Where is the 2012-13 School Achievement Index?
It is March 31st and the Washington State Board of Education has still not released the School Achievement Index for 2012-13.
This is unusual. The State Board of Education usually releases the new Index to parents and the general public early in the year, normally near the end of January. Now the Index is two months late.
The legislature created the School Achievement Index to inform parents and teachers about how well their local schools are educating children. Naturally no school administrator likes to get a low rating – last year 753 schools (34%) received only a Fair or Struggling rating – but that makes it all the more important for members of the State Board of Education to release their findings in a timely way, so communities can work toward improvement.
A description of how the School Achievement Index works is explained here. To help inform the public, Washington Policy Center publicized the results from the Index each year.
We have made several inquiries to the State Board of Education about when the Index would be ready. The State Board first said it would be released by mid-February. That did not happen. Next we were informed it would be released in mid-March. That date also came and went. The State Board then said the Index would be released by March 28. That date passed with no action.
Delaying release of the Index risks making it irrelevant to teachers, students and parents. In two months the school year will be over, and parents are still in the dark about how their schools performed last year. Parents and education leaders can’t make good decisions with old data. If parents are going to hold administrators accountable and work to improve local schools, members of the State Board need to be sensitive to the need for up-to-date information about the quality of instruction in public schools.