Friday, August 22, 2014

A Reset of the Star Rating

Recently the Idaho State Board of Education approved a proposed accountability plan for the 2014-2015 school year.

The plan was brought to the Board by the Department of Education. Because Idaho fully field tested the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test in spring 2014 there is not a baseline score to calculate growth for accountability. Therefore Idaho will not publish a summative star for school year 2014-2015, but will publicly report all elements of the Star Rating with the exception of growth.

“This is a reset of the Star Rating system,” said Superintendent Tom Luna. “It’s not a pass on accountability. Schools will still be held accountable for student success through public reporting and meeting school improvement designations.” Luna continued, “Growth is and has been a major part of our accountability system and must continue to be a major part. To calculate star ratings without growth would be akin to No Child Left Behind that we worked so hard to change. By resetting star ratings, we maintain the integrity of the Star Rating system and create a baseline for growth in future years."

Idaho's 5 Star Rating System is based on multiple measures: proficiency, academic growth, graduation rate, SAT scores, and advanced opportunity participation. Growth on the new ISAT will be on a vertical scale, like a yard stick, that allows parents, students, and educators to easily see growth in student achievement year after year.

Students will take the new ISAT in math and English language arts next spring (2015) and will receive their scores. Schools at the end of next year, will have the option to distribute reports that show student growth between the ISAT given in 2013 and the new ISAT given next year (2015). However, because of the difference in the tests, it’s not appropriate for the state to use these growth reports for accountability.

Priority and Focus Schools (the bottom 15 percent in achievement) as well as Rapid and Turnaround Schools will continue to be calculated. These designations have been and will continue to be based on proficiency scores, not growth, so they will continue to be published.

The 2014-2015 accountability plan will be available for public comment. If changes are required, then the Department will bring changes to the Board of Education in October. The plan will then be presented to the US Dept of Education as part of Idaho's accountability plan.


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