This means going back to the accountability requirements of NCLB as measured by AYP. The accountability target is for EVERY student in the state to be at standard on all state administered assessments by this year, a standard that will not be met I believe by any school district. Since we and many districts are now piloting the new Smarter Balanced assessments and will not be getting any results from the pilot I wonder how we will be measured. In any case we, like all across the state, will be sending letters home informing parents that we did not meet AYP goals and providing them with the required options. We will also need to set aside 20% of our Title 1 revenue for transportation and/or private tutoring for next year.
Given all that we are doing to change practice and support teacher growth that results in increased student achievement this is a step backward driven by federal decisions on what is best for our schools. I struggle with this decision and with what we will now face as captured in this Comment by Secretary Dorn in the Tribune article.
Dorn, the state superintendent of public instruction, said in a statement Thursday that he agrees with Duncan that "student progress should be one of multiple elements in a teacher's evaluation." He said lobbying by the state teachers union was to blame for Washington lawmakers' failure to act, and now the state's loss of the federal waiver.
"Unfortunately the teacher’s union felt it was more important to protect their members than agree to that change and pressured the Legislature not to act," Dorn said in his statement.
TPEP was a collaborative effort between multiple agencies including WEA and OSPI to design an evaluation system focused on growth over time to influence practice and student achievement. The statement above captures the loss of collaboration that went into the development of this model and describes an adversarial current reality that emerged in the last legislative session. We owe the creation of these battle lines to a decision made at the federal level that once again tells us their one size fits all prescription for school reform has greater potential to increase achievement than anything that we might come up with at the state and local level.