The state rolled out its new federally approved system for measuring schools’ performance on September 27, and, like you, we are still learning about how this new system works.
The new state system is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility request granted to Washington state on July 6. Prior to this waiver, ESEA required Washington state to release Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) results.
We are optimistic because the new system sets more realistic goals than AYP did. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be easy to achieve. However, Superintendent Rob Neu points out, “The work this district has been doing in standards-based education in preparation for the transition to Common Core Standards positions us for increased success on state tests, and for meeting these new benchmarks.”
You can find the district’s AMO results on the following page: http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/AMO.aspx?groupLevel=District&schoolId=101&reportLevel=District&orgLinkId=101&yrs=&year=2011-12. By clicking in the AMO drop down menu on this page, you can select schools within Federal Way and view their individual results. Remember to click the ‘go’ button after selecting your school.
Here’s how AMO is different from AYP
Instead of using a single state-wide bar for all students, like AYP did, the new system sets goals for individual schools and groups of students based on what their scores were at the beginning of the specified improvement period.
Districts and schools are still expected to improve scores and close the achievement gap, but there will not be the same sanctions for schools that don’t make No Child Left Behind’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). You can read more about the change in sanctions at www.thenewstribune.com/2012/09/09/2288582/state-to-rate-schools-using-new.html.
Every school faces its own unique challenges and issues. Our school, like schools across the country, is working hard to do the very best for all children.
We recognize we have work to do to ensure all students have the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their dreams and be productive and engaged citizens. We have high expectations for all of our students. The targets set for 2017 are realistic expectations, and they are goals we are striving hard to achieve.