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“It’s Not Just About the Tests” Exploring and Demystifying the Nuances of No Child Left Behind 2004 Version.

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Presentation on theme: "“It’s Not Just About the Tests” Exploring and Demystifying the Nuances of No Child Left Behind 2004 Version."— Presentation transcript:

1 “It’s Not Just About the Tests” Exploring and Demystifying the Nuances of No Child Left Behind 2004 Version

2 A Pop Quiz!!! Will a middle school teacher fully licensed in PA to teach math and science automatically meet the NCLB standards of being highly qualified? What has been the historic purpose of this piece of Federal legislation now known as No Child Left Behind? Under the PA Plan for NCLB, what number is needed to constitute a sub-group for AYP purposes? In the process to have all students at grade level by , when do PA’s AYP achievement standards next increase? How many years of being under “Needs Improvement” can a school exist before the option of supplemental services kicks in?

3 A Pop Quiz!!! What are the three conditions that must be met to acquire “safe harbor” for any given subgroup in a given subject area? How much of Title I funds must a district set aside to fund transportation costs for the Schools of Choice sanction? What is a principal’s responsibility to parents if they are being taught by an unqualified teacher (e.g., permanent substitute) At what point does a parent have the right to determine if their child’s teacher and/or teacher assistant meets the NCLB standards of being “highly qualified” to teach their child?

4 Basic NCLB Components Accountability Best Practices – (SBR) Teacher Quality Parent Empowerment

5 ACCOUNTABILITY Annual Report Cards Student Performance Reports (AYP) Sanctions Reading, Math, and Science (07-08) Standards Mandatory Participation in NAEP in Grades 4 and 8 (Alternate years) 100% Proficiency for all students by 2014

6 The Concept of Targets Student achievement aggregated across all appropriate grade levels and then disaggregated by sub-groups Every school, school district and state, for each eligible sub-group has 4 targets to meet: (1) achievement in reading; (2) achievement in math; (3) 95% participation in reading; (4) 95% participation in math; * All schools, school districts, and the state must meet an additional target, the other academic indicator The other academic indicator for K-8 is most frequently attendance while for high schools, it’s graduation rate. Both can have thresholds, meaning that anything above the threshold is ok; otherwise, the academic unit must show 1% improvement from the previous year. If safe harbor is invoked for any group, it must meet all 5 targets as a group. If any target is not met, it’s the same as missing all targets. NC’s plan requires that the missed target be in the same academic area for two or more consecutive years. * If a given group fails to meet AYP due to participation rate alone, the unit can average participation rates over a 3 year period.

7 Sub-Group Subtleties In NC, 40 students in ADM constitutes a bona fide sub- group. What is it in Pennsylvania? A student’s score will count as many times as his/her name appears on a bona fide sub-group roster. Even if every part of a particular membership doesn’t equal 40, the score will count somewhere. If a student’s score doesn’t count for a particular sub-group in a school, that score rolls up into the district’s AYP profile. A student must be in attendance for the state’s minimum number of days to be counted in the AYP determination. As the number of targets increase, the probability for making AYP decreases. While there have been some minor adjustments from the DOE for LEP and SWD students, there have been no adjustments for other sub-groups. Are you aware of these adjustments? Are these sub- groups represented in your school or school district?

8 Sanctions Failure in the same content area is a potential source of mitigation.

9 Teacher Quality All teachers, as well as teachers working in programs supported by Title 1 funds are to be highly qualified by Academic degree or coursework equivalent to an academic degree, or a graduate degree, or advanced certification, or a passing score on a state licensure exam, or passing HOUSSE, if an experienced teacher teaching in an unlicensed area. Teachers must meet the standards of high qualification for each subject area they teach by in some rural school districts. New teachers in these districts have 3 years to become highly qualified if they are not already. Do any Pennsylvania district qualify for this dispensation? Elementary teachers must be licensed AND have passed a state approved licensure exam. A special education teacher who is the primary provider of instruction in a core academic area must be highly qualified in each of those areas. If a special education teacher is paired with another highly qualified “teacher of record,” they need not be highly qualified in those core content areas. The State must document an annual increase in the percentage of highly qualified teachers The State must document that minority children and poor children are NOT being taught by higher percentages of inexperienced, unqualified, or out- of-field teachers than other children.

10 Parent Empowerment Content of Annual Report Cards provides breadth and depth of information heretofore not widely disseminated, if at all. In Title 1 schools, parents must be notified that they can request information about their child’s teacher as to the teacher’s degree of qualification, degree(s) held and in what areas, and qualification of paraprofessionals, where appropriate. In all other schools, parents are entitled to know their child’s level of achievement on state assessments and to have “timely notice” that their child has been assigned to or has been taught for 4 or more consecutive weeks by a teacher not highly qualified. Parental choice in Title 1 schools to transfer their child from a Title 1 school in “Needs Improvement” from not meeting AYP to another school in the same school district, including charter schools. Transportation costs are to be paid by district from Title I funds. If a Title 1 school stays in “Needs Improvement” for an additional year, the parent can request to have their child receive supplemental educational services at no cost to themselves. Those too can be paid from Title 1 funds.

