State Board Keeps Forward Momentum
Last week the State Board of Education hosted its monthly meeting where forward momentum was the theme for the day.
A presentation on the performance evaluation dashboards, which are a product of the school districts’ Race to the Top Success plans, revealed the evaluation structure utilized for tracking district progress on Race to the Top implementation goals. These dashboards create a common set of measures statewide that all Delawareans can use to assess the performance of each district. More importantly, they will offer perspective, based on DCAS student learning data, into what Race to the Top initiatives have been successful, which have not yielded intended results and finally what is worth replicating in additional schools. While DCAS results were the end of school year focus in 2012, additional measures are being built into the dashboards for the future. In addition to providing transparency around performance, these dashboards enable the Delaware Department of Education and districts to communicate clearly around a common language of success. All 19 school districts are participating, and the district-based dashboards will be available to the public.
Board members also took action on an amendment to the regulations pertaining to the student and organizational performance reviews of charter schools. The changes reflect a process to adopt standards by which to evaluate existing charter schools’ success as well as future applicants for renewal and authorization. Charter schools will be required to establish a performance agreement that outlines the financial, organizational and performance expectations that will become part of the school’s charter. This is an ideal step toward creating accountability on the part of school leaders, the Department of Education and the State Board of Education to create and sustain quality charter schools for Delaware students.
In addition, the Board reviewed a summary of the 2011-2012 DCAS results, indicating an overall growth in math and reading. There also was an update on the DCAS Alt Assessment. The alternative assessment will have similar standards established by DCAS and will be just as challenging an assessment for the non-special needs population. The operational field assessment will offer three different starting point and stopping points.
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