Questions you as a board member should ask
Kentucky School Advocate
Kentucky Education Commissioner Dr. Stephen Pruitt spoke to school board members at KSBA’s Summer Leadership Institute about the state’s new proposed accountability system. During his remarks, he noted questions that school board members should be asking about each indicator that will be used to determine the district’s star rating.
• Is proficiency or above the expectation for every student in our district?
• Are all students being taught the same rigor of standards?
• Is instruction focused on learning or test results?
• What supports are provided to students who are struggling?
• What supports are provided to students who are high performing?
Growth (Elementary and Middle)
• What are our schools doing to help students:
o Catch up?
o Keep up?o Move up?
• How do parents/ students know what the student’s annual growth goal is?
• Do they know how we are supporting the student to reach his/her growth goal?
• What supports are we providing ELs and their families to ensure greater English fluency?
Achievement Gap Closure
• Do we have an achievement gap?
For what student groups?
• What are we doing now and what do we plan to do differently to close the achievement gap for these students?
• Are we really committed to improve the performance of every student and every student group?
• What are we as a district doing to support our schools in closing the achievement gap and improving proficiency of every student in every group in every school?
• How do we know each student is ready for the next level of his/her education?
• How do we identify students who are not on track for readiness and provide supports that will ensure their readiness?
• How do we offer students multiple opportunities for academic and technical readiness?
Opportunity and Access
• Does every child in our district have access to a rigorous standards-based instruction in all subjects?
• Do all of our students have access to a well-rounded education?
• How can we collaborate with other districts to provide more opportunities for our students?
• Do we proportionally identify students for gifted and talented services and provide a level of service and advanced coursework that will challenge these students to expand their knowledge?
• Are essential skills overtly taught and reinforced as part of our curriculum? How?
• Do all students have access to school supports that will help make them successful?
• How do we assign our teachers? Do our academically neediest students have access to the most effective teachers?
• What is our local measure and how is it determined?
Overall Accountability Rating
• In what areas are we as a district, as well as our individual schools, strong? Weak?
• How do we ensure that our policy and budget decisions are research-based and data-driven?
• How do we recognize and reward students, teachers and schools that meet or exceed performance goals?
• What are the consequences and interventions for students, teachers and schools that have not met goals?
• How are results reported to teachers, parents, the public?
• How do we evaluate the board’s role in accountability?
• How do staff and students know what is expected?
• How is success or failure assessed?
• What are the system’s rewards and consequences for success and failure?
• How do we support low performing schools to improve?
• How do results factor into staff evaluations?
• What are we doing to ensure all our students and schools are continuously improving?