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
Proposed Accountability Changes

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction is proposing to change its school accountability systems for the 2021-2022 school year. We believe this is necessary because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020-2021 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 2020-2021 school accountability report will be released mid-August 2021.  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:  January 18, 2021 to February 19, 2021
WIDA Access for ELLs Testing 

Test Window: 1/11/2021 to 2/19/2021    

Final Student Data File received by June 30, 2021

North Dakota State Assessment

Grades 3-8, 10 Test Window: March 15, 2021 to May 7, 2021 

Final Student Data File received by June 30, 2021

ACT Testing  Paper/Pencil Testing:
  • Test Window 1:  Tuesday, March 2, 2021
  • Test Window 2:  Tuesday, March 23, 2021
  • Test Window 3:  Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Final State Junior Test Student Data File received by June 15, 2021

Graduation Report Deadline to submit report:  June 30, 2021
Choice Ready Report Deadline to submit report:  June 30, 2021