Report: Washington State Gets High Marks for Its Improvement and Accountability System
OLYMPIA — November 16, 2017 — A national report released this week named Washington as a state with strong systems to ensure school districts are accountable for students’ education.
The report, by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, asked what improvements states should make “to ensure that their accountability systems:
- Assign annual ratings to schools that are clear and intuitive for parents, educators, and the public;
- Encourage schools to focus on all students, not just their low performers; and
- Fairly measure and judge all schools, including those with high rates of poverty.”
Washington was one of seven states earning a “Strong” rating in all three categories.
“When we started looking at redesigning district accountability, the first thing we recognized was that the system must focus on the success of all students using a process of continuous improvement,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction.
“That means our system has to look more deeply than we ever have at performance gaps between student groups, such as English learners. It has to take into account that many of our student groups have historically been underserved. And our agency has to better understand those contexts to support schools and districts that need help. I am thankful Fordham recognized the work that has been done to this point.”
The accountability system is part of Washington’s Consolidated Plan, which is required under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Reykdal submitted Washington’s plan to the U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 18.
“Our plan reflects our commitment to equity and access for every student in Washington,” Reykdal said. “And it puts specific focus on the students who most need support, rather than use labels like A-F to judge schools. Now we need to partner with the Legislature and the Governor to shift resources to those students.”
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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 Chris Reykdal, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and improve student achievement 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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The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.