Seattle Schools Not Meeting Five-Year Academic Goals

Nov 2, 2012

Four years into Seattle Schools' five-year strategic plan, all of the goals have yet to be met.
Four years into Seattle Schools' five-year strategic plan, all of the goals have yet to be met.
Credit Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Public Schools has not met any of the 23 student performance goals the district set for itself four years ago in its five-year plan called "Excellence for All."

Superintendent Jose Banda announced the results of the District Scorecard and individual School Reports at the annual State of the District address. He said overall academic achievement is up in the district. So is the graduation rate. But with one year left before the target date, the Excellence For All goals are far from being met.

"The strategic plan put us on the right path, and although we accomplished many things, including increases in student academic success, much work still remains to be done," Banda said.

The District Scorecard he unveiled shows that the district is falling short on every single academic goal in the strategic plan: from the percentage of poor students proficient on the state reading test, to the percentage of students graduating on time, to the percentage of sixth graders passing all their classes. The gaps range from 2 to 34 percentage points on where the district is, and where it’s supposed to be by the end of the school year.

Superintendent Banda says the goals the School Board laid out in 2008 were lofty, but ill-timed. “The implementation of the plan was followed by a severe downturn in our economy which resulted in cuts to school funding, and unfortunately a loss of really essential operating funds and revenues,” he said.

Banda said he’s hopeful that the new teacher evaluation process will improve student outcomes, as well as a new focus on early childhood education and curriculum alignment.

The superintendent will give an overview of his State of the District address for the public on Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at district headquarters.