Decisions to be Incorporated Into Proposed State Plan

As the AOE identified proposals throughout 2016-17 to incorporate into a draft Vermont State Plan, a brief summary of each proposal was posted here. All proposals are designed to reflect ESSA requirements while also aligning to Vermont policy. Proposals are categorized under the four agency workgroups that coordinated the review of the ESSA questions under consideration: Accountability, Consolidated Federal Programs, Educator Quality, and School Effectiveness.

The final Plan will be posted when it has been reviewed and approved by the US Department of Education.

Accountability Decisions

Proposal 1 - Low Income and Minority Children

  • Question to Consider:
    • Should the AOE follow Federal Guidelines when determining if low income and minority children are being disproportionately served by inexperienced teachers?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • The AOE will follow the federal guidelines for this performance indicator.
  • Low-income and minority children data decision summary

Proposal 2 - Standardized Testing

  • Question to Consider:
    • Should the AOE increase the amount of annual standardized testing required for Vermont students?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • The AOE will not increase the amount of annual standardized testing required for Vermont students.
  • Amount of standardized testing decision summary

Proposal 3 - Using Smarter Balanced and NECAP Assessments

Proposal 4 - Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards

  • Question to Consider:
    • Should Vermont continue to support the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as statewide learning standards?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont should continue to support CCSS and NGSS.
  • CCSS and NGSS decision summary

Proposal 5 - Proficiency Standards for ELL

  • Question to Consider:
    • Should Vermont continue to use its existing content proficiency standards for students qualifying as ELL?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont should continue to use its existing content proficiency standards for students qualifying as ELL.
  • ELL content proficiency standards decision summary

Proposal 6 - Partner with NGSS Consortium

  • Question to Consider:
    • Should the AOE continue to partner with a consortium that’s supporting development of an NGSS-aligned science assessment tool?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • The AOE will continue to support the development of this tool.
  • NGSS-aligned science assessment tool decision summary

Proposal 7 - Multiple Measures for Performance

  • Question to Consider:
    • State accountability systems must include multiple measures for performance, including academic indicators, and additional measures of school quality.
  • Proposed Decision:
    •  A variety of measures are currently being investigated and modeled by the AOE, for the purposes of possible inclusion in an accountability measures proposal.
  • Performance measures under review decision summary

Proposal 8 - Minimum Number of Students for Reporting

  • Question to Consider:
    • What should our minimum number of students (often referred to as “n-size") be in a federal accountability subgroup?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • The proposed N-size for subgroups is 25 unique students. Rolling averages will be used to report data at the school and SU/SD level.
  • N-size decision summary

Proposal 9:  Researching the Implications of 9th Grade Testing

  • Question to Consider:
    • Should the AOE research the implications of moving Smarter Balanced testing from 11th grade to 9th grade?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • The AOE will research the implications of this decision and will use that research to inform a forthcoming decision about standardized testing requirements in Vermont high schools.
  • High School Smarter Balanced Decision Summary

Proposal 10:  Additional Research on Weighting of Performance Measures

  • Question to Consider:
    • Should the AOE propose two approaches to the weighting of accountability performance measures: one reflecting a system of multiple scores, and one reflecting a single, aggregate score?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • The AOE will research both approaches, and will use that research to inform a forthcoming decision about the weighting of performance measures within an accountability system.
  • Approaches to Weighting Decision Summary

Proposal 11:  Alignment of Academic Standards with College and Career Readiness

  • Question to Consider:
    • Do Vermont’s Math and English standards support college and career readiness?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont’s current learning standards, adopted with the approval of the State Board of Education, have been accepted as supporting college and career readiness.
  • College and Career Learning Standards Decision Summary

Proposal 12:  Innovative Assessment Model Participation

  • Question to Consider:
    • Should Vermont participate with a group of states using federal funds to create a more innovative assessment model?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont does not have the capacity to participate in this project this year, but will reconsider in future years, if applicable.
  • Innovative Assessment Model Decision Summary

Proposal 13:  Well-Rounded Education Definition

  • Question to Consider:
    • Should Vermont adopt the ESSA definition of a “well-rounded education”?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont’s definition of a well-rounded education is EQS Rule 2120.5, which describes Vermont’s Curriculum Content Areas, and is in alignment with ESSA.
  • Well-Rounded Education Decision Summary

Proposal 14:  LEA Report Card Decision Summary

  • Question to Consider:
    • How will the AOE meet the ESSA requirement that Vermont have a LEA report card?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont intends to have the Educator Quality Review (EQR) Annual Snapshot also serve as our LEA Report Card.
  • LEA Report Card Decision Summary

Proposal 15:  Data Management System Funding

  • Question to Consider:
    • Will the AOE apply for federal funding to support Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) and Local Comprehensive Assessment System (LCAS) development and implementation?
  • Proposed Decision: 
    • Vermont will apply for this funding.
  • Data Management System Funding Decision Summary

Proposal 16: State Assessment Participation Rate

  • Question to Consider:
    • How will Vermont ensure that at least 95% of students are assessed for each annual assessment?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • In schools with over 100 students, the school’s summative test score will be multiplied by the percentage of students taking the test to produce a “final” summative test score.
  • State Assessment Participation Rate Decision Summary

