For Immediate Release:
April 26, 2021
Ted Fisher, email@example.com
Montpelier, VT — The Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) has released an updated version of the Annual Snapshot. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s snapshot contains less data than previous releases. We are unable to report many indicators of academic achievement, as the assessments on which they are based were not conducted during the 2019-20 academic year. The Annual Snapshot can be found at schoolsnapshot.vermont.gov.
“As with so much during this past year, we have had to adjust expectations due to the pandemic,” said Secretary of Education Dan French. “While many indicators are not reported this year and we did not make accountability determinations as in the past, there is still essential information that can be learned from this year’s snapshot, including trends in student engagement, one of the pillars of our COVID-19 recovery planning.”
Vermont administers the Smarter Balanced assessment annually in the spring to students in grades three through nine. Those tests, as well as state science and physical education tests were not conducted in the spring of 2020, and are therefore not represented in this release of the Snapshot. English learner proficiency assessments were completed in advance of the state of emergency. Graduation rates are also reported in the latest version of the Snapshot.
In a typical year, the academic achievement indicators are used to inform instructional decisions in supervisory unions and districts and to determine eligibility for Equity Supports for those schools that have large and persistent performance gaps between historically marginalized students and their historically privileged peers.
Some indicators for which data is available are occasionally overlooked, providing an opportunity to highlight and learn from them.
These indicators suggest that additional work is necessary to support our most vulnerable students. Our English learners are making progress toward proficiency in English at lower rates than desired and those proficiency rates are declining.
The College and Career Ready and Flexible Pathways Participation and Offerings indicators suggest a continuing equity gap for demonstrations of readiness and access between our Historically Privileged and Historically Marginalized students. Additionally, there is a national conversation around educator retention in the wake of the pandemic. We will be carefully tracking our educator retention indicator over the course of the next two years.
About the Annual Snapshot
The Annual Snapshot shows detail about school, supervisory union and district, and statewide achievement in meeting Vermont’s Education Quality Standards. These standards are measured across five domains: Academic Proficiency, Personalization, Safe and Healthy Schools, High Quality Staffing and Investment Priorities. Academic Proficiency and Safe and Healthy Schools did not receive a receive a rating based on 2019-20 reporting.
Together with the Integrated Field Reviews, the Snapshot helps school systems identify successes and areas for improvement for their Continuous Improvement Plans. These plans help SD/SUs meet their goals to ensure high quality schools and equal access to students from Vermont’s historically vulnerable communities. The Snapshot is part of a more holistic approach to assessing performance, focused on continuous improvement.