Keep in Mind
- A school that does not achieve AYP is not necessarily a �failing� school. A more balanced and accurate assessment of a school�s overall performance can be determined by comparing the number of AMOs that a school met with the total number of AMOs.
- Virginia is a national leader in implementing high academic standards and measures to hold schools accountable for achievement through objective testing.
NCLB requires a minimum of 95 percent participation of all students and all subgroups of students in the statewide assessment program at the school, division and state levels. If participation overall or in one or more subgroups is below 95 percent, a school or school division is not considered to have made AYP regardless of the percentage of students who demonstrate proficiency. Virginia uses up to three years of achievement data in calculating AYP to compensate for expected year-to-year fluctuations in achievement. Students with disabilities assessed through the Virginia Substitute Evaluation Program, or with non-standard accommodations, are not counted in calculating participation percentages for AYP.
AYP & Student Subgroups
AYP applies to all students and to these subgroups:
- Students with disabilities
- LEP students
- Economically disadvantaged students
- Major racial/ethnic groups (white, African-American, and Hispanic)
Students with Disabilities
NCLB includes a one-percent cap on the percentage of students who may be counted as proficient based on alternate assessments for students with disabilities. Virginia, however, has been granted an exception of 1.1 percent for assessments administered during 2006-2007.
Virginia also is allowed to use a proxy percentage to represent the number of students with disabilities who would have demonstrated proficiency on modified reading and mathematics assessments during 2006-2007 had such assessments been available. The proxy percentage (14 percent for reading and 15 percent for mathematics) is added to the pass rates of students with disabilities for schools and divisions that otherwise would not make AYP solely because of the achievement of disabled students. The proxy also is applied at the state level.
LEP students in their first year of enrollment in a U.S.
public school are counted as participating in Virginia�s
assessment system but their reading scores are not used
in calculating AYP. LEP students at the lowest levels of
English proficiency may be assessed with the Virginia
Grade Level Alternative for reading. The use of the
Stanford English Language Proficiency (SELP) test as
a proxy reading assessment for these students has been
Other Academic Indicators Required Under NCLB
In addition to meeting annual objectives in reading and mathematics, Virginia schools and school divisions must meet annual objectives for attendance or science (elementary and middle schools) and graduation (high schools), or show improvement. School divisions decide prior to the beginning of the school year whether to use attendance or achievement in science as another academic indicator for elementary and middle schools.
Virginia has established an interim objective for high school graduation of 61 percent for 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. Once longitudinal, student-level data are available, the commonwealth will establish benchmark graduation rates for 2008-2009 and beyond. The 2006-2007 benchmark for attendance is 94 percent and the 2006-2007 benchmark for science achievement is 70 percent.
Safe Harbor � Another Way to Make AYP
A school or school division may also make AYP if the failure rate of students in a subgroup that did not reach the AMO in a content area is reduced by at least 10 percent. This is known as �safe harbor.� Subgroups making AYP through safe harbor also must meet the objective or show improvement on the school or division�s other academic indicator.
Achievement in science will serve as the other academic indicator for high schools making AYP through safe harbor until the commonwealth�s student information system has sufficient data to generate graduation rates disaggregated by subgroup.
Title I Schools
A Title I school is a school that receives federal funds to help children in high poverty areas who are behind academically or at risk of falling behind. Title I funding is based on the number of low-income children in a school, generally those eligible for free lunch or reduced-fee lunch programs. Some Title I schools have federally funded programs for a select group of qualifying students. These schools are known as targeted-assistance schools. Title I schools in which 40 percent or more students qualify for federally funded services are referred to as having schoolwide programs. The following accountability ratings and actions apply to all Title I schools:
Title I School Improvement - Year One
Title I Schools that do not make AYP for two consecutive years in the same subject area are identified for improvement and must notify parents of their status prior to the beginning of the school year. These schools must offer students the opportunity to transfer to a school within the division that is not identified for improvement. Lowest-achieving students receive priority in the awarding of transfers. Schools in year one of improvement also must develop and implement a two-year school improvement plan.