Proposal 17: Identifying Lowest Performing Schools

  • Question to Consider:
    • How will indicators be weighted to identify the schools performing in the lowest 5% of schools for the federal ESSA accountability system?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Schools will receive a rating for current year performance and the difference between this year’s attainment and that of the prior year.
  • Identifying Lowest Performing Schools Summary (DP 23)

Proposal 18:  Academic Performance Goals

  • Question to Consider:
    • What academic performance goals will we expect schools to meet within a Vermont accountability system?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • For all of Vermont’s identified indicators, our long-term goal is for 100% of all students to reach proficiency.  Interim goals for each indicator will be determined and school performance against those interim goals will be translated into numerical scales.
  • Academic Performance Goals Summary (DP 32 and 34)

Proposal 19:  English Language Proficiency

  • Question to Consider:
    • How is Vermont going to meet the requirement to establish long-term English language proficiency goals and interim measures?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Long-term goals will be determined based on the student’s initial language proficiency.  Interim goals will be calculated based on initial ELP levels and proficiency cut scores for appropriate grades.
  • English Language Proficiency Summary (DP 33 and 67)

Proposal 20: Comprehensive and Targeted Supports

  • Question to Consider:
    • How will schools be identified for, how will schools exit, and what will be the consequences of Comprehensive and Targeted supports?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Comprehensive school identification and exiting will be determined by considering both school performance and change in performance from the previous year.  Targeted support will be determined by the size of the equity gap and change in the equity gap from the previous year.
  • Comprehensive and Targeted Supports Summary (45 and 46)

Proposal 21:  Recently Arrived English Learner Participation in Assessments

  • Question to Consider:
    • Under what circumstances should an EL student who has recently arrived in the US be excluded from participation in ELA academic assessments?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • An English learner will be excluded from ELA testing in Year 1 of “arriving” in U.S. schools; An English learner will take the ELA test and their proficiency results will be included in accountability determinations in Year 2.
  • Recently Arrived English Learner Participation in Assessments Summary (DP 48)

Proposal 22:  School Performance Levels

  • Question to Consider:
    • How many school performance levels will there be and what should they be called?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • The four-level scale is based on established benchmarks of performance rather than relative performance.  We are currently using a metaphor of a target for displaying this information however, as we work with our vendor to produce the graphic displays, this imagery and terminology may change.
  • School Performance Levels Summary (DP 63)

Proposal 23:  English Learners Demonstrating Proficiency

  • Question to Consider:
    • Will Vermont exercise the option of including, for not more than four years after a student exits the English learner subgroup, former EL students’ scores as a part of making annual determinations?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont does not recommend exercising this option for students formerly identified as EL.
  • English Learners Demonstrating Proficiency Summary (DP 65)

Proposal 24:  State and Federal Accountability System

  • Question to Consider:
    • Should Vermont pursue a single accountability system for both state and federal accountability purposes?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont should fully pursue a state accountability plan which matches our central goals as articulated in Education Quality Standards and use a sub-set of that accountability plan to meet federal requirements.
  • State and Federal Accountability System Summary (DP 67a)

Proposal 25:  Students Attending Schools Outside of Their SU/SD

  • Question to Consider:
    • How should Vermont hold Supervisory Unions/Districts responsible for the outcomes of students that attend schools other than those operated by the SU/SD?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont should not apply federal accountability to students who are not attending schools operated by entities other than the SU/SD, but should apply state accountability requirements to all students reported in the annual census and counted for ADM.
  • Students Attending Schools Outside of Their SU/SD Summary (DP 67b)

Consolidated Federal Programs Decisions

Proposal 1 - Direct Student Services

  • Question to Consider:
    • Should the State reserve the optional 3% of the State’s Title I allocation for “direct student services” (often called “Supplemental Education Services” or SES)?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont should not exercise the option to reserve 3% of its Title I allocation for direct student services.
  • Supplemental Education Services Decision Summary

Proposal 2 - 7% for LEAs

  • Question to Consider:
    • How should the State distribute the 7% set aside to LEAs – competitive or by formula? And should the State provide some services that the LEAs could buy back?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • The State should allocate 95% of this funding on a formula basis; the state should offer high quality services for LEAs to potentially “buy back” with 7% of their funding.
  • 7% set aside decision summary

Proposal 3 - Consolidated Application

  • Question to Consider:
    • Does the AOE want LEAs to use a consolidated application for formula grants through a web-based platform?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Formula grants will be consolidated in a single web-based platform application for all LEAs.
  • Web-based grant platform decision summary

Proposal 4 - Title IV, A Grants

  • Question to Consider:
    • What is the best use of the state set aside for Title IV, A grants?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Use the state portion of the grant to hire a full-time employee to monitor and provide technical assistance to LEAs receiving Title IV, A money through the formula grant.
  • Title IV, A grant funding decision summary

Proposal 5 - Consolidate Administrative Funds

  • Question to Consider:
    • Will we continue to allow LEAs to consolidate administrative funds?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Continue to allow LEAs to consolidate their administrative funds where possible, and maintain current practice where current practice is effective.
  • LEA administrative funds decision summary

