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WA April 17 Letter

WA April 17 Letter

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05/30/2012

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UNITED
STATESDEPARTMENT
OFEDUCATION
o.FFICE
OF
ELEMENTARYANDSECONDARYEDUCATION
April17,2012TheHonorableRandallI.DomStateSuperintendentofPublicInstructionWashingtonDepartmentofPublicInstructionP.O.Box47200Olympia,Washington98504DearSuperintendentDorn:ThankyouforsubmittingWashington'srequestforESEAflexibility.Weappreciatethehardworkrequiredtotransitiontocollege-andcareer-readystandardsandassessments;developasystemsofdifferentiatedrecognition,accountability,andsupport;andevaluateandsupportteacherandleadereffectiveness.Theu.S.DepartmentofEducation(Department)isencouragedthatWashingtonandmanyotherStatesaredesigningplanstoincreasethequalityofinstructionandimprovestudentacademicachievementAsyouknow,Washington'srequestwasreviewedbyapanelofsixpeerreviewersduringtheweekofMarch26-30,2012.Duringthereview,theexpertpeersconsideredeachcomponentofWashington'srequestandprovidedcommentsintheformofPeerPanel
Iotes
thattheSecretarywillusetoinformanyrevisionstoyourrequestthatmaybeneededtomeettheprinciplesofESEAflexibility.ThePeerPanelNotes,acopyofwhichisenclosedwiththisletter,alsoprovidefeedbackonthestrengthsofWashington'srequestandareasthatwouldbenefitfromfurtherdevelopment.DepartmentstaffalsohavecarefullyreviewedWashington'srequest,takingintoaccountthePeerPanelNotes,todetermineconsistencywiththeESEAflexibilityprinciples.Thepeersnoted,andweagree,thatWashington'srequestincludesstrengths,particularlyinPrinciple
1.
Washington'splanfortransitioningtocollege-andcareer-readystandardscontainsseveralnoteworthyactions,includingtheuseofinterimassessmentsandformativeassessmenttoolsaswellaspromisingstrategiesforsupportinglocalimplementationofthestandards.ThepeersalsonotedstrengthsofWashington'srequest
in
otherareas.Theseinclude,withrespecttoPrinciple2,theinclusionofacademicsubjectsotherthanEnglishlanguage
arts
andmathematicsintheState'saccountabilitysystemsandawell-developedsystemofincentivesandsupportsforotherTideIschools.PeersalsonotedstrengthswithrespecttoPrinciple3,suchastheinfluentialexperiencesoflocaleducationalagencies
(LEA)
thatarealreadypilotingteacherandprincipalevaluationandsupportsystemsintheState.
WVl'w.ed.gov
400MARYLANDAYE.,SW,WASHINGTON,DC20202
TheDepartmentofEducation'smissionistopromotestudentachievementandpreparationforglobalcompetitiveness
by
fosteringeducationalexcellenceandensuringequalaccess.
 
Page2Atthesametime,basedonthepeerreviewers'commentsandourreviewofthematerialsWashingtonhasprovidedtodate,wehaveidentifiedcertaincomponentsofyourrequestthatneedfurtherclarification,additionaldevelopment,orrevision.Inparticular,significantconcernswereidentifiedwithrespecttothefollowing:Whethertheinterventionsproposedforpriorityschoolsfullymeettheturnaroundprinciplesandarelikelytoincreasethequalityofinstructionandimprovestudentachievement;Whethertheexitcriteriaforpriorityandfocusschoolsaresufficientlyrigorous;andWhetherstudentgrowthwillbeusedasasignificantfactorinteacherandprincipalevaluationandsupportsystems,andtheinfrequencyofevaluationsofexperiencedteachers.Theenclosedlistprovidesdetailsregardingtheseconcerns,aswellasotherkeyissuesraisedinthereviewofWashington'srequest,thatwebelievemustbeaddressedbeforetheSecretarycanapproveyourrequestforESEAflexibility.WeencourageWashingtontoconsidertheallofthepeers'commentsandtechnicalassistancesuggestionsinmakingrevisionstoitsrequest,butweencourageyoutofocusprimarilyonaddressingtheconcernsidentifiedontheenclosedlistAlthoughthePeerPanelNotesforWashingtonprovideinformationspecifictoyourrequest,WashingtonalsomaybenefitfromcommentsandtechnicalassistancesuggestionsmadebyotherpeerpanelsregardingissuescommontomultipleStateeducationalagencies'(SEA)requests.Forthisreason,Departmentstaff
will
reachouttoWashingtontoproviderelevanttechnicalassistancesuggestionsandotherconsiderationsthatmaybeusefulasyoureviseandrefineyourrequest.WeremaincommittedtoworkingwithWashingtontomeettheprinciplesofESEAflexibilityandimproveoutcomesfor
all
students.WestandreadytoworkwithWashingtonasquicklyaspossible.Inordertoensurepromptconsiderationofrevisionsoradditionalmaterials,weareaskingSEAstosubmitthosematerialsbyMay1,2012.Departmentstaffwillbeintouchtosetupacallasearlyasthisweektodiscussthetimclineandprocessforprovidingrevisionsormaterials.Youandyourteamdeservegreatcreditforyoureffortsthusfar,andweareconfidentthatwewillbeabletoworktogethertoaddressoutstandingconcerns.Ifyouhaveanyadditionalquestionsorwanttorequesttechnicalassistance,pleasedonothesitatetocontactNolaCromer,at202-205-4158.Sincerely,MichaelYudinActingAssistantSecretaryEnclosure
 
