Alaska’s new system flags schools needing more support
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska education officials have flagged about one-fifth of the state’s public schools as requiring additional support under the new school accountability system.
The state Department of Education and Early Development rolled out the first set of school ratings last year, identifying 107 schools that had low graduation rates or poor performance based on academic measures, the Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday.
The state created the System for School Success to comply with federal regulations enacted in 2015 and to continue receiving federal funds. The system is not punitive and not high-stakes, meaning low ratings won’t affect teacher evaluations or result in funding loss, said Deborah Riddle, the department’s division operations manager for student learning, standards and support.
The system rates public schools from zero to 100 based on a set of metrics, including standardized test scores, academic growth, graduation rates, chronic absenteeism and third-grade literacy. The average rating, called an overall school index value, was 46.2, according to the department.
While all public schools were reviewed, about 40 didn’t have enough students to receive an index value.
Education officials have given mixed reviews to the new system, with some describing it as complicated and hard to understand. Some school district officials have cautioned parents against using the ratings in trying to determine the quality of schools.
“I don’t think any single system will accurately represent what public schools accomplish,” said Tim Vlasak, director of assessments, curriculum, federal programs and small schools at the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.
Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com