school in Washington will not meet AYP, meaning that nearly every school will need to send a letter.
  2. The intent of the letter is to give families the choice to attend a school that has met AYP. If nearly every school will not meet the measure, the issue of choice is moot.
  3. The only other impact of the letter is punitive, and will unnecessarily hurt public support of education.
  4. Many schools have been recognized for national testing scores and for its commitment to early learning; that recognition will be undermined if a specific school doesn’t meet AYP.

“I’ve been an opponent of No Child Left Behind for many years now,” Dorn said. “It’s only hurting our students and our schools now. For the past two years we haven’t had to worry about AYP. But because of the failure of the state Legislature and the federal government, we’re back to AYP. If districts don’t have to send the letters to parents, that’s at least one less burden on them.”

In 2012 and 2013, Washington state received waivers from the AYP requirement of No Child Left Behind. That waiver was revoked in April 2014 after the state Legislature failed to pass a law that would tie teacher and principal evaluations to student performance on state tests.

Adequate Yearly Progress is an annual measure. It requires that by 2014, all students in grades 3-8 and 10 be proficient on state tests in reading and math.

Results for AYP will be released in late summer.


About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 6/30/2014

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