Issaquah School District uses scorecard to track progress

February 22, 2011

By Laura Geggel

Every day, teachers grade students on their work and class participation. Now, Issaquah School District administrators are grading the district with an annual progress report called a scorecard.

District administrators have worked on designing the scorecard website since spring 2010, and the Issaquah School Board approved the scorecard layout and content at its Jan. 26 meeting. The site — accessible from www.issaquah.wednet.edu — will be launched either this spring or fall.

“We do very extensive and comprehensive monitoring around our ends policies and we thought the scorecard was a good means of doing that,” school board President Jan Woldseth Colbrese said.

The scorecard will measure about 20 milestones using data from standardized tests, the Healthy Youth Survey, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams, and community polls administered by the district.

The scorecard will explain each milestone, how the district measures it and why it is important. For example, one milestone measures how many third-grade students meet or exceed standard on the reading portion of the Measurement of Student Progress. The scorecard explains why third-grade reading is a strong predictor of academic and life outcomes.

“Children who cannot read proficiently by this point will struggle to master the more demanding academic content in later grades, falling further behind,” the scorecard read.

The scorecard will provide data from the past three years and then set a target three years into the future. In 2009-10, 86 percent of third-graders met or exceeded standards on the Measurement of Student Progress. In 2013-14, the district has set a goal for 92 percent of third-graders to pass reading.

Associate Superintendent Ron Thiele said that in order to meet targets, district officials would have to examine teaching processes, including curriculum, professional development and materials to help students excel.

The state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has a similar progress report, the Washington State Report Card — a website that gives the test scores, student demographics and teacher information for every school and district in the state. Yet the site, at www.k12.wa.us, does not have several unique data points that the Issaquah scorecard will feature, Thiele said.

The scorecard is “a nice, quick reference for the public,” he said. “They’ll be able to go on the website and see where the Issaquah School District stands.”

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