- North Dakota’s plan puts forth a clear vision.
- The state has outlined a simple, clear list of accountability indicators, and its plan places a strong weight on student achievement and growth. It proposes to include a simple measure of student achievement and a growth model that expects greater progress from lower-performing students.
- In addition, North Dakota has built in a promising high school indicator that combines important measures of a student’s readiness for college, career, and the military.
- Also, the state’s comprehensive approach to stakeholder engagement is noteworthy and offers guidance to states submitting plans in the next round.
- North Dakota is working with an external partner, AdvancED, to develop the state’s Student Learning Index and to support student-engagement surveys as part of the school-quality indicator, the needs assessment of low-performing schools, and in the continuous-improvement framework for all schools.
- North Dakota’s plan is inconsistent with some of ESSA’s requirements. It proposes to include former students with disabilities in its students-with-disabilities subgroup, and its timeline to identify schools with low-performing subgroups appears to be a year too slow.
- Moreover, North Dakota does not weight subgroup performance in its accountability system, and it proposes to cap the number of schools identified for targeted support at 10 percent of schools.
- Many of the state’s planned interventions in low-performing schools lack specificity, and the state plans to distribute all of its funds intended for school-improvement efforts via formula.
- North Dakota should clarify how it plans to measure student growth in high school. More information is needed, particularly given that the state plans to allow districts assessment flexibility in high school.
- There is also concern that North Dakota’s proposal to include GEDs in its calculation of graduation rates will not meet the federal definition — and more important, that the GED does not fully align with the state’s goals for all students.