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Statewide K-12 Accountability

The State Board of Education is responsible for implementing a standards-based accountability framework that creates a unified system of increasing levels of support for schools in order to improve student achievement (RCW 28A.305.130).

SBE approved an Accountability Resolution in 2012 (pdf) and in 2009 (pdf). The accountability framework is designed to ensure all students receive an excellent and equitable education.

School Improvement Framework

In March 2018, the SBE and OSPI released the new School Improvement Framework. The School Improvement Framework replaces the old Achievement Index. 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. Read more. SBE advocates for a system of accountability with clear, appropriate indicators and measurements to monitor progress of the K-12 educational system.

Required Action

The 2013 Legislature passed E2SSB 5329 which built on the accountability system established in 2010. E2SSB 5329 gave the SBE and OSPI new responsibilities in the state school accountability system. Major components of the legislation include:

  • Elimination of Title-eligibility as the state criterion for services
  • Extending school improvement models beyond the federal models
  • Establishing Level II required action

The 2010 education reform legislation instituted a system of Required Action. The Required Action Process "provides a unified system of support for challenged schools that aligns with basic education, increases the level of support based upon the magnitude of need, and uses data for decisions. For a specific group of challenged schools, defined as persistently lowest-achieving schools, and their districts, it is necessary to provide a required action process that creates a partnership between the state and local district to target funds and assistance to turn around the identified lowest-achieving schools" (RCW 28A.657.005). Soap Lake, Morton, Renton, and Onalaska School Districts are currently in Required Action.

In March 2014, the SBE designated four additional Required Action Districts: Marysville, Tacoma, Yakima and Wellpinit.

Additional information on Required Action Districts may be found on OSPI's website.


On March 6, 2014, the Board adopted rules concerning the accountability system. The rules implement Level II required action, including establishing a timeline for 1) Level II needs assessments; 2) submittal of Level II required action plans; 3) review by the Required Action Plan Review Panel, if needed; and 4) input of the Education Accountability System Oversight Committee. The rules also establish guiding principles for the development and design of an accountability framework. Rule-making Order CR-103P, Concise Explanatory Statement, WAC 180-17-050 to WAC 180-17-100.

On May 9, 2014, the Board adopted emergency accountability system rules to revise the timeline for Level I required action plans. These emergency rules are for 2014 only, and are necessary because identification of required action districts was delayed this year due to the application process to the U.S. Department of Education for the state’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver. Rule-making Order CR-103E, emergency rules WAC 180-17-020.

Frequently Asked Questions

Accountability and Achievement  

Handouts and Flyers

Date Media
July 12 Achievement and Accountability Workgroup Charter (pdf)
July 12 Accountability Resolution (pdf)
February 23 Resolution Supporting the ESEA Waiver (pdf)
November 9

Required Action Flyer (pdf)

November 9 2012 SBE Legislative Priorities and Initiatives (pdf)
November 2 Is Washington State Ready to Seek a Waiver from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act? (pdf)
December 16

State Accountability Index - Report by Pete Bylsma, SBE consultant (pdf)

December 2

State Accountability Index – Executive Summary - Report by Pete Bylsma, SBE consultant (pdf)

August 6

School Turnaround Flowchart (pdf)

April 22

Draft Accountability Report, April 2010 (pdf)

March 4

Required Action Plan and Partnership Graphic (pdf)

April 3

An easy-to-read overview of Required Action (pdf)

January 21 Summary of SB 6696 (pdf)
December 1

Accountability Report - As submitted to the Legislature (pdf)