As a result of Washington’s ESEA waiver, Superintendent Randy Dorn has announced a new federally approved accountability system. Instead of AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) results, Washington schools will be using Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs).
AMOs will be more targeted than AYP goals. AMOs are calculated using proficiency gaps, which are targeted at the school level and focused on the differences in achievement between all students and every tracked subgroup. Tracked subgroups include English language learners, students with disabilities, students of color and low-income students. According to OSPI, “a proficiency gap is the percentage point difference between that group’s level of proficiency in the baseline year of 2011 and 100 percent.”
In a statement to the press, Superintendent Dorn said, “We have high expectations for all of our students. The targets set for 2017 are realistic expectations for schools and subgroups, but we will keep working so every student can go as far as their talents and abilities will take them.” Washington state plans to cut all proficiency gaps by 50 percent by 2017.
Read the full announcement here.
More information can be found below:
CRPE (the Center of Reinventing Public Education) released a a study titled Principal Concerns: Leadership Data and Strategies for States which explores what states do (and can do) to “find, deploy, and keep good principals.”
As the study notes, principals are an extremely important component to education. Principals are responsible for hiring teachers and enacting and developing school policies that increase student success. In fact, researchers cite a study which says that principals account for a quarter for “school’s total impact on student achievement.”
According to the research, states are just now beginning to implement legislation to support strong principals. Some districts, such as New York City, New Orleans, Chicago, Hartford, and Denver have enacted laws that have given principles more decision making power by getting rid of mandates that deal with “requirements in schools, class sizes, how many students can be in a class, and how teacher time must be used.” Some states and districts have also worked to ensure budget flexibility enact competitive pay.
CRPE provides suggestions for state policymakers to aid them when it comes to attracting and keeping talented principals which includes looking at and publishing data, choosing high impact options, encouraging districts to try new things, and linking principal policies to teacher policies.
Read the full study here (PDF).
On the NPR segment Tell me More, host Michele Martin interviewed Education Week writer Alyson Klein about the two presidential candidates’ education platforms.
The interview kicked off with Martin asking Klein how she and those in the education policy field feel about the amount of attention that education was getting (or not getting) at the two conventions. Klein responded that in the case of both the DNC and RNC, education has been a side issue to the economy.
Martin then asked Klein to compare Obama and Romney’s education stances. Klein said that Romney’s plan asks for a “robust” role for private school choice. If elected, Romney would give federal dollars directly to parents to use at public or private schools. Klein confirmed that the Obama administration has spent a record amount of education, in spite of the recession. The administration has spent $100 billion on education in the stimulus plan and has awarded grants in several different Race to the Top competitions.
Klein said that both candidates are “big fans of charter schools” and both want teacher evaluations revamped.
Listen to the full interview here.