Review and evaluation of requests



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ESEA Flexibility

Window 3

Request Review Form





State Request: West Virginia
Date: October 1, 2012

REVIEW AND EVALUATION OF REQUESTS

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) will use a review process that will include both external peer reviewers and staff reviewers to evaluate State educational agency (SEA) requests for this flexibility. This review process will help ensure that each request for this flexibility approved by the Department is consistent with the principles, which are designed to support State efforts to improve student academic achievement and increase the quality of instruction, and is both educationally and technically sound. Reviewers will evaluate whether and how each request for this flexibility will support a comprehensive and coherent set of improvements in the areas of standards and assessments, accountability, and teacher and principal effectiveness that will lead to improved student outcomes. Each SEA will have an opportunity, if necessary, to clarify its plans for peer and staff reviewers and to answer any questions reviewers may have during the on-site review. The peer reviewers will then provide comments to the Department. Taking those comments into consideration, the Secretary will make a decision regarding each SEA’s request for this flexibility. If an SEA’s request for this flexibility is not granted, reviewers and the Department will provide feedback to the SEA about the components of the SEA’s request that need additional development in order for the request to be approved.


This document provides guidance for peer review panels as they evaluate each request during the on-site peer review portion of the review process. The document includes the specific information that a request must include and questions to guide reviewers as they evaluate each request. Questions that have numbers or letters represent required elements. The italicized questions reflect inquiries that reviewers will use to fully consider all aspects of an SEA’s plan for meeting each principle, but do not represent required elements.
In addition to this guidance, reviewers will also use the document titled ESEA Flexibility, including the definitions and timelines, when reviewing each SEA’s request. As used in the request form and this guidance, the following terms have the definitions set forth in the document titled ESEA Flexibility: (1) college- and career-ready standards, (2) focus school, (3) high-quality assessment, (4) priority school, (5) reward school, (6) standards that are common to a significant number of States, (7) State network of institutions of higher education, (8) student growth, and (9) turnaround principles.

Review Guidance




Consultation




Consultation Question 1 Peer Response


Response: (6 Yes or 0 No)

Consultation Question 1


Did the SEA meaningfully engage and solicit input on its request from teachers and their representatives?

  • Is the engagement likely to lead to successful implementation of the SEA’s request due to the input and commitment of teachers and their representatives at the outset of the planning and implementation process?

  • Did the SEA indicate that it modified any aspect of its request based on input from teachers and their representatives?

Response Component

Panel Response

Rationale

The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) had a multi-faceted approach to engaging and soliciting input on its request from teachers and their representatives.

Strengths

WVDE engaged and solicited input from teachers and their representatives.

WVDE outlined stakeholder collaboration in the development of all three principles, listing dates and types of committees/task forces participating through onsite and online communication.


WVDE listed the groups from which it solicited feedback in Attachment 3. Teacher unions and professional educators were represented.
An option for online comment on the WVDE request was sent to all of the state’s 25,000 teachers and representatives of teacher organizations (p. 10).

Weaknesses, issues, lack of clarity

None.

Technical Assistance Suggestions

The request indicates that WVDE reviewed all public comment and incorporated appropriate items into the final request, but no examples were given. Given WVDE’s extensive outreach to the public, it would be useful for WVDE to highlight how it modified some aspects of the request based on public comment, particularly from teachers and their representatives.
WVDE could go through the request and pull references to consultation into this section (pp.70-71).


Consultation Question 2 Peer Response


Response: (6 Yes or 0 No)

Consultation Question 2


Did the SEA meaningfully engage and solicit input on its request from other diverse communities, such as students, parents, community-based organizations, civil rights organizations, organizations representing students with disabilities and English Learners, business organizations, and Indian tribes?

  • Is the engagement likely to lead to successful implementation of the SEA’s request due to the input and commitment of relevant stakeholders at the outset of the planning and implementation process?

  • Did the SEA indicate that it modified any aspect of its request based on stakeholder input?

  • Does the input represent feedback from a diverse mix of stakeholders representing various perspectives and interests, including stakeholders from high-need communities?

Response Component

Panel Response

Rationale

The WVDE had a multi-faceted approach to engaging and soliciting input on its request from diverse communities.


Strengths

WVDE listed the information received by date, individual’s role, and comments in Attachments 2 and 3, which demonstrated input from students, parents, community-based organizations (CBOs), civil rights organizations, organizations representing students with disabilities, English Learners, business organizations and high education community.
WVDE sought feedback for each of the three flexibility principles.

Stakeholders included K-12 teachers and representatives from higher education.

WVDE used multiple modes (in-person and online) to solicit input.
The three ESEA reform principles were featured eight times on West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) monthly agendas (p. 10).
Local school boards were key stakeholders.


Weaknesses, issues, lack of clarity

WVDE met with LEA administrators to review school performance based upon the proposed accountability index measures, but it is not clear if WVDE modified any aspect of its request based on stakeholder input.



Technical Assistance Suggestions

The request indicates that WVDE reviewed all public comment and incorporated appropriate items into the final request, but no examples were given. Given the WVDE’s extensive outreach to the public, it would be useful to highlight how some aspects of the proposal were modified due to public comment, particularly from diverse communities and communities of high need.


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