Secretary’s Principle Three Approval Letter for Washington ESEA Flexibility

March 26, 2013

The Honorable Randall I. Dorn
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Washington Department of Public Instruction
P.O. Box 47200
Olympia, WA 98504

Dear Superintendent Dorn:

I am writing to inform you of the outcome of the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s) review of Washington’s guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems. During the week of July 16, 2012, two peer experts reviewed Washington’s guidelines and the corresponding changes to Principle 3 of Washington’s request. ED staff also reviewed Washington’s submission and both the peers and ED provided feedback to Washington regarding its submission.

Based on the review of Washington’s guidelines and the corresponding changes to Principle 3 of its ESEA flexibility request, and the information Washington submitted February 1, 2013, in response to peer and ED feedback, it is determined that Washington has not yet adopted guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that meet all requirements of ESEA flexibility.

In particular, Washington has not yet determined how it will measure student growth for English Learners and students with disabilities. Washington also has not fully determined how it will measure growth for teachers of students in non-tested grades and subjects, nor has Washington finalized consequences for educators who receive low student growth ratings. This determination is consistent with the condition that ED placed on the July 19, 2012 approval of Washington’s request for ESEA flexibility. Accordingly, in order to receive full approval of its ESEA flexibility request through the 2013–2014 school year, Washington must continue its work to satisfy the condition placed on the approval of its request and, prior to the end of the 2012–2013 school year, submit evidence that it has satisfied the condition along with a request for an extension of the approval of its request, as indicated in ED’s July 19, 2012 letter.

On February 1, 2013, Washington submitted Chapter 392-191A of the Washington Administrative Code, which outlines regulations for teacher and principal evaluation systems and requires each focused evaluation to use student growth data. ED accepted this information to satisfy the condition related to Washington’s commitment to seeking a legislative change to require that focused educator evaluations include student growth.

Please keep in mind that Washington must submit additional evidence that satisfies the condition originally placed on its approved request as well as the additional outstanding requirements identified above before receiving approval to continue implementing ESEA flexibility during the 2013-2014 school year. Should Washington wish to make any other changes that affect its implementation of ESEA flexibility, it may need to amend its approved ESEA flexibility request. If you have any questions regarding the amendment process or anything else related to Washington’s implementation of ESEA flexibility, please contact Leslie Clithero at (202) 260-1840 or

A copy of Washington’s Principle 3 submission will be posted on ED’s Web site at:

I look forward to Washington’s continued progress in fully implementing ESEA flexibility and to continuing to support the State as you work to improve the quality of instruction and academic achievement for all students in Washington. Thank you for your commitment to all students in Washington.



Deborah S. Delisle
Assistant Secretary
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

cc: Bob Harmon, Assistant Superintendent, Special Programs and Federal Accountability

Secretary's Principle Three Approval Letter for Washington ESEA Flexibility