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Statewide Indicators of Educational System Health

2018 Report on the Statewide Indicators of Educational System Health

Link to Statewide Indicators of Education System Health

Our 2018 report shows that while Washington is improving on most key education performance indicators, the rate of improvement is not enough to achieve the long term goals the state has set for its students. It is appropriate to acknowledge the incremental improvement in Washington’s educational outcomes, but also important to retain a sense of urgency about the size and scope of our achievement and opportunity gaps, which present as early as age five, and persist in the data to age 25 and beyond. The Board made a series of recommendations and reforms to address the areas where we have fallen short in our goals. Those recommendations are closely aligned with the Board’s recently adopted 2019-23 Strategic Plan.

Gears graphic showing progression from kindergarten readiness to post-secondary engagement

In 2018, the Board convened a technical advisory committee (TAC) to examine the suitability of school quality and student success indicators as potential indicators of the educational system health. The TAC provided feedback on a number of possible indicators spanning from early childhood through high school and transitions to the post-secondary career and education environment. Read more about the feedback from the TAC in the supplemental report

Link to Strategic Plan & System Health One Pager

Recommended Reforms

  1. Expand access to affordable, high-quality early childhood education for all of Washington’s children, particularly children of color and children in poverty.

  2. Improve early learning and transitions within the K-12 continuum. Expand the availability of graduation specialists and career specialists in high school.  Maintain the state commitment to rigorous standards and assessment while eliminating the proficiency requirement on assessments to earn a diploma. Increase equity in access to accelerated learning opportunities, including dual credit programs

  3. Promote programs and policies that enable and encourage meaningful family and community engagement at every level of the education system to ensure schools are responsive to the needs of communities. Expand use of personalized learning strategies and project-based and career-connected learning opportunities, including credit for competencies acquired in the workplace, through volunteer work, or other extracurricular activities. Implement emerging and effective practices in the teaching and learning of math. Scale these efforts and share effective practices to implement continual curriculum improvement using research-based, models to improve teaching and learning. Ensuring relevancy and personalization for students is valued.

  4. Develop a statewide framework for school safety and mental health to provide all schools with access to mental health professionals in schools with links to community-based mental health and other healthcare providers, wrap around supports for students professional development to support mental health, social emotional learning, trauma-informed instruction, positive behavioral interventions and support (PBIS), and emergency preparedness for all educators and other school staff. Shift the focus of discipline to an integrated student supports system that keeps youth engaged in school and out of the juvenile justice system. Strengthen current high school health learning standards to include information on mental health relevant to students and improve mental health instruction in K-12. Expand efforts to support the emotional well-being of our teachers. Expand efforts to ensure students have agency and input in their learning environments.

  5. Increase investments to expand high quality, publicly funded learning opportunities including extended day, summer learning opportunities and extracurricular activities as well as transportation and other supports necessary to ensure equitable access. Increase investments and professional development to address the needs of diverse learners including expansion of dual language and immersion programs beginning in elementary school and continuing through high school. Encourage intentional consideration of culturally-responsive, flexible calendars and scheduling and alternatives to the traditional 180-day calendar. Recruit and retain educators and administrators who represent the diversity of the students served, and innovative educational leaders who are committed to eliminating biases, barriers, and opportunity gaps. Provide additional professional development opportunities for educators and administrators.

  6. Provide targeted funding to schools and students who need it most, including support for increased access to mental health services, wrap-around supports, Special Education, and English Language Learners. Fully fund dual credit programs in all subject areas to eliminate disparities related to cost. Revise the prototypical school funding model to better reflect needs of the students schools serve; to include a specific student to mental health professional ratio, and to increase ratio of instructional staff to students (reduce class size). Increase funding for professional development to strengthen, develop, and retain strong, sustainable, diverse school leadership at every level. Provide funding to recruit and retain teachers, staff, and school leaders to reflect the diversity of the school and community. Provide adequate state funding for school and district facilities and changing the capital funding threshold to require a simple majority for passage of bonds.

Board Reports on the Indicators

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.