Soldotna, August 19 – The State of Alaska has adopted a new accountability system for public schools, called the Alaska State Performance Index. ASPI is a star rating system for schools and school districts and replaces Adequate Yearly Progress, the cornerstone of the federal No Child Left Behind act, which indicated a “Meets” or “Does not meet” rating.
The new accountability system will rank schools on a 100-point scale, based on student growth as well as proficiency in state assessments, attendance, high school graduation, and student performance on work- ready and college entrance exams. Based on the 100-point scale, schools will receive a rating of one star to five stars.
“The goal of using the ASPI rating system is to inform schools and the state of local outcomes in critical areas,” said Alaska Education Commissioner Mike Hanley. “By doing so we are able to focus resources in areas of challenge, and continue the efforts that produce success.”
The new annual measurable objective targets make sense for educators, and are not only focused on test scores. Three indicators are assessed for K-8 grades, and six are assessed for 9-12 grades.
Indicators for all grade levels K-8 are based on a 100-point scale:
1. AcademicAchievement (35 percent)
2. SchoolProgress (40 percent)
3. AttendanceRate (25 percent)
Three additional indicators are added for grades 9-12 (100-point scale)
1. AcademicAchievement (20 percent)
2. SchoolProgress (40 percent)
3. AttendanceRate (10 percent)
4. GraduationRate (20 percent)
5. CollegeandCareerReadiness (8 percent)
6. WorkKeysParticipation (2 percent)
Meeting these indicators is in alignment with the KPBSD five-year strategic plan. “I am pleased that the state’s new ASPI is an improved method of determining how well a school or district is meeting the educational needs of its students, said KPBSD Superintendent Dr. Steve Atwater. “The ASPI star rating should not however, be viewed as the definitive quality descriptor for either a school or a district. This is illustrated by one of our schools that made five star academic gains but had a two star attendance rating. The final three star designation does not reflect the school’s excellent academic gains.”
KPBSD 2012-2013 ASPI rating
5 STARS: 6 KPBSD schools
4 STARS: 28 KPBSD schools
3 STARS: 6 KPBSD schools
2 STARS: 1 KPBSD school
1 STARS: 2 KPBSD schools
An August State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development press release explains, “Each school also has the goal of reducing its percentage of non-proficient students by half over the next six years, in yearly increments. The goals are called Annual Measureable Objectives. The AMOs apply to the student body as a whole and to subgroups that have at least five students. The subgroups are: students with disabilities, English language learners, economically disadvantaged students, Alaska Natives and American Indians, Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Mixed Race, and Asian/Pacific Islanders.” Parents will continue to receive reports on their student’s performance on state reading, writing, and math assessments.
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