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Volunteers needed for differentiated accountability pilot

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Iowa Department of Education is seeking 30-40 volunteer districts, nonpublic schools, preschool programs and Area Education Agencies to participate in a pilot program for implementing a new model of accreditation and improvement for districts, AEAs, and pre-kindergarten programs.

The Department will implement a pilot of the new system, called differentiated accountability, during the 2015-2016 school year, with full implementation in 2016-2017. The new system is designed to reward high-functioning schools and programs with greater flexibility while giving more support to those that need it.

Pilot participants will:

  • Complete a brief survey to indicate availability to participate;
  • Complete a desk audit to check for compliance requirements for all state and federal programs;
  • Have their Healthy Indicator data reviewed by Department staff;
  • Potentially participate in additional desk audits or remote interviews;
  • Potentially have a team engage in an on-site visit; and
  • Provide critical input and feedback to the new process.

Differentiated accountability continues to be developed by the Department with input from representatives from AEAs, school districts, institutes of higher education, the Iowa State Education Association, School Administrators of Iowa and Iowa Association of School Boards.

The Department also needs to account for statewide representation in the pilot (such as size, geography and preschool programs). If there isn’t enough adequate representation through volunteers, the Department will choose some districts and schools to participate.

The Department will host a webinar on March 24 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. to provide more information about the new differentiated accountability model, and what it means to be a pilot school in 2015-16.

Districts and schools wishing to participate in the pilot program must fill out a survey by March 30. The survey should only be completed by the district superintendent or nonpublic school administrator. A separate survey for AEA participation in the pilot was sent directly to AEA chief administrators. Pilot sites will be chosen in May.

More information Iowa’s differentiated accountability system is available on the Department’s Differentiated Accountability System webpage or by contacting Amy Williamson at

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Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on February 22, 2018 at 8:27pm.