- Flexibility Waiver and New accountability System

Flexibility Waiver and New accountability System

As part of South Dakota’s ESEA flexibility waiver, the SD Department of Education has generated a list of schools identified as reward, priority, and focus schools for the 2012-13 school year. The list is based on the new accountability system which includes a 100-point School Performance Index (SPI) that consists of multiple indicators to measure a school’s performance. For this school year, Elementary and Middle/Junior High schools could earn up to 80 academic achievement points (40 for math and 40 for reading) and 20 points for attendance. High Schools could earn up to 50 academic achievement points (25 for math and 25 for reading), 25 high school completion points, and 25 college and career readiness points (based on scores). Additional indicators and measures will be added in the 2014-2015 school year.

Within the SPI calculation, points are given for two groups: the Gap Group and Non-Gap Group, and points are weighted according to the size of the group. The Gap Group is an aggregate count of student subgroups in the state that have historically experienced achievement gaps. The SD Department of Education analyzed three years of state assessment data to determine the composition of the Gap Group which includes: Economically Disadvantaged Students, Students with Disabilities, Limited English Proficient students and Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Hispanic/Latino students. Students who do not fit into any of these categories are counted in the Non-Gap Group.

The new accountability system classified three groups of schools: Reward, Priority, and Focus. Reward Schools are schools within the top 5% of all schools based on the SPI. Priority Schools are schools whose SPI places them within the bottom 5% of all Title I schools. Focus Schools are Title I schools that are contributing to the achievement gap.

Schools whose rank is among the lowest 10 percent of Title I schools across the state when looking at Gap group performance in achievement and attendance at the Elementary/Middle school level and in achievement and graduation rates at the High School level are identified as Focus Schools. In the future, schools who have one or more subgroups performing significantly lower than the Gap group as a whole for two years in a row may become Focus schools, and Title I and Title I eligible High Schools whose graduation rates are below 60% for two years in a row may be assigned Priority school status.

Schools who have been designated as Focus schools participate in a one year improvement process while Priority schools must implement focused interventions for at least three years. The SD Department of Education has provided schools with coaches and School Support Team members to help guide them through this process.

To see a list of schools and their SPI scores and classifications, click here. For more information contact Abby Javurek-Humig at (605) 773-4708.

Winter 2013