The purpose of our accountability system is to provide statewide responsibility of all stakeholders to pursue our North Dakota vision. Through this accountability framework, North Dakota will:

  • Provide transparency and public reporting of key performance and improvement indicators for all schools, districts, and the state;
  • Ensure all schools and districts are engaged in a process of continuous improvement;

  • Identify when and where desired results are not being achieved, and prioritize which schools are most in need of support; and

  • Allocate resources and support services, increase oversight and engagement, and elevate accountability for those schools most in need of support.

North Dakota’s accountability system will provide a framework upon which we consistently, continuously, and holistically evaluate the ability of our state’s education system to achieve desired outcomes. North Dakota wrote a plan focused around a continuous improvement theme. North Dakota’s discussions with its State ESSA Planning Committee focused on the use of a dashboard for all schools, which would allow multiple factors to be used when outlining a school’s measure of quality.

North Dakota is collaborating with Cognia (formerly AdvancED) on many elements addressing continuous improvement and on the development of an index model for incorporating growth within each school’s dashboard. North Dakota intends to apply a composite growth model within its accountability system under ESSA. Any academic achievement goals, either long-term or interim, would apply to composite and subgroup academic achievement for schools, districts, and the state.
Currently, North Dakota uses Cognia statewide for approval and as a system of improvement of all public schools. First and foremost, all schools will participate in continuous school improvement through the Cognia process. The second action will entail the targeted school system of support, and the third action will entail the comprehensive system of support.

Q & A

Q: Why do I have zero points in certain sections of the Accountability Index on the SLDS , but I have percentages? For example, I have a 100% graduation rate, but zero points. Shouldn’t I get points as well?

A: In this example there were seven students who graduated out of a total of seven. In the SLDS you will see percentage data and no points awarded because your “n” size is smaller than 10 students. This “n” size is a small subgroup whose data can easily be matched with a student if a person would research more deeply. Thus, “n” sizes keep students safe and unidentifiable, and you will not see this information released. In the example that began this paragraph the “n” size of seven was too small to report data.

The points that would have been given in this section of the Index is equitably distributed to other factors in the Index making other accountability factors worth more points. In addition, this information will not be published on the Insights dashboard.

Q: Why does the graph show 0% assessment participation when I select grade 11 participation data?

A: To see the actual high school assessment participation rate, you must choose grade 10 for districts using the NDSA for high school accountability or grade 11 for districts using the ACT for high school accountability.  Selection of a grade that does not take an assessment for accountability will display a graph showing a zero-participation rate.

Q: Why can’t data be published for students in a subgroup with an “n” size small then 10?

A: To protect student privacy, any data elements involving fewer than 10 students are not displayed. Additionally, information involving 10 or more students may be displayed in ranges to avoid potential identification of students.

Accountability During COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education approved the North Dakota’s Department of Public Instruction’s waiver request for skipping the administration of school accountability because of the unique circumstances and challenges faced by schools in their response to the pandemic. Therefore, NDDPI did not calculate the Accountability Index for schools for the 2019-2020 report cards.  Furthermore, State Assessments were not administered, and schools were not required to submit Choice Ready data for the 2019-2020 school year. Additionally, NDDPI is reporting School Support Status based upon school performance results for the 2018-2019 school year.

To account for gaps in the available data, when appropriate, school performance results from the 2018-2019 academic year have been copied into the 2019-2020 displays for the following school performance measures.

  • Student Achievement (ELA, Math, Science)
  • Student Growth (ELA and Math)
  • Choice Ready

NDDPI did calculate the school results for the 2019-2020 academic year based upon available data for the following school performance measures:

  • Graduation Rate
  • Completer Rate
  • English Learner Proficiency Growth

Furthermore, progress toward achieving Long-Term Goals has been calculated to use 2018-2019 results for the progress on State Assessments for ELA and Math.

Comment on Accountability Change

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction is proposing to change its school accountability systems for the 2020-2021 school year. We believe this is necessary because our normal assessment and accountability requirements were waived during the 2019-2020 school year. This waiver was done because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Education requires states to give all school districts and interested people in North Dakota a notice of the proposed changes and a reasonable opportunity to comment on them. We are posting this accountability addendum on our website to give people who are interested an opportunity to read it and comment about it.

Please review the accountability addendum and send any comments you wish to make to Laurie Matzke or call 701-328-2284. 

2019-2020 Accountability Calendar

Under ESSA, State education departments are required to annually create an accountability report for every public school in the state.

The school accountability reports outline how schools are performing on the accountability elements North Dakota selected within the ESSA plan.

The 2019-2020 school accountability report will be released mid-August 2020.  Listed below are the report deadlines and key dates so that schools can be prepared, as well as, the link to additional information on the NDDPI website.

Student Engagement Survey Survey Window:  October 15, 2019 to December 6, 2019
WIDA Access for ELLs Testing 

Test Window: 1/14/2020 – 2/21/2020    

Scores available 5/22/2020

North Dakota State Assessment

Grades 3-8, 10 Test Window: March 16, 2020 - May 8, 2020 

Final Student Data File received from AIR by June 30

ACT Testing  Paper/Pencil Testing:
  • Initial Test Date: Tuesday, March 3, 2020
  • Makeup Test Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020
  • Emergency Test Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Final State Junior Test Student Data file received by June 15

Graduation Report Deadline to submit report – June 30, 2020
Choice Ready Report Deadline to submit report – June 30, 2020