Renton WA - Outstanding improvement in reading and math sustained over a five-year period is the reason that 101 schools in Washington state received the 2014 School of Distinction (SOD) award today. The Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) in partnership with the Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD), the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP), Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA), Washington State School Directors' Association (WSSDA), and Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (WSASCD) have recognized schools in the top 5% of improvement for their levels.
The 2014 School of Distinction award winners include 54 elementary schools, 22 middle / junior high schools, 17 high schools, and 8 alternative schools. This award is the eighth annual School of Distinction award in Washington State and includes nine schools who are first-time winners and multiple-year winners including Mercer International Middle School (Seattle Public Schools) which is a six time winner of the SOD award.
Describing the schools that are designated as School of Distinction award winners, Greg Lobdell, President of CEE noted, "These schools are from all regions of the state, all sizes of towns, with a range from 2.7% to 100% poverty and enrollment of English Language Learners as high as 40%. These schools demonstrate that significant improvement is occurring all across our diverse public schools."
In the Puget Sound Educational Service District (ESD) region, which serves King and Pierce counties and Bainbridge Island, 50 schools in 18 school districts are award winners. The agency plans to hold an award ceremony November 5 for the winning schools.
John Welch, Puget Sound ESD Superintendent states, "We are pleased to be a partner in honoring schools within our region that set a high standard in realizing dramatic achievement gains for students. We recognize the difficult and important work that this takes. We salute the students, families, educators, and communities for their successes and for setting a high bar for us all."
Specifics of the methodology used to determine 2014 winners are summarized below:
Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) Pilot: In spring 2014, a number of schools in Washington State participated in the pilot test of the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and, therefore, have no assessment results reported for 2014. The partners responsible for the School of Distinction award felt strongly that these schools should not be disqualified for participating in the pilot. For schools participating in the SBA pilot, their 2013 results are used (repeated) as their 2014 results.
Data Suppression: The SOD methodology depends upon publicly available data. In 2014, OSPI implemented enhanced suppression of data. While protecting students' data from being publicly identifiable, it prevents CEE from applying the methodology calculations for that school. For this reason, a small number of schools with suppressed data were ineligible for the SOD award this year.
The SOD calculations are also based upon a minimum of two years of data in the level band (elementary, middle/junior high, or high school). If there are only two grades reported in the band and one of those grades has suppressed data, it is not possible to apply the methodology for the award. As such, those schools would also be ineligible for the SOD award this year.
Specifics of the Methodology:
* Three grade bands are used for calculation: elementary schools--grades 3, 4, and 5, middle or junior high schools--grades 6, 7, and 8, and high schools--grade 10. A school must have data in two of three grades to be considered for that level. Data source is the OSPI reported data from the data downloads section of the state report card (http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/DataDownload.aspx).
* For grades 3 to 8, the 2014 performance is defined as the "Reading/Math Level Index" and must meet the minimum threshold of being at or above the state median for the grade band. For 10th grade, OSPI is no longer publicly reporting the Reading/Math Level Index results. We used the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) for Reading, combined with End-of-Course Math results (including students who previously passed the EOC exam) to obtain a valid measure for 2014 10th grade performance.
* Using data from 2009 through 2014 provides six data points which identify five improvement steps.
* A school may be considered in multiple bands, e.g. a K-8 school would be eligible in both elementary and middle/junior high bands. Alternative learning environments are considered independently in each of the three grade bands (subject to the same minimum performance threshold as all schools in the grade band).
* A school must have data in at least three of six years to be considered--one of which must be 2014.
* "Improvement" is defined as the slope of linear trend over the five years.
* The number of schools comprising 5% is based on the number of schools at each grade band with valid 2014 data.
The Puget Sound Educational Service District (ESD 121) is one of nine regional agencies serving school districts and state-approved private schools in Washington State. Our service area includes 35 school districts and more than 200 private schools in King and Pierce counties plus Bainbridge Island. Approximately 38 percent of the state's K-12 public school students, more than 400,000, are served in the area's school districts, which range from large to small, urban to rural.
Puget Sound ESD develops and delivers a wide selection of services that provide instructional and administrative support to PreK-12 schools and post-secondary services to students and families.Attached Media Files: 2014-10/4161/79211/2014_SOD_List_of_Winners.pdf