Last month we pointed out that the U.S. Department of Education changed the process on how they provided feedback for state accountability plans. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ team provided the District of Columbia and Illinois feedback on their state accountability plans under this new process and it doesn’t appear that the Department is any less “nit-picky” than before when states complained.
Both were told by Acting Assitant Secretary Jason Botel to revise and resubmit their plans.
The District of Columbia was told:
- They could not use ACT or SAT in its academic achievement indicators. They were told they can only use the annual assessment required under ESSA. (Which would be PARCC.)
- Their alternate graduation rate calculation didn’t meet ESSA requirements.
- They said the DC plan for how they will measure differentiating school performance was not clear.
- They wanted more detail on how the District of Columbia would intervene with schools where fewer than 2/3 of their students graduate.
- They need a definition for “consistently underperforming” subgroups. They said DC “includes some description of its methodology because it does not include a complete description, stating only that it will identify a school that ‘repeatedly falls below the threshold’ without describing that threshold, OSSE has not fully described its methodology for identifying these schools.”
- They said DC’s exit criteria for “Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools” did not “ensure continued progress in improved student academic achievement and school success.”
Illinois was told:
- They could not use an 8th-grade math exception because they are not administering an end-of-course assessment as its high school assessment.
- They said Illinois has not fully described their graduate rate indicator. They also said the Illinois State Board of Education did not “identify and describe long-term goals for each extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rate that are more rigorous than the long- term goals set for the four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate.”
- They said the Illinois State Board of Education “provides a long-term goal and measurements of interim progress for the percentage of English learners “making targets,” but does not describe what it means to “make targets” and whether making targets accounts for progress in achieving English language proficiency.”
- They are uncertain about how test participation in Illinois will factor into measuring achievement.
- They do not meet the federal timeline for its implementation of its measures of progress for determining English language proficiency.
- They do not meet the required timeline for identifying low-performing schools for comprehensive support and improvement.
- It is unclear whether the Illinois State Board of Education meets the statutory requirements for identification of schools with consistently underperforming subgroups because it does not include a definition of “consistently underperforming.”
- Illinois did not provide more information about the rate in which low income and non-low income students and minority/non-minority students are taught by ineffective, out-of-field, and inexperienced teachers.
I just wanted to remind you again that the Every Student Succeeds Act was supposed to provide more state control and flexibility.
What a joke.