District Administrator’s Q&As
Moving from ESEA Flexibility:
- When does the state lose ESEA Flexibility?
Washington’s ESEA flexibility will end with the 2013–14 school year.
- Why did the state lose ESEA Flexibility?
Washington made a commitment in the February 27, 2012 request for ESEA Flexibility to put in place a teacher and principal evaluation and support system that included information on student learning growth based on high-quality college- and career-ready state assessments as a significant factor in determining teacher and principal performance levels, along with other measures of professional practice such as classroom observations. Washington was not able to meet this obligation because legislation was not approved during the 2014 session that would require such. Therefore, the U.S. Department of Education disallowed continuation of the State’s ESEA Flexibility Request (Waiver) beyond this school year.
- When does the state have to return to meeting the accountability requirements under ESEA Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)?
The state is required to return to meeting all ESEA AYP accountability requirements, starting with the 2014–15 school year.
- How will AYP be determined for schools and districts for the 2014–15 school year?
- To determine AYP status (steps) for schools, the state will use assessment and other indicator data from 2010–11 and 2013–14. Schools in a step of improvement in 2010–11 that do not meet AYP in 2013–14, will be moved to the next step of improvement (Step1 or 2), corrective action (Step 3) or restructuring (Step 4 or 5).
- To determine AYP status (steps) for districts, the state will use assessment and other indicator data from 2010–11 and 2013–14. Districts in a step of improvement in 2010–11 that do not meet AYP in 2013–14, will be moved to the next step of improvement.
- As defined in Washington’s accountability system, “100 percent of all students must be proficient on the state’s spring 2014 assessments. This includes the “all” students group and all subgroups for all elementary, middle, and high school students.
- Schools and districts participating in the field test of Smarter Balanced won’t have spring 2014 test data. How will AYP be calculated for these schools and districts?
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) was granted a waiver that allows the state to use test data from spring 2013 as a “proxy” for those students who participated in the field test in spring 2014. So, for participating schools and districts only, 2013 state assessment data will be used in addition to spring 2011 to calculate AYP for 2014–15.
- Will schools that have been identified in a step of improvement be required to send parents notification of the status of their school?
Yes. Schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring will be required to send letters to homes that inform parents of the AYP status of the school, 14 days before the opening of the 2014–15 school year.
- Will districts that are identified as in improvement be required to notify parents that the district is in Step 1 or Step 2 of district improvement?
- Yes. Districts identified in improvement or corrective action will be required to notify parents per normal AYP rules.
- Written notification is required that informs parents as to the reasons the district is in improvement and provides information on what corrective actions the district has taken if in Step 2.
- What other required AYP sanctions and notifications will be imposed?
- Currently identified Priority or Focus schools with less than 40 percent poverty that operated a schoolwide program in the most recent school year may continue to operate a schoolwide program in 2014–15.
- Beginning with the 2014–15 school year, schools with less than 40 percent poverty that did not begin implementing a schoolwide program under ESEA flexibility in 2012–13 or 2013–14 school year, may not implement a schoolwide model.
- Do districts have to reserve Title I, Part A funds for Public School Choice and/or Supplemental Educational Services (SES) if they have schools in Steps 1–5 of school improvement?
Yes, districts are required to reserve 20 percent of their district’s Title I, Part A allocation to support Public School Choice and/or Supplemental Educational Services.
- When do districts have to inform parents of their right to request Public School Choice?
A parent notification letter must be sent 14 days before the school year begins; the letter must inform parents of their right to request Public School Choice.
- If there are no schools to “choice” into within the district, does the district still have to inform parents 14 days before school begins?
- Yes. If the district has no options, then the district is required to contact surrounding districts to determine if those districts would accept students.
- The letter must inform parents that there are no schools available and that the district had or had not been successful in finding other school options.
- Does the district have to offer parents the option of SES for eligible Title I, Part A students enrolled in schools in Steps 2–5?
Yes, information on how to access SES must be provided to parents.
- Will there be an opportunity to regain funds that were not spent on Public School Choice or SES?
Yes, an iGrants form package will be available in January 2015 for districts to request any funds that were not used to support Public School Choice or SES.
- Will districts that are identified as in improvement have to reserve 10 percent of their Title I, Part A allocation for professional development?
Yes, a district in Step 1 or 2 of improvement must reserve 10 percent of its Title I, Part A allocation to support professional development activities that address the student populations that placed the district in improvement.
- Will the State continue to provide services for schools identified as Priority, Focus, or Emerging in 2013–14?
Currently identified Priority and Focus schools (i.e., those served in 2012–13 and in 2013–14), will continue to receive funds and services from the Office of Student and School Success during the 2014–15 school year. The state did not identify Emerging schools for 2014–15. However, currently identified Emerging schools are strongly encouraged to continue to use Indistar® to support their school improvement efforts in 2014–15; they may also access services.
- Will the state continue to identify Priority and Focus schools in spring 2014 for services and supports in 2014–15?
- Yes, the state will identify Priority and Focus schools in spring 2014 for services and supports in 2014–15. Priority schools are defined as those schools in the bottom 5 percent of Title I, Part A schools in reading and math and Focus schools are in the bottom 10 percent of schools based on subgroup performance in Reading/Math (combined).
- These schools would be identified by their proficiency in Reading/Math (combined) for the 2010–11, 2011–12, and 2012–13 school years (using test results from spring 2011, 2012, and 2013 state assessments).
- Funding and technical support will be provided to assist schools in implementing school improvement plans and using the online action-planning tool (Indistar®) in the 2014–15 school year. Funding will come from 1003(a) and state funds.
- Will districts be required to complete additional Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) accountability requirements?
- Yes, to meet the improvement plan and technical assistance requirements of ESEA section 2141(a) and (b) districts must use HQT data from both the 2012–13 and 2013–14 school years to develop and implement an HQT plan.
- In addition, districts must use HQT data from 2011–12, 2012–13, and 2013–14 and AYP data from 2009–10, 2010–11, and 2011–12 to meet the requirements under ESEA section 2141(c).