UPDATE

 

This fall, the remaining 34 states are submitting their plans to the U.S. Department of Education for approval.

 

Reviews on this site are of the first 17 plans submitted earlier this spring for the first deadline. Our expert peer reviewers are looking forward to reviewing this second batch of plans plans alongside Bellwether Education Partners in the coming weeks.

 

More plans require more experts. So, Bellwether and the Collaborative worked diligently to invite additional experts to participate in the process!

Pick a category to learn about key components of state plans to improve education – and see how your state measured up.

GOALS

 

Goals matter – and so does a state’s vision for improving educational outcomes. States need to communicate to parents and policymakers alike that its accountability system is targeted towards achieving its goals, and that its vision, goals, and interim targets are aligned, ambitious, and attainable.

 

Louisiana

 

 

Louisiana’s goals are ambitious, attainable and backed by clear data. The state is proposing to sustain its recent gains and annually increase its proficiency rates. Louisiana has set the same final target for all groups of students but it expects faster progress for groups that are starting further behind. Click here to learn more.

 

Choose a state to see their goals:

 

STANDARDS AND ASSESSMENTS 

 

A commitment to high standards and high-quality assessments aligned to college and career readiness shows a state’s intention to ensure that all students are prepared for their futures beyond high school.

 

New Jersey

 

New Jersey received top marks for strong commitments to college- and career-ready standards and high-quality, aligned assessments in math and English Language Arts, as well as assessments in science, social studies, and early grades (K-2) that will help address concerns about curriculum narrowing. Click here to learn more.

 

Choose a state to see their plans around standards and assessments:

 

INDICATORS

 

Indicators are only as meaningful as the information they provide. States had an opportunity to choose holistic and meaningful accountability indicators to measure student progress, which should be aligned to ensure that targets and goals are met – and likely to lead to improved educational outcomes for students.

 

 

New Mexico

 

New Mexico proposed a high-quality list of meaningful indicators, including the growth of the lowest-performing students, extended-year graduation rates, chronic absenteeism, and a new college-readiness indicator. Click here to learn more.

 

Choose a state to see their plan’s indicators:

 

ACADEMIC PROGRESS

 

States must measure whether or not students are growing over time, and if schools are helping them to do so – without losing sight of the ultimate goal that students are reaching proficiency.

 

 

Arizona

 

Arizona’s plan places a strong weight on student achievement and growth by combining a clear measure of student achievement with two different measures of student growth; one that compares students to each other and one that compares them to a common benchmark. Click here to learn more.

 

Choose a state to see their plan for academic progress:

 

ALL STUDENTS 

 

The success of a state’s education system is reflected in the performance of all of its students. States must have checks in place to ensure that all students – including individual groups of students – are receiving a high-quality education.

 

Unfortunately, no states received top marks from reviewers in this category.

Choose a state to see their plan for all students:

 

IDENTIFYING SCHOOLS

States are required to identify schools and student groups that need additional supports. Each state must include the appropriate mechanisms for identifying those that are most in need of targeted and comprehensive support.

 

Louisiana

 

Louisiana’s A-F school rating system provides stakeholders with a single, clear, summative rating to understand school performance and demonstrates how it will identify close to 17 percent of its schools for comprehensive support and improvement, well above the 5 percent required under federal law. Click here to learn more.

 

Choose a state to see their plan for identifying schools:

 

SUPPORTING SCHOOLS

 

Interventions in comprehensive and targeted support schools are necessary to ensure their future success. But are the state’s interventions evidence-based and rigorous enough to match the challenges that these schools face?

 

New Mexico

 

New Mexico clearly states what action must be taken in schools that fail to improve three years after being initially identified for comprehensive support and improvement. Schools must choose between a concrete list of intervention options or the state department will choose one for it. New Mexico is committed to providing additional funding to plans that use the strongest base of evidence and to providing “Direct Student Services” to support expanded learning time, AP course access, K-3 literacy and mathematics, pre-k services, personalized learning, and student transportation. Click here to learn more.

 

Choose a state to see their plan for supporting schools:

 

EXITING IMPROVEMENT STATUS

 

Schools that exit improvement status must demonstrate progress – so a state’s criteria for no longer being classified as needing support should ensure sustained improvements.

 

Nevada

 

Nevada puts in place rigorous exit criteria that make it difficult for a school to exit comprehensive or targeted improvement status without demonstrating significant improvement over time. Click here to learn more.

 

 

Choose a state to see their plan for exiting improvement status:

 

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

Improvement doesn’t stop with a new state plan. States must outline a clear path for it to learn from and adapt its implementation efforts. Continued consultation and engagement of key stakeholders will help ensure success.

 

 

New Mexico

 

New Mexico outlines a number of ways it has and will continue to engage stakeholders on key aspects of its implementation efforts. For example, it will be adding science as an indicator in its accountability system in response to stakeholder feedback, and it will continue to gather input as it considers revising their “Opportunity-to-Learn” survey, both of which will go into effect in the 2018-19 school year.” New Mexico’s “Return Tour” across the state will present an overview of the submitted plan, how it changed in response to initial stakeholder feedback, and how the state will implement the plan going forward. Click here to learn more.

 

Choose a state to see their plan for student progress:

 

State by State

How does your state measure up?