- New York took a thoughtful and comprehensive approach in creating its ESSA plan, although the state’s plan is quite complicated, particularly around its performance index and school identification.
- The state’s plan balances incentives for academic proficiency and annual student growth, and it includes incentives for schools to pay attention to other components of school quality, such as science, social studies, college and career readiness, chronic absenteeism, and student suspensions.
- The state will use a data dashboard to provide additional contextual information for parents.
- The school support section of New York’s plan is its school is particularly strong. For the last few years, the state has been implementing a system of differentiated school supports utilizing a high-quality observation rubric, which was completed by a team of external reviewers trained to examine school quality and outline tangible steps forward.
- The state provides compelling evidence of stakeholder engagement in the plan, including survey data and interviews with principals who have completed its school improvement process in the past. New York should continue to engage English learner and disability groups to solicit feedback on current accessibility efforts and on additional needs for these student populations.
- The state’s approach to its long-term goals and interim targets could run the risk of tolerating stagnation.
- Although New York has a relatively straightforward list of accountability indicators, the way it translates those data into school accountability determinations is complex. New York proposes combining its chosen indicators through complicated logic tables with several permutations. School leaders, parents, or other stakeholders may struggle to understand and respond to this system.
- While New York has proposed a set of rules that appear to ensure schools pay attention to low-performing subgroups, it does not provide data modeling the effects of those decisions.
- Additionally, New York’s proposed accountability system is primarily based on how schools compare to each other rather than to objective goals, and schools will have no front-end predictability about what they would need to accomplish to demonstrate sufficient progress.
- The proposed waiver to allow schools to administer below-grade-level assessments will likely undermine efforts to ensure students with disabilities have access to grade-level instruction.