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PDFWAC 180-17-100

Establishment of accountability framework to improve student achievement for all children.

(1) Pursuant to the requirements of RCW 28A.657.110 (chapter 159, Laws of 2013), the state board of education adopts the following guiding principles in fulfillment of its responsibility to establish an accountability framework. The framework establishes the guiding principles for 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.
(2) The statutory purpose of the accountability framework is to provide guidance to the superintendent of public instruction in the design of a comprehensive system of specific strategies for recognition, provision of differentiated support and targeted assistance and, if necessary, intervention in underperforming schools and school districts, as defined under RCW 28A.657.020.
(3) The board finds that the accountability system design and implementation should reflect the following principles and priorities:
(a) Student growth is an essential element in an effective school accountability system. However, inclusion of student growth shall not come at the expense of a commitment to and priority to get all students to academic standard. Washington's accountability system should work toward incorporating metrics of growth adequacy, which measure how much growth is necessary to bring students and schools to academic standard within a specified period of time. An objective standard of career and college-readiness for all students should remain the long-term focus of the system.
(b) The board recognizes that the transition to a new accountability system created practical challenges for shorter term goal-setting, as a new baseline of student performance is established on a series of more rigorous standards and assessments. Normative measures of accountability are a transitional strategy during periods of significant change. Long-term, however, the accountability framework shall establish objective standards for index performance tiers and exit criteria for required action status. The board does not support a permanent system of moving, normative performance targets for our schools and students. The long-term goal remains gradually reduced numbers of schools in the bottom deciles of the Washington school improvement framework.
(c) To the greatest extent allowable by federal regulations, the federal accountability requirements for Title I schools should be treated as an integrated aspect of the overall state system of accountability and improvement applying to all schools. The Washington school improvement framework should be used as the standard measure of school achievement, and should be directly aligned with designations of challenged schools in need of improvement made annually by the superintendent of public instruction, and the lists of persistently low-achieving schools as required under federal regulations.
(d) The integration of state and federal accountability policies should also be reflected in program administration. To the greatest extent allowed by federal regulation, state and federal improvement planning should be streamlined administratively through a centralized planning tool. Improvement and compliance plans required across various state programs and federal title programs should be similarly integrated to the extent allowable. Planning will become less burdensome and more meaningful when the linkages between programs become more apparent in the way they are administered.
(e) In the education accountability framework, goal-setting should be a reciprocal process and responsibility of the legislature, state agencies, and local districts and schools. The state education system should set clearly articulated performance goals for itself in a manner consistent with the planning requirements established for school districts and schools. State goal-setting should be grounded in what is practically achievable in the short-term and aspirational in the long-term, and should reflect realistic assumptions about the level of resources needed, and the time necessary, for implementation of reforms to achieve the desired system outcomes.
(f) Recognition of school success is an important part of an effective accountability framework. The board is committed to an annual process of school recognition, and believes that award-winning schools can make significant contributions to the success of the system by highlighting replicable best practices. All levels of success should be celebrated, including identifying improvement in low-performing schools, and highlighting examples of good schools that later achieve exemplary status.
(g) Fostering quality teaching and learning is the ultimate barometer of success for a system of school accountability and support. The central challenge for the superintendent of public instruction is developing delivery systems to provide the needed resources and technical assistance to schools in need, whether they be rural or urban, homogenous or diverse, affluent or economically challenged. In instances where traditional approaches have failed, the system will need to be prepared to develop innovative ways to secure the right instructional and leadership supports for districts and schools that need them.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.657.120. WSR 19-08-093, § 180-17-100, filed 4/3/19, effective 5/4/19. Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.657.040 - 28A.657.070 and 28A.657.105 - 28A.657.110. WSR 14-11-062, § 180-17-100, filed 5/18/14, effective 6/18/14.]
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