Raising the red flag on state of the schools

Months have passed and the Federal Way School District still has not published the 2018-2019 Smarter Balanced Assessment district and individual school results.

Months have passed and the Federal Way School District still has not published the 2018-2019 Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) district and individual SBA school results on the district data-dashboard, but did remove the 2017-2018 SBA test data; wow!

That said, Federal Way should never tolerate a school district that does not publish SBA data to the taxpaying public; especially, to those of us who have children in this school district. Specifically, I think any superintendent or board member who agrees to not publish SBA district and SBA individual school results should immediately resign or be immediately recalled.

The superintendent and school board may have the authority to dictate the school district narrative on how the data-dashboard information is interpreted and presented to Federal Way, but the superintendent and school board have absolutely no authority to dictate to anyone else how to interpret, analyze, or for what purpose to use that data.

Like it or not, the SBA is required and is unfiltered raw data that measures a certain level of student academic competency in math and English. Like the SAT and ACT, the SBA is not some arbitrary conjured up waste of time exam just to generate some meaningless standard; these exams indicate post high school readiness. And, because taking the SBA is a graduation requirement, this district should be laserly focused on ensuring that all students are educated to the level necessary to pass the SBA and not rely on allowable alternative paths to circumvent passing the SBA.

Based on 2017-2018 scores we can understand why the superintendent and school board would be embarrassed to reveal the current SBA scores after having an entire year to prepare students for the 2018-2019 SBA, especially if there was no improvement in these latest scores.

So, until this superintendent and board prove that the SBA is an educational waste of time then all of Federal Way needs to continue to raise the worrisome red flag as to the state of the schools here in Federal Way in the best interest of students and again for many of us, our own children.

Finally, in the spirit of transparency the school district needs to publish the latest SBA results immediately along with the old results, and I think now is the time for Federal Way to cut out the school board and change the superintendent position to an elected position.

Frank Comito

Federal Way

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