Nebraska Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt says there might be a new measuring stick, but the object remains the same.
“In many ways, we are trying to win the hearts and minds of educators to do the right things,” Blomstedt says. “So often they get fixated on what those measures were and how they were being held accountable. We would like to see a change in attitude around, hey look, focus on your students in front of you.”
Blomstedt says the movement toward assessment in the classroom has been strong throughout the country. The new accountability system in Nebraska is named “AQuEST,” the first-ever classification system for public schools which begins this school year.
Blomstedt says the new system classifies schools in four categories: excellent, great, good, and needs improvement.
“Out of the ‘needs improvement’ category, we have to identify three schools that we would provide some level of intervention and that was required by law,” Blomstedt explains. “That intervention in the priority school designation as a whole is really about us identifying places that are in most need of assistance to improve.”
Brent Weithorn, KXPN, contributed to this story.