SUMMARYOFADDITIONALINFORMATIONREGARDINGWASHINGTON'SESEAFLEXIBILITYREQUEST
!PRINCIPLE
1:
COLLEGE-ANDCAREER-READY
EXPECTATIONSFOR
ALLSTUDENTS
Pleasedemonstratethattheplantotransitiontocollege-andcareer-readystandardsincludes
all
oftheelementsofahigh-qualityplan,includingkeymilestonesoractivities,adetailedtimeline,partyorpartiesresponsible,evidence,resources,andsignificantobstacles.
SeeI.B,PartA.
PleaseprovidemorespecificinformationastohowWashingtonwillsupportschoolsandLEAstoimplementcollege-andcareer-readystandardsinwaysthat
will
ensureaccessforEnglishLearners,studentswithdisabilities,andlow-achievingstudents.
See
tB,
PartB.
Pleaseprovideadditionalinformationonthefollowingactivityrelatedtothetransitiontocollege-andcareer-readystandardsoranexplanationofwhytheactivityisnotincluded:oWorkingwiththeState'sinstitutionsofhighereducationandotherprincipalpreparationprogramstobetterprepareincomingprincipalstoprovidestrong,supportiveinstructionalleadershiponteachingtothenewstandards.
See
tB,
PartA.
P:RINCIPLE
2:
STATE-DEVELOPEDDIFFERENTIATEDRECOGNITION,ACCOUNTABILITY,
A~D
SUPPORT
PleaseaddressconcernsregardingWashington'sproposedaccountabilitysystem:oDescribehowWashingtonwillcreateincentivesandprovidesupportsthatarelikelytobeeffectiveinclosingachievementgapsforallsubgroups,especiallyinthetransitionyear.
See2A.i.b.
oExplainhowparticipationwillbeconsideredwhendeterminingtheachievementportionsofWashington'sindexscoresothatit"rillnotleadtounintendedconsequencessuchasschoolsnottestingcertainstudents.
See2.A.i.
a
ProvideinformationaboutwhetherWashingtonhasalternateassessmentsbasedonalternateachievementstandards
in
writingandscience.
See
2.A.ii.b.
Pleaseaddressconcernsregardinggraduationrate:
a
DescribehowWashington'sproposedsystemofdifferentiatedrecognition,accountability,andsupportconsidersgraduationratesforallsubgroups.
See2A.i.a.
PleasedemonstratethatWashingtonhasidentifiedtherequitednumberofpriority,focus,andrewardschoolsthatmeettherespectivedefinitionsofthosegroupsofschools
ttl
ESEAflexibility,includingbyprovidinglistsoftheseschools.Refertothedocumenttitled
DemonstratingthatanSEA'sUstsofSchooh-meet
ESEA
FlexibilityDefinitions.
Pleaseaddressconcernsregardingrewardschools:oProvideadescriptionofwhatconstituteshighestachievementonassessmentsorhighestgraduationratesforpurposesofidentifyinghighest-performingrewardschools.
See
2.Ci.
a
Define"significantgaps"forthepurposesofidentifyinghigh-progressrewardschools.
See
2.Ci.
a
Addresstheconcernthatgivingaschool'sabsoluteperformancethreetimesmoreweightthan'itsimprovement
111
performancewhenidentifyinghigh-progressrewardschoolsmightnotleadtotheidentificationofschoolsmakingthemostprogress.
See
2.Ci.
a
Pleasedescribethetangiblerewards
that
Washingtonwillprovidetorewardschools,suchas
1

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