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.

Lynn Stuter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Patty Martin,

Associate Director

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

education dollars.

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 (;

Educational equity factors as related to having a positive impact on

student learning;

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

Bobbie May.

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

>Classroom teachers


>Thank you for your help in disseminating this

>important information.




>Jocelyn McCabe"



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.