Montana OPI ESSA Consolidated State Plan Amendment Request

April 24, 2024


As part of Montana’s Federal Flexibility Testing Waiver for the Montana Aligned to Standards Through Year (MAST) assessment pilot this school year (2023-2024), the U.S. Department of Education required OPI to indicate how it will measure the other academic indicator (student growth) in the 2024-2025 school year. Because about half of grades 3 to 8 students participated in the SBAC statewide assessment and half participated in the MAST in the 2023-2024 school year, the OPI is required to propose how it will address the growth indicator for the 2024-2025 school year. While addressing the growth indicator, the OPI is simultaneously proposing to maintain school designations for the 2024-2025 school year.

Montana’s federally required school accountability system includes the following indicators:

1-4 Federally Required Indicators

  • Academic Achievement on Statewide Assessments: ELA/Reading & Math
  • Academic Growth on Statewide Assessments ELA/Reading & Math (K-8 Only)
  • English Learner Progress
  • Graduation Rates (HS Only)

5th Indicator for Montana Flexibility

  • Attendance
  • College & Career Ready (HS Only)
  • Science Assessment


Note that the achievement and growth indicators must be based on statewide assessments only.

All indicators can be computed for school year 2024-2025, with a modification to how the growth indicator is calculated. Currently, growth is measured as the change in performance from one year to the next. However, since only approximately half of the schools will have test scores in 2023-2024, the current growth model indicator, based on consecutive years, will not work for all schools.

Therefore, OPI proposes a “skip-year” growth model for evaluating growth for 2024-2025, where growth will be evaluated between 2022-2023 and 2024-2025. This approach has been used successfully throughout the country when evaluating learning challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic when students were not tested in 2020.

Public Comment Opportunities

  • Please complete this survey by May 24, 2024
  • Email feedback, input, and questions to
  • Attend the public comment webinar (details below)

Timeline for growth indicator proposed amendment to the MT ESSA Plan:

  • April 24, 2024 -  All-day meeting with the Center for Assessment
    • Create a draft for the proposed amendment
  • April 29, 2024 - ½ day TAC (Technical Advisory Committee) Meeting
  • May 1, 2024 - MACIE Meeting
  • May 3, 2024 - Open public comment and post survey
  • May 9-10, 2024 - Board of Public Education Meeting
  • May 2024 - Governor consultation
  • May 21, 2024 - Ed Advocate Meeting 9:30-10:30 am
  • May 24, 2024 - Public Comment Survey Closes
  • May 28, 2024 - Public Comment Webinar: Respond to public comment 3:30-4:30 pm
  • June 1, 2024 - Submit Amendment Proposal to the Department of Education