Proposal 6:  Definition of a Preschool

  • Question to Consider:
    • What definition of a Preschool child will Vermont use for ESSA programs?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont will define a preschool student as currently defined under Act 166, VSA Title 16 Section 829.
  • Preschool Definition Decision Summary

Proposal 7:  Ombudsman Roles and Responsibilities

  • Question to Consider:
    • How should the AOE take on Ombudsman Monitoring and Compliance responsibilities for an AOE-wide position that has no funding associated with it?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • An Ombudsman will be identified from within current AOE staff
  • Ombudsman Decision Summary

Proposal 8:  Transfer of Title Funds Between Titles

Proposal 9:  Waivers for Schoolwide Program Status

  • Question to Consider:
    • What process will Vermont use to review and approve waivers for Title 1 schools wishing to operate as a Schoolwide Program, but whose student demographics don’t meet the requisite 40% poverty threshold?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • The AOE CFP team will coordinate this process.  For additional details, please see the Decision Summary below.
  • Waivers for Schoolwide Program Status Decision Summary

Proposal 10:  Foster Families Data

  • Question to Consider:
    • What will be the methodology and frequency for collecting data on foster families?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont will allow for quarterly accounting of foster students for accountability reporting purposes and work with the Department for Children and Families to accommodate new data usage to meet reporting requirements.
  • Foster Families Data Summary (DP 40-41a)

Proposal 11:  Homeless Children and Youth Data

  • Question to Consider:
    • What will be the methodology and frequency for collecting data on homeless children and youth?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont will change homeless student data collection process to include student name, school and student ID number.
  • Homeless Children and Youth Data Summary (DP 40-41b)

Proposal 12:  Military Families Data

  • Question to Consider:
    • What will be the methodology and frequency for collecting data on military families?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont will collaborate with the Military Compact Commissioner to ensure an accounting of children of military families.
  • Military Families Data Summary (DP 40-41c)

Proposal 13:  Early Childhood Education

  • Question to Consider:
    • How will the Vermont support SU/SDs choosing to use Title I funds to support early childhood education?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • The Vermont Agency of Education will provide technical assistance and professional development to SU/SDs providing early childhood education through Title I funds, including, but limited to, implementation of the Vermont Early Learning Standards.
  • Early Childhood Education Summary (DP 68)

School Effectiveness Decisions

Proposal 1 - Improvement Strategies

  • Question to Consider:
    • What improvement strategies should the AOE provide to SUs and SDs, and should SUs and SDs provide to ESSA-identified schools?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • The AOE recommends a variety of SEA and LEA supports to facilitate continuous improvement at the school and LEA level.
  • Improvement Strategies decision summary

Proposal 2 - Continuous Improvement Plan

  • Question to Consider:
    • How should the Continuous Improvement Plan process and format be revised to reflect ESSA requirements?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • The state will require one SU/SD Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) that also houses the CIPs for schools within the SU/SD.
  • Continuous Improvement Plan decision summary

Educator Quality Decisions

Proposal 1:  Disproportionate Service of Vulnerable Student Populations by Less-Qualified Educators

  • Question to Consider:
    • What measures should the AOE adopt to determine if Vermont’s low-income and minority children are served at disproportionate rates by less-qualified educators?
  • Proposed Decision:
  • Vermont will propose reporting three measures, as described in the Decision Summary form below
  • Disproportionate Service by Less-Qualified Educators Decision Summary

Proposal 2:  Educator Licensing Standards

  • Question to Consider:
    • What teacher licensing standards should Vermont adopt?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont’s current licensing standards meet ESSA requirements and should remain in place.
  • Licensing Requirements Decision Summary

Proposal 3:  Title IIA Set Aside

  • Question to Consider:
    • Is Vermont going to retain up to an additional 3% of Title IIA funds for additional state activities for principals and other school leaders?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont will retain up to an additional 3% of Title IIA funds to support a Leadership Academy for principals and other schools leaders for schools receiving Comprehensive or Targeted Supports.
  • Title IIA Set Aside Summary (DP 36a)

Finance Decisions

Proposal 1:   Maintenance of Effort

  • Question to Consider:
    • Will Maintenance of Effort (MOE) continue to be calculated by the AOE’s fiscal department, going forward?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont will largely continue current practice, with the fiscal department continuing to calculate MOE, using a modified calculation that reflects the changes to ESEA described in ESSA.
  • Maintenance of Effort Summary (DP 20)

Proposal 2:   Per-Pupil Expenditures

  • Question to Consider:
    • How will Vermont collect and disaggregate per-pupil expenditure data across state and federal funding sources?
  • Proposed Decision:
    • Vermont will take advantage of ESSA’s statutory provision for a one-year extension of the deadline associated with establishing this data management system to continue the developing and implementing a financial management system consisting of a uniform chart of accounts and financial data reporting/collection system for use by all SU/SDs.
  • Per-Pupil Expenditures Summary (DP 49)

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Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Rebecca Holcombe
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641

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