- Overall, D.C. set aggressive goals for academic proficiency and high school graduation. D.C.’s plan is aligned to those goals, is built on high-quality standards and assessments, and assigns substantial weight to both academic achievement and growth.
- D.C. is also attempting to balance different types of incentives around achievement at different performance levels and different types of growth measures. While these different measures combine to create a broad spectrum of incentives for schools, D.C. should monitor its data and stakeholder feedback to ensure that educators and parents understand the implications of these multiple measures.
- More broadly, D.C. selected strong indicators of student performance, including new metrics on access and success on college-level coursework and chronic absenteeism.
- By including a 25 percent weighting for specific subgroups and lowering its minimum subgroup size for accountability purposes to 10 students, D.C. is attempting to ensure that more students are included in its accountability system and their performance is monitored more closely.
- D.C.’s plan lacks specificity about how it will achieve its goals. The lack of detail is particularly troubling as it relates to how D.C. plans to support its lowest-performing schools and schools with consistently underperforming subgroups of students.
- D.C.’s plan seems heavily focused on the development of additional plans with deferred stakeholder input, rather than details on how it will provide the necessary supports to turn around struggling schools.
- Additionally, there is concern that the proposed system is potentially redundant in places, causing unnecessary complexity.
- D.C.’s school identification plan includes a specific allocation for student subgroups, but it might not provide sufficiently strong incentives. Without data, there’s concern that the performance of underserved populations will not sufficiently affect a school’s rating, and therefore be overlooked.