Wed Feb 24 2021, 6:15pm
Zoom Webinar and Telephone
Regular Meeting


Teaching and Learning Report

To: Michael Green

From: Asha Riley

Date: February 18, 2021

Re: Teaching and Learning Report

Assessment Operations:

Unfortunately, we still don't have a definitive answer on whether we will administer the state test at the end of this year, or how testing will be administered amidst the pandemic

Below is a communication from the assessment office of OSPI with the most recent update. 

WCAP: Spring 2021 Accountability Testing Update

OSPI plans to work with the Biden administration and seek a waiver or flexibility, if allowable. In the meantime, we should plan as if all testing is “on.” 

OSPI’s stance has been to not administer statewide remote testing, based on the recommendation of our national technical advisory committee given circumstances this year. If we are not successful in receiving our proposed waiver, the Smarter Balanced ELA and Mathematics tests will be a shorter version – around 2/3 the typical length. We anticipate direction from the US Department of Education soon.

In order to be prepared for the possibility that SBA testing will occur, we have to start preparing for it now. Sarah will begin assessment operations as we typically do this time of year. As per our usual practice, she will reach out to each team (ELL, IEP, etc.) to collaborate and ensure we have an accurate list of students and their appropriate supports and accommodations loaded into the system. 

I will be sure to provide updates when I receive more concrete information. 

Assessment Requirement for the Class of 2020 and Beyond:

It appears EHB 1121 has passed both legislative bodies and is awaiting a signature from the Governor. This is excellent news! The emergency rules are outlined below. In response to this piece of legislation, the Washington State Board of Education is actively working on a procedure for school districts to utilize sometime mid-March.

In summary, the legislation outlines that the following details would apply to the class of 2020 and beyond:

  • School districts would apply to the State Board of Education (SBE) for the authority to grant emergency waivers from the credit and (assessment) pathway requirements.
  • Districts shall demonstrate a good faith effort to help the individual student meet the requirements before considering the emergency waiver.
  • Waivers can only be granted to students who were reasonably expected to graduate in the school year the waiver is considered. Students must also demonstrate skills and knowledge indicating preparation for the next steps identified in their High School and Beyond Plan and for success in postsecondary education, gainful employment, and civic engagement.
  • School districts shall determine if there is disproportionality among student subgroups receiving the waiver and disaggregate student data to ensure equitable administration of waivers.
  • Directs State Board of Education to adopt rules for emergency rule program, which can include an application, eligibility criteria, reporting requirements, and limitations on what can be waived.

Preparing to Close the Gap:

I have begun working on plans to develop a targeted and strategic approach to closing the learning gaps we see as a result of the impacts of Covid-19. Based on local classroom based assessments, we will identify the gaps, strategies to address them most effectively, and means by which we will monitor our progress toward accelerated growth goals. We are hopeful that these plans will help inform how we can leverage resources to best align with the mission of recovering the learning loss.

LETRS Update:

We have determined K-3 literacy is a major priority as we attack the Covid-19 learning gap. We have enlisted the support of our consultants from LETRS to develop our strategy to address the learning gap in reading. They are planning professional development this summer that will ensure our teachers are well prepared to deliver the highest leverage reading strategies that will accelerate growth in reading achievement. 

Proposed House Bill 1162:

It sounds like this House Bill is picking up momentum. I have included a link to the original Bill and the Bill summary below for your review. I understand this would enact a more permanent shift, rather than just a response to the pandemic. It would not restrict us from having higher graduation requirements but would address the credit deficiencies we expect to see over the course of the next few years in light of the pandemic. 

In a nutshell, the Bill would permanently adjust the required number of credits for graduation to 20 credits, essentially 17 core credits and 3 pathway credits.

Additionally, it would add another means of meeting the requirement for state assessment by allowing students to complete some kind of performance-based presentation (not too dissimilar to our Senior presentations).

House Bill 1162 Original

House Bill 1162 Bill Analysis