No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) Executive Summary

NCLB remains law unless changed by Congress or reinterpreted by the U.S. Department of Education. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education has granted changes to NCLB, aka waivers, to 42 states, DC, and Puerto Rico. Three more states have requested "flexibility" from NCLB mandates as well.

PREMISE: All students will reach proficiency or better levels of achievement by school year 2013–2014.

Standards and Assessment

  • States must adopt challenging academic standards that apply to all children
  • Standards must specify what children are expected to know and be able to do
  • Standards must describe advanced, proficient, and basic levels of achievement
  • Standards for math, reading, and language arts must be in place by July 1, 2002
  • Standards for science must be in place by school year 2005–2006
  • Yearly academic assessments in math, reading and language arts must be administered at least once between grades 3 and 6, grades 7 and 9, and grades 10 and 12
  • Beginning 2005–2006 annual assessments must be given every year between grades 3 and 8
  • Beginning 2007–2008, assessments must be given in science
  • Students with limited English proficiency (LEP) must take their reading/language arts assessment in English if they have attended schools in the United States for three consecutive years
  • All students with LEP must take an annual English proficiency assessment beginning in 2002-2003

Accountability and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)

  • States must develop a single statewide accountability system that applies to all public schools and all students regardless of participation in the Title 1 program
  • AYP is the minimum level of improvement that school districts must achieve every year
  • The state will develop a definition of AYP (In PA 45% will achieve proficiency(p) in reading/language arts(r/l), 35% will achieve proficiency(p) in math for the year 2002-2003; 54% p in r/l, 46% p in math 2004–2006; 68% p in r/l, 62% p in math 2007–2009 )
  • AYP is reported for each school as a whole and broken out into the following subgroups:
    • economically disadvantaged students
    • students from major racial or ethnic groups
    • students with limited English proficiency
    • students with special needs
  • Each state will determine the number necessary to qualify as a subgroup (in PA N=40)
  • At a minimum, schools must meet two requirements to make AYP. Schools must ensure that 95% of students take the assessments and the school as a whole and each subgroup must meet the measurable objectives established by the state (in PA 45% p in r/l; 35% p in math) and meet one other factor established by the state (in PA attendance rate in elementary and middle; graduation rate in high school)
  • Schools and school districts can still make AYP if they achieve safe harbor, reducing by 10% the number of non-proficient students and meeting the threshold for the other indicators (in PA attendance or graduation rate)

Corrective Action

  • Schools that fail to make AYP for 2 consecutive years are identified for corrective action
  • The family is offered the option to transfer to another public school of its choice within the district
  • The district must pay for transportation
  • The lowest achieving students from low-income families must be given first preference
  • Lack of capacity does not excuse an LEA from operating a choice program
  • Supplemental educational services from an approved list of providers are arranged if the school fails to make AYP for 3 years
  • Providers are exempt from certain requirements applicable to schools such as "highly required" requirements
  • If a school fails to make AYP for 5 years, the Lea must restructure the school and if the school fails to make AYP for a sixth year, alternative governance must be implemented

Staff Qualifications

  • Teachers of core academic subjects must earn state certification or achieve the qualifying score on the appropriate content test
  • All public school teachers teaching core subjects must meet these requirements no later than the end of the 2005-2006 school year
  • A paraprofessional must have completed 2 years of higher education, earned an associate's degree or passed a formal state or local assessment
  • NCLB increases its emphasis on professional development

Parental Involvement

  • Families must be given more information about the achievement of their children
  • Families must be given more information about the performance of the schools
  • Families must be notified when the children are taught for more than 4 weeks by teachers who are not highly qualifies
  • The families have the right to demand information about the credentials of the teachers
  • Families of LEP children must be promptly notified when their children are recommended for inclusion in language instruction programs
  • Families have the right to opt out of language inclusion programs at any time

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