North Dakota is using a small n-size of 10 students.
Because there are so many small and rural schools in North Dakota, the state decided to use a small n-size of 10 students. This approach was reinforced through extensive engagement with stakeholders who wanted to make sure every student counted. However, the state could help ensure more subgroups are identified for improvement by changing the proposed confidence interval.
North Dakota does not weight subgroup performance in its accountability system.
It also proposes to cap the number of schools identified for targeted support at 10 percent of schools. Additionally, North Dakota is proposing to look only at four historically under-performing groups. The state provides compelling data behind its focus on these four groups, but it appears inconsistent with the requirements of ESSA to capture any low-performing group.
The state will include former students with disabilities in its subgroup – and measure English language growth for all K-12 students.
North Dakota also proposes to include former students with disabilities in its students-with-disabilities subgroup. Since exiting students tend to have higher performance, the state should monitor its data to ensure it is not masking the performance of students who are still receiving services. On the positive side, the state is measuring English-language growth for all K–12 students, which goes beyond ESSA’s requirement to track it only in grades 3-8 and once in high school.