Accountability: School Performance Index

School Accountability

The accountability system holds schools accountable through annual public reporting and classification of schools. The expectation is that the model will be used to inform school leaders, teachers, parents and the public as to how schools are progressing. With its emphasis on continuous improvement, it sets a high bar for ongoing reflection and goal setting.

What is the School Performance Index?

South Dakota’s accountability system centers around a 100-point index, called the School Performance Index, or SPI. The SPI consists of key indicators of performance. A numeric value is assigned to each of the indicators. These values are added to create a total SPI score out of 100 points. Each public school in the state receives a SPI score, with limited exceptions due to school size and/or mission.

Two distinct indexes are used: 1) one for high school accountability, and 2) one for elementary and middle school accountability. The key indicators on the indexes will be phased in over the next several years.

SPI Summary SPI PowerPoint
SPI YouTube Video Glossary
AMOs 2011-12 Determining Gap Group
4-Year Cohort Grad Rate

SPI results are found at the links below.

NOTE: Due to field testing of new assessments in the 2013-14 school year, new SPI scores are not being calculated based on 2013-14 data. School classifications in place for the 2013-14 school year will continue for 2014-15.

2012-13 SPI Scores
Elementary/Middle Schools (excel) (pdf)
High Schools (pdf)
Small Schools (pdf)

SPI Scores
Elementary/Middle School SPI Distribution
High School SPI Distribution

When fully implemented, the SPI will be as follows:

Elementary/Middle Schools

2014-15 (Spring 2015 test, reported Fall 2015) Math points: 40
ELA points: 40
Points: 0 Points: 20
2015-16 and beyond Math points: 20
ELA points: 20
Math points: 20
ELA points: 20
Points: 20

High Schools:

2014-15 (Spring 2015 test, reported Fall 2015) Math points: 25
ELA points: 25
Completion points: 12.5
Graduation points: 12.5
College Math readiness points: 12.5
College ELA readiness points: 12.5
Career Readiness points: N/A
2015-16 and beyond Math points: 20
ELA points: 20
Completion points: 15
Graduation points: 15
30 points total:
(One of the two following applies based on NCRC participation)
Math ready points: 10
ELA ready points: 10
Career ready points: 10
Math ready points: 15
ELA ready points: 15
Career ready points: 0

Classification of Schools

Based on SPI scores, the Department of Education classifies schools as follows:
Exemplary schools = SPI score at or above the top 5 percent of schools
Status schools = SPI score at or above the top 10 percent (minus Exemplary schools)
Progressing schools = SPI score less than top 10 percent and greater than bottom 5 percent
Priority schools =
- SPI score at or below the bottom 5 percent OR
- Title I eligible high school with graduation rate below 60 percent for last two years
Focus schools are classified based on specific SPI indicators, as they relate to the performance of a school’s Gap Group. This classification applies only to Title I schools.
• Certain schools with very small or unique student populations may not receive an SPI score.

To view individual school SPI scores and supporting data, visit the South Dakota Report Card.


Contact the Office of Accreditation and Accountability Staff.