December 22, 2015
You are a part of something broader, bolder, better. That is the iconic message from the Nebraska Department of Education to all their stakeholders. This is in reference to AQuESTT which stands for Accountability for a Quality Education System, Today and Tomorrow. AQuESTT is a framework under the umbrella of school improvement and accountability. Support for schools that don’t perform well is built in to this framework. There is an informative website that has links to different resources for your perusal www.aquestt.com
On the website there is a “key messages” packet with an informational one-pager giving different stakeholder groups a summary of AQuESTT. Following is a list of the information on the Key Messages for Policymakers:
• You have the unique opportunity to be part of a changing system that will help ensure a quality education for all students in Nebraska.
• AQuESTT is a next generation accountability system developed by Nebraskans for Nebraska. It goes beyond what is required by statute, providing much more than a test-based method for measuring student achievement. It is unlike any other state system of accountability.
• AQuESTT considers the broader educational experiences and success of each student, not just performance on mandated assessments. Student growth and improvement over time are just as important.
• AQuESTT is focused on continuous improvement for schools. The system is built on six key investments: 1) positive partnerships, relationships, and student success, 2) transitions, 3) educational opportunities and access, 4) college and career ready, 5) assessment, and 6) educator effectiveness. Success in these areas will result in better outcomes for all students and schools.
• AQuESTT classifies schools and districts into four performance levels: excellent, great, good, and needs improvement. As a result, the system can focus on students in schools most in need of assistance to improve.
• To enhance AQuESTT efforts, NDE provides systems of support centered on two key areas: 1) teaching and learning and 2) student success and access.
• Three priority schools will be designated from the needs improvement classification level.
• By working collaboratively and focusing on AQuESTT’s six tenets, we can help enhance the education system, positively impact our children and schools, and create a better Nebraska. Together, we can build a broader, bolder, and better system for all students
As ESU personnel we look forward to great things happening as Nebraskans work together to make our schools vibrant places of learning for all of our students.
-by Susan Evans, Teaching and Learning Coordinator