A Title I school in its first year of improvement that makes AYP is held in first-year improvement status. A school identified for improvement exits improvement status by making AYP for two consecutive years.
Note: Title I schools in seven divisions participating in a pilot program approved by the U.S. Department of Education may offer supplemental educational services instead of public school choice during the first year of school improvement. These divisions include Fairfax County, Fauquier County, Greene County, Hampton, Henrico County, Henry County and Newport News.
Title I School Improvement - Year Two
A Title I school identified for improvement that does not make AYP for a third consecutive year in the same subject area enters the second year of improvement. A school in its second year of improvement must notify parents of its status and continue to offer public school choice. A school in its second year of improvement must also offer supplemental educational services to low-achieving students. Low-income students receive priority for supplemental educational services.
A Title I school in its second year of improvement that makes AYP remains in second-year improvement status.
Title I School Improvement - Year Three
School divisions must take corrective action to raise achievement in Title I schools in the third year of school improvement status. These schools must continue to offer public school choice and supplemental services and school divisions must take at least one of the following corrective actions:
- Replace school staff deemed relevant to the failure to make AYP
- Implement a new curriculum shown by research as effective in raising achievement
- Decrease the authority of school-level management
- Appoint an outside expert to advise the school on the implementation plan developed during the first year of school improvement
- Extend the school year or school day
- Restructure the internal organization of the school
A Title I school in its third year of improvement that makes AYP remains in third-year improvement status.
Title I School Improvement - Year Four
School divisions must develop restructuring/alternative governance plans for Title I schools that move into year four of school improvement status. Schools in year four of Title I school improvement must also:
- Continue to provide public school choice
- Continue to offer supplemental educational services
- Continue to take the corrective action selected in year three
- Prepare a plan and make necessary arrangements for restructuring/alternative governance of the school
Restructuring/alternative governance would be implemented if the school again does not make AYP in the same subject area based on tests taken by students during 2007-2008 and moves into year five of improvement status.
A Title I school in its fourth year of improvement that makes AYP remains in fourth-year improvement status.
Title I School Improvement - Year Five
Title I schools in year five of improvement and identified for restructuring/alternative governance must take one of the following actions:
- Reopen the school as a charter school
- Replace all or most of the school staff relevant to the school�s failure to make adequate yearly progress
- Turn the management of the school over to a private educational management company or other entity with a demonstrated record of effectiveness
- Any other major restructuring of school governance
Note: If a Title I school in year five of improvement status fails to make AYP in the same subject area during the following year, the school continues to implement its restructuring/alternative governance plan.
Non-Title I Schools
Non-Title I schools are not subject to school-improvement sanctions under NCLB. Non-Title I schools in Virginia that do not make AYP for three or more consecutive years must continue to analyze data and implement corrective actions as specified by the school
School Divisions in Improvement
School divisions that do not make AYP in the same subject area across all grade spans for two consecutive years must develop and implement improvement plans within three months of identification. NCLB requires that school division improvement plans include:
- Scientifically based strategies and best practices for raising student achievement
- Professional development for faculty and instructional staff
- Specific achievement goals for subgroups not making AYP
- Identification of impediments to higher achievement by low-performing students
- Strategies to promote parental involvement
- Student learning activities, as appropriate, before school, after school or during the summer
- Fiscal responsibilities of the school division and the technical assistance needed
School divisions identified for improvement at the beginning of 2007-2008 must implement plans �expeditiously� during the 2007-2008 school year. School divisions that implemented improvement plans at the beginning of 2006-2007 must make AYP by the end of 2007-2008 to avoid corrective action. In Virginia, potential corrective actions include deferring programmatic funds or reducing administrative funds.
Questions Concerning Schools Receiving �Accreditation Denied� Status
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