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Policy & Funding

Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs)

Flexibility Waiver

AMOs are unique yearly targets in reading and mathematics for each subgroup, school and district, as described in Washington's Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Request. AMOs replace the state uniform bar used under Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as prescribed in ESEA. For more detailed information, please refer to pages 119-121 in the Flexibility Request.

AMO Requirements

Washington was approved to set new AMOs to reduce proficiency gaps by half by 2017 for the "all students" group and each subgroup through our state's ESEA Flexibility Request. The new targets (AMOs) for student learning reflect both:

  • Washington's transition to Common Core State Standards and high-quality assessments;
  • Washington's vision that each student-including English language learners, students with disabilities, and students from historically underserved subgroups-engages in rigorous content and graduates prepared to engage in the deeper learning essential for post-secondary success.

In order to reduce proficiency gaps, educators will need to build capacity for implementing standards-based instruction. Innovation, effective use of research-supported practices, and a commitment to deeper learning on the part of these educators are the cornerstones of the continuous improvement process that will be needed to ensure all of our students reach and exceed these rigorous learning targets by 2017.

The following steps will be used to determine annual AMOs for all districts and their schools in the "all students" group and each subgroup. AMOs will be developed for grades 1-8 and high school. While individual AMOs will also be published for each grade level/content area tested, only the grade band/content area tested will be used in determining school-level, district-level, and State-level AMOs. Note that this methodology results in districts, schools, and subgroups that are further behind, requiring greater amounts of annual progress in order to meet their targets for 2017.

Base year: Use 2010-11 state assessment data as a base year.

2011-12 through 2016-17:

  • Calculate the Proficiency Gap: For each identified group ("all students" and each subgroup) subtract the percent proficient for 2010-11 from 100%. This represents the Proficiency Gap to be reduced by half by fall, 2017.
  • Cut the Proficiency Gap by Half: Divide the Proficiency Gap by 2. The result represents "Half the Gap"; this is the amount by which the gap must be reduced by 2017.
  • Determine Annual Increment: Divide half the Proficiency Gap by 6. The result represents the annual increment that will be used to determine the AMO for each year, from 2011-12 through 2016-17.
  • Compute AMOs for 2011-12 through 2016-17 for all students group and each subgroup
    • 2011-12: Base year + Annual Increment
    • 2012-13: 2011-12 AMO + Annual Increment
    • 2013-14: 2012-13 AMO + Annual Increment
    • 2014-15: 2013-14 AMO + Annual Increment
    • 2015-16: 2014-15 AMO + Annual Increment
    • 2016-17: 2015-16 AMO + Annual Increment

Targets will depend upon each group's baseline in 2010-11. Every school and subgroup will be starting in a different place, and the groups that are farthest behind would have the most progress to make by 2017. OSPI has chosen to use a minimum N size of 20 for including subgroups in calculations, since the smaller N will enable the state, districts, and schools to discern proficiency gaps among very small subgroups. Washington state's prior ED-approved Accountability Workbook uses an N size of 30.

Reward, Priority, Focus, and Emerging Schools

As required by Washington state's Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Request, OSPI has identified schools as Reward, Priority, Focus, or Emerging based on the school's performance over the last three years. The specific definitions of these four terms are provided in Definitions and Calculations Used to Identify Reward, Priority, Focus, and Emerging Schools.

The lists of schools were determined using the same methodology (approved by the U.S. Department of Education) as used in prior years to identify our state's persistently lowest-achieving (PLA) schools. Data on state assessments in reading and mathematics and graduation rates from the 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11 school years were incorporated into the calculations. To be clear, a school's Title I status during those three school years was a factor in these calculations. However, a school's Title I status in subsequent years (e.g., 2011-12 or 2012-13) will not alter the four generated lists or the requirements for Reward, Priority, Focus, and Emerging schools.

Schools identified as Priority, Focus, or Emerging must meet certain requirements/expectations and are eligible for certain supports and services. If you have questions regarding schools identified as Reward, Priority, Focus, or Emerging, please contact the Office of Student and School Success at (360) 725-4960.

2013 Schools


2012 Schools


What happens if AMO is not met?

Washington state's ESEA Flexibility Request does not include penalties for schools that do not meet their AMO targets for a specific year. But because the Priority, Focus and Emerging schools lists are based on three-year proficiency averages, it is possible that a school not meeting its AMO targets in one year could be placed on one of those lists in future years. Possible penalties if a school does not meet its overall target in 2017 remain to be determined.