The following press release is from the State Board of Education in
Washington State. Of particular note is the part about state money to
school districts being tied to schools exhibiting the Nine Characteristics
of High Performing Schools, listed following the press release. Money now
becomes contingent on districts complying with state and federal requirements.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Patty Martin,
March 22, 2002 State Board of Education
School Improvement Plans to be Required The State Board of Education
Passionate About Increased Student Learning
OLYMPIA - All 2,144 public schools will be required to have a plan for
school improvement as a result of rules adopted today by the State Board of
Education. To comply with state basic education requirements, districts
will have to assure that each school has developed, implemented, and is
monitoring its School Improvement Plan (SIP). The school improvement plan
shall be based on the Characteristics of Effective Schools as identified by
the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. This new requirement
becomes effective for basic education approval for the 2003-04 school year.
Basic education approval is the driver for a district to receive its state
State Board President Bobbie May stated, "A school improvement plan is just
a good way of doing business. Our intent is that it will consolidate
paperwork into a simpler format."
The School Improvement Plan shall address but is not limited to:
Characteristics of high performing schools (www.sbe.wa.gov);
Educational equity factors as related to having a positive impact on
Implementation of instructional technology; and
Parent and community involvement.
"Essentially, the State Board of Education is passionate about increased
student learning. This is the outcome for which we will be looking," said
For detailed Accreditation/School Improvement Plan information, feel free
to contact Pat Eirish, Research and Assistance Program Manager at
To get state apportionment money, schools must meet the following criteria ...
Nine Characteristics of High Performing Schools
Research has shown that there is no silver bullet-no single thing that
schools can do to ensure high student performance. Rather, high
performing schools tend to have the following nine characteristics:
1. Clear and Shared vision and Purpose
Everybody knows where they are going and why. That vision is
shared-everybody is involved. The focus is developed from common beliefs
and values, creating a consistency of purpose.
2. High Standards and Expectations for ALL Students
Teachers and staff believe that ALL student can learn and that they can
teach all students. There is recognition of barriers for some students
to overcome, but the barriers are not insurmountable.
3. Effective Instructional and Administrative Leadership
Strong leadership is required to implement change processes within the
school. This leadership takes on many forms. Principals often play this
role, but so do teachers and other staff, including those in the
district office. Effective leaders advocate, nurture, and sustain a
school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning
and staff professional growth.
4. High levels of Teamwork and Staff Collaboration
There is constant collaboration and communication between teachers and
all grades. Everybody is involved and connected, including parents and
members of the community.
5. Aligned Curriculum and Instruction with the Standards and Assessments
Curriculum is aligned with the Essential Academic Learning Requirements
Research-based materials and teaching and learning strategies are
implemented. There is a clear understanding of the assessment system and
how/what is measured in various assessments.
6. Closely Monitored Teaching and Learning
There is a steady cycle of varied assessments to determine who needs
help and the type of help needed. Teaching and learning are continually
adjusted based on this monitoring of student progress and individual
learning needs. The assessment results are used to improve individual
student performance as well as to improve the instructional program.
7. Focused Professional Development in High Need Areas
Professional development for ALL educators is aligned with the school
and district's common focus, objectives, and high expectations. It is
ongoing and based on the areas identified as high needs areas.
8. Supportive Learning Environment
The school has a safe, civil, healthy, and intellectually stimulating
atmosphere. Students feel respected and connected with the staff.
Instruction is personalized and small learning environments increase
student contact with teachers.
9. A High Level of Community and Parent Involvement
There is a sense that all educational stakeholders have a responsibility
to educate students, not just the teachers and staff in schools.
Parents, as well as businesses, social service agencies, and community
colleges/universities all play a vital role in this effort.
"On behalf of the OSPI ESEA Core Team, I would
>appreciate it if you could please share this memo with
>a wide array of school and school district employees,
>Educational Service District Grants Managers
>School District Superintendents
>School District Grants Managers
>School District Administrators
>Thank you for your help in disseminating this
I went on the OSPI website
and pulled the .pdf file and sent it out as an attachment to an email ...
many believe the "no child left behind" program is not Goals 2000. That
memo will blow holes in that misconception.