September 20th, 2014
News - 2014 May 13 Achievement Index
News release

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2014

Statewide Growth Data Publicly Available for First Time

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Board of Education (SBE) and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) released the revised Achievement Index which identifies high-performing schools for recognition and low-performing schools for support.

For the first time, the Index incorporates student growth data, adding a new dimension to describing school performance. The data can be viewed in a large Excel file, or as a user-friendly dashboard on the Achievement Index website.

“Our hope is that school districts and parents find the Index useful for identifying areas of strength and areas for improvement in local schools,” said Board Chair Dr. Kristina Mayer. “It is a powerful analytical tool for our public school system, wrapped in an easy-to-use interface.”

“Working together, we have developed a tool that shows us what’s working and where we need to improve,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “Ultimately, that will benefit kids across our state.”

Student Growth
In addition to proficiency rates, the Index includes student growth in the form of the median student growth percentile. A student growth percentile (SGP) describes a student’s growth compared to other students with similar prior test scores (their academic peers).

A system that only measures students above and below proficiency standards doesn’t tell the whole story. Schools with the same percentage of students meeting proficiency standards can have vastly different rates of growth for different student populations. Schools don’t always control the learning level at which they receive students, but they can control the rate of growth and how quickly they bring students up to standards.

Students and schools below proficiency standards are expected to grow at rates fast enough to meet standards in the near future. Students and schools above proficiency standard need to continue to push themselves to higher levels.

“We want every student, and every school, to achieve academic standard,” explained Dr. Mayer. “We also expect all students to grow in their learning. These are our two basic, fundamental, and complementary goals.”

Index Ratings & School Classifications
Each school is given an Index rating from 1-10 (one being the lowest and 10 the highest) based on proficiency, growth, and graduation rates. Schools are also given a school classification based in part on the Index rating, but also factoring in federal requirements. School classifications include, Exemplary, Very Good, Good, Fair, Underperforming, and Lowest 5%.

Resources:

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Contact: Sarah Lane, SBE Communications Manager, (360) 725-6501
               Nathan Olson, OSPI Communications Manager, (360) 725-6015


About the State Board of Education: The State Board of Education provides advocacy and strategic oversight of public education. The board is comprised of 16 members: five are elected by school board directors, seven are appointed by the Governor, two serve as student representatives, and one serves as a private school representative. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is also a member.

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