2014 School Accountability Measures Available

Federal and State Systems Differ in School Performance Measurements

Nov. 7, 2014

Today the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) released the results produced by both the federal and state accountability systems.

The federal accountability system, known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), evaluates school performance by Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). 2014 is the year that all schools, including all students, grade levels, and subject areas tested, are expected to be 100% proficient in order to meet AYP.

“AYP is just one indicator of school performance. It does not mean that Wyoming schools, educators, or your student is failing,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill said.

Not meeting AYP for one year moves a school into a warning year; not meeting AYP for two consecutive years moves them into “in need of school improvement.” It also takes two years to come out of needing improvement, thus, the first year schools are moved into holding. Of the 354 Wyoming schools measured by AYP 188, or 53%, are not in school improvement. 17 schools moved out of school improvement from last year, and 29 have moved into holding.

The state accountability system, the Wyoming Accountability in Education Act (WAEA), uses School Performance Reports (SPRs) to evaluate schools on a four point scale. Using a combination of measurements schools are rated as Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectations, Partially Meeting Expectations, or Not Meeting Expectations.

Of the 353 schools measured by WAEA, more than 60 schools, or over 17%, are exceeding expectations; only 45, or less than 13%, are not meeting expectations.

Twenty-four Wyoming schools are too small to accurately measure their assessment participation rate, one of the factors in calculating SPRs.

Additional and school specific 2014 AYP and SPR results are available online here.

If a school is labeled as “in need of improvement” under NCLB or “not meeting expectations” under WAEA, it does not mean that school is completely failing to educate students. It may mean there are a few weaknesses that need to be addressed and accommodated. The WDE is leading an effort to ensure that all Wyoming students receive the quality education they deserve, and identifying weaknesses within a school is just one step in that process.

The two systems may produce different results; for example, a school that is rated as “in need of improvement” according to the NCLB could be “meeting expectations” under WAEA or vice versa.

“We are currently developing systems of support that will provide improved communications with all 48 districts and assistance where needed,” said Shelly Andrews, WDE Supervisor of Policy and Planning.

For more information on accountability please visit wyomingmeasuresup.com, or contact Travis Hoff at travis.hoff@wyo.gov or (307) 777-2053
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