The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Advisory Committee on Accountability — made up of 75 education stakeholders across the state — met for the second time Wednesday, August 24, at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) in Roseville.
The mission of the ESSA Advisory Committee on Accountability is to ensure that the work of developing Minnesota’s accountability system under ESSA remains true to the needs of all of Minnesota’s students and schools, and offers direction and advice with respect to the concepts and values the accountability system reflects.
At each meeting, MDE solicits feedback in the form of questions that help inform their development of a new State Accountability Plan. The first question concerned graduation rates. When calculating graduation rates, ESSA allows students who drop out of a high school they have attended for less than half a year to count as a non-graduate at either the school they were enrolled for the largest amount of their time grade 9-12 or the school they most recently enrolled. The response strongly supported that in this case the student should be counted as a non-graduate in the school they spent the most time.
Two new questions presented for feedback were:
- Under ESSA, growth at the high school is allowable. Should high schools students’ MCA scores include a growth factor as a part of our accountability system?
- Under ESSA, science tests may be used as a part of the state accountability system. Should Minnesota include science in our “high stakes” accountability system?
Another noteworthy move was the formation of an Advisory Subcommittee on Student Quality/Student Success Indicators. The subcommittee’s purpose is to dig deeper into the options for the NEW fifth indicator of performance. The new indicator must measure “school quality” or “student success.” Examples such as teacher and student engagement, completion of advanced coursework, or school climate and safety were provided in the federal law.
As you recall, under ESSA the new accountability system will include measurements of:
- Academic achievement;
- Growth (optional);
- Progress on English language development for EL;
- Graduation rates; and
- New indicator(s) of student success or school quality.
The next ESSA Advisory Committee meeting is Thursday, September 15. MSBA will be in attendance. Meetings are open to observation from the public.
Visit http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/dse/ESSA/meet to view the meeting schedule.