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IN: Accountability plan spurs achievement gains for district


Increased student achievement is the long-term goal for the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township.

Summary: Making accountability a matter of policy has helped this school district narrow the acheivement gap and raise students' achievement scores overall.

Accountability is not a word to be feared in the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township near Indianapolis. A system-wide accountability plan has helped spur noticeable student achievement gains and narrowed the achievement gap, especially in math. 

The plan grew out of the district’s regular process of setting annual goals, says Superintendent Terry Thompson. He credits board members with supporting a series of locally developed indicators, or standards, including performance by students and teachers, parental involvement, community partnership, and leadership. Today it is the basis for important changes in curriculum, instruction, schedules and decision making.

District Characteristics
Name: Metropolitan SD
State: Indiana
Type: Suburban
Grades: K–12
Enrollment: 14,079
Students per teacher: 17

Enrollment Characteristics
Economically disadvantaged: 50%
English language learners: n.a.
Students with disabilities: 16%
White: 62.4%
Black: 29.3%
Hispanic: 6.6%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 1.4%
American Indian/Alaska Native: 0.3%
Other: n.a.
Source: SchoolDataDirect.com

Using the accountability plan, the board looks at cause and effect when establishing policy or doing strategic planning. In addition, when schools make annual progress reports to the board, Thompson says, the accountability system forms the structure and content of the reports.

And the results in the classroom? “This year every school in the system, including both high- and low-poverty schools, achieved significant improvement in academic achievement as measured by both state and district assessments,” Thompson says. Increased student achievement has always been the district’s long-term goal. Recent district statistics suggest that the achievement gap usually associated with economically disadvantaged students and with minorities has dropped to less than 10 percentage points. In math scores among middle school and elementary children, the gap has almost been closed.

Visit the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township web site for more information.

Karen J. Gould
Assistant Superintendent
Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township
City, State zip 
Phone: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
Email: karen.gould@wayne.k12.in.us

Posted: August 27, 2006

©2006 Center for Public Education

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