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SD Department of Education Aug. 2016  

  ESSA Implementation: Let’s talk

South Dakota work groups have been meeting throughout the summer to develop the state plan required by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The South Dakota Department of Education has created a new listserv dedicated to issues around implementation of the ESSA in our state. Anyone interested in ESSA implementation efforts is invited to sign up for the listserv. To sign up, visit the listserv webpage and follow the link to “Subscribe or Unsubscribe.” Also, please share this information with any education-related groups you work with who may be interested.

Through the ESSA Implementation listserv, the department will provide updates on implementation in South Dakota. More importantly, the department is posing questions on critical implementation topics on which broad input is needed. Questions are posed via the listserv, and subscribers are asked to respond via an online survey tool, so the department can collect responses in one spot. Responses will be shared with the ESSA work groups, as well as department staff responsible for developing the state plan required under ESSA. The following questions have been asked thus far:

  • South Dakota has an opportunity to design an indicator around student success and school quality as part of its accountability system. What thing(s) should be measured that would provide meaningful results? Think about different indicators for elementary/middle vs. high school. Provide input on this question.

  • The Accountability Work Group, which is helping to guide creation of South Dakota’s state plan required under the ESSA, is asking for input on two important topics. See below and follow the links to provide feedback.
    • ESSA allows states flexibility in determining which school to hold accountable in the event that a student in the four-year cohort drops out, and additionally, was enrolled less than 50% of their last enrolled school year at the last school they attended. Two options exist:
          A) Currently, we count students as a dropout at the last
              school they attended
      . We could continue to do this.
          B) We could look at the student’s four-year enrollment trends and
              determine at which school the student had spent the majority
              of his/her time
      , in order to assign the school of accountability.

    • Looking at the 2014-15 cohort, there were approximately 375 students who were enrolled less than 50% of their last school year. About two-thirds of these students would count at their last attended school regardless of whether Option A or Option B were employed. If Option B were selected, approximately 13% would be easily reassigned to another school, and about 1/5 of cases would require a deeper data analysis to determine which school would be accountable for their dropout.

      The recommendation of the Accountability Work Group is that the state use Option B.

      Click here to provide input on this question.

    • ESSA calls for states to develop an indicator around “school quality or student success.” At the high school level, South Dakota already has a college and career readiness indicator in its School Performance Index. The work group is considering revising that indicator, to include more options, and using it for the student success indicator at the high school level. The proposal the work group is considering is below. A student would need to demonstrate college readiness OR career readiness in order for a school to receive SPI points. Each indicator begins with a “gateway” that a student must meet and then allows for options to further demonstrate readiness.

      College Readiness
      Gateway: Cumulative GPA of 2.8 out of 4.0
      Benchmarks: One or more of the following:
      • English (18) and Mathematics (20) ACT sub-score
      • Level 3 or 4 scores on 11th grade Smarter Balanced Assessment
      • Elementary Algebra (76 or higher) and Sentence Skills (86 or higher) for Accuplacer
      • Advanced Placement Examination (3 or higher)
      • Advanced Placement Course (A, B or C)
      • High School General Education Dual Credit and Concurrent Credit Completion (C or higher on all coursework)
      • College Developmental/Remedial English and/or Math (A, B or C)

      Career Readiness
      • 94% attendance in final school year (equates to two weeks’ vacation in the professional world)
      • 94% attendance from the time first entered 9th grade until graduation
      • Cumulative GPA of 2.8 out of 4.0

      Benchmarks: Choose Option 1, 2, 3 or 4:
          1. CTE Concentrator
          2. Two or more technical dual credit courses (A, B or C)
          3. National Career Readiness Certificate (Silver or above)
          4. Two or more of the below
              • Completion of a Capstone Course (A, B or C)
              • Completion of a CTE Foundational Course (A, B or C)
              • Completion of one technical dual credit course (A, B or C)

      Click here to provide feedback on this proposal.

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