- South Dakota plans to measure school performance using a clear set of indicators that are focused on students’ academic success, rewarding multiple pathways of students’ preparedness for college or career.
- The state is committed to high standards and rigorous, aligned assessments, and its School Performance Index also gives substantial weight to both achievement and growth, recognizing student progress across the performance spectrum.
- South Dakota also has clearly sought out and listened to feedback from stakeholders. Throughout its plan, it cites specific input as an explanation for why it’s pursuing the options it chose, and it indicates it will work with external partners to build its own capacity, particularly with regard to school improvement.
- Moreover, the plan articulates specific steps the state is taking to improve its consultation with Native American tribes moving forward, demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement as well as a recognition of the importance of supporting these students and the schools that serve them.
- South Dakota identifies schools for support based on the results of individual subgroups but only considers combined subgroups in the School Performance Index (SPI). Although the state includes data showing that, for many small schools and districts, the combined subgroup may be the only way to include any subgroup data in the index, schools may still be able to receive a high overall rating, even though one of its individual subgroups is not making progress.
- Similarly, South Dakota’s plan lacks clarity on how exactly it will identify schools with large achievement gaps or low-performing subgroups for support, and it doesn’t specify how many schools will be identified or what steps they must take to improve.
- South Dakota’s School Performance Index, which summarizes school-level results each year, is complex. The state will need to ensure that it has a clear way of explaining the results to parents, educators, and community members.
- Lastly, the state’s plan for improving low-performing schools lacks specificity, particularly with regard to building capacity to implement evidence-based interventions and the strategies the state will require in schools failing to improve.