How to Best Use Indicators in ESSA Plans

How to Best Use Indicators in ESSA Plans

June 29, 2017

Gary Ratner, executive director of Citizens for Effective Schools, wrote on HuffPost about how states can best use indicators in ESSA plans. Ratner argues, “ESSA is inviting States to expand their accountability focus from No Child Left Behind’s failed exclusive emphasis on raising test scores to making changes that would improve school quality and student success.” He offers four ways for states to select their indicators:

  1. States should focus heavily on school quality indicators ― those which can help schools improve ― rather than on student success indicators;
  2. To improve schools, it’s necessary to gather information about, and strengthen, the multi-faceted school climate itself;
  3. Given Title I’s purpose of improving schools so all children may receive a high-quality education, States should choose school climate surveys specifically designed for that purpose; and
  4. The best survey for States to choose would be the one whose questions and structure provide the most useful information and guidance for how to improve individual schools and has the highest correlation between its measure of school climate and student achievement.