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Education System Health

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Statewide Indicators of Educational System Health

In December 2022, the Board submitted the sixth report on the Indicators of Educational System Health to the Governor’s Office and the Educational Committees of the Legislature. The authorizing statute (RCW 28A.150.550) means SBE, in collaboration with partners, must report on the results of each of the six specified indicators and to make recommendations about changes to the system. We believe that the six indicators of educational outcomes codified in statute are insufficient in measuring the educational system health.

six indicatorsThe COVID pandemic showed us that the statewide recognition and accountability system depends on traditional educational outcomes. In order to develop a clearer image of Washington’s educational system health, the SBE engaged with the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) to expand the indicators of the educational system health to include input and process measures that collectively define the “conditions for learning." The intent of this work is to include opportunity-to-learn measures, better supporting our state’s accountability and recognition system of continuous improvement in K-12 education.

In the 2022 report, we are making only one recommendation. Our reform recommendation centers on embracing the elements and indicators characterizing the conditions for learning in the Washington K-12 education system. We recommend aligning the SBE’s three currently siloed tasks of accountability, recognition, and educational system health under the single umbrella of educational system health and embracing the six key elements collectively describing the conditions for learning.  

Past Board Reports on the Indicators

2020 Education System Health Report

2018 Report to the Legislature

2016 Report to the Legislature

2014 Report to the Legislature

2013 report to the Legislature

Background on the Indicators

In 2013, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 5491, which pertains to the establishment of goals for our educational system. The law uses the term “statewide indicators of educational health” to describe the metrics upon which system goals will be set. The law requires the SBE to identify realistic but challenging system-wide performance goals and measurements with assistance from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee, and the Student Achievement Council.

The law further states that if the educational system is not on target to meet the performance goals on any individual indicator, the report must recommend evidence-based reforms intended to improve student achievement in that area. The law required the Board to establish initial system goals in 2013, and issue a report every other year (even-numbered years) on the status of those goals.