11 What are some of the national issues? Not every state is operating under an approved plan. Only 11 plans have received official approval The rest are still in negotiation, two years after implementation Across the states, there are different definitions and different processes for meeting those definitions. Proficiency means different levels of achievement across the states Tested grades differ in various states Makes state-by-state comparisons invalid, but that little fact will not deter some newspaper editors or lawmakers The funding issue is not just about what the DOE provides, but the additional costs for compliance than have to be borne by states and local authorities Administering tests not previously required Training costs Cost of providing for sanctions

12 What are some other national issues? It is seen as even more intrusive as national policy than Brown v Topeka Board of Education in Idaho Virginia Where states feel they already have rigorous accountability standards, they want waivers from the accountability provisions of NCLB. Connecticut Virginia NCLB is causing a narrowing of the curriculum, drastically cutting instruction in social studies, sciences, and the arts. The requirement of using scientifically-based programs is regarded as too restrictive and out-of-sorts with professional judgment in schools and classrooms.

13 What are some Pennsylvania Issues? Is the state system and the tenets of NCLB compatible? Are the two systems measuring the same things? How many Title I schools are on a “watch list” for falling into needs improvement? How will the state provide technical assistance to those schools, as required by law? If parents do exercise their choice options as provided by the law, what will be the effect on receiving schools?

14 Asking Questions of Your Data What performance patterns do you see (examine cohorts across time)? Who is teaching whom and what are the characteristics of their abilities (Are the staffing placements in the best interests of kids most in need?)? * What do you know about the kids persistently mired below proficiency (attendance, discipline referrals, participation, home life, parental support, interests)? Are there any possibilities of slippage of kids in the lower portions of the Proficient range? How do you protect their current standing? Are there particular content goals and objectives in the Pennsylvania State Curriculum more related to Basic and Below Basic Levels than the other performance levels (Category results)? What else do you need to know to help you and the faculty deal with these challenges? How can you find out what you need to know? Don’t kid yourself! This is not a no-brainer. Don’t try to take this on by yourself. Make it a faculty problem to solve.

15 Start some productive activity to address the most potentially pressing problems Worried about the teacher quality issues? You have 2 years to work on possible solutions, but you should have already started. Concerned that your EC kids will never meet these NCLB standards? Get your most expert EC people to start learning so they can teach others how to get sufficient achievement gains to reach Safe Harbor. Find places where it seems to be working and learn from them. You might, coincidentally, have some answers they have questions for. Is the school choice issue bothering you, particularly regarding overcrowding and available space? This issue is NOW, but you can still have at least another year away from reality, so plan for it now. Are parents going to be as confused as you are? If so, start developing communications strategies NOW to address your school’s likely performance profile. It’s better coming from you than from the news media.

16 Some Possibilities to Explore – Others to Let Go Explorations (if not in place already) Sanctions can only be based on failing in the same content area for two or more consecutive years Using the concept of confidence intervals can help improve achievement profiles Let it go (No matter how much sense it makes) Is there value in retroactivity? Not likely! Hoping for a growth model? Not possible until after November 3, if then. Science appears in 2008, ready or not. NAEP scores are not encouraging. The Disappearing HOUSSE in 2006.

17 NCLB Lessons that Principals Need to Address NCLB raises the public nature of performance accountability to a much higher pitch. The sub- group disaggregation puts lower achievers in a spotlight. For example, your faculty will need to learn and practice how to differentiate instruction to meet the learning needs of students based on their relative wealth and other factors not necessarily related to ethnicity. NCLB will affect hiring practices and how the principal supports beginning teachers and lateral entry teachers. Better retention helps alleviate the pressure that recruitment and issues of being “highly qualified” place on hiring practices.

18 NCLB Lessons that Principals Need to Address (2) Principals have to sharpen their data analytic skills. Right now, most good education reporters are more skilled at this than principals are. School-based, job-embedded professional development will be more critical than ever. It is the principal’s job to make sure the alignment between the data, the school improvement plan, the school’s professional development priorities, and the desired results is clear and consistent. “Boilerplate” School Improvement Plan’s should have outlived their usefulness. Principals will have to know best practices in reading and math instruction in order to lead teachers in instructional improvement in those areas, and the time to start talking about science is NOW!

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23 Answers to the Pop Quiz!!! Will a middle school teacher fully licensed in PA to teach math and science automatically meet the NCLB standards of being highly qualified? Not unless they can meet the HQ Standards in each subject area they teach. Holding a middle school license unaccompanied by specific subject area specification will not meet Federal standards. What has been the historic purpose of this piece of Federal legislation now known as No Child Left Behind? To help poor children level the educational playing field with their more advantaged counterparts. It was the first of several major initiatives in President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” Under the PA Plan for NCLB, what number is needed to constitute a sub- group for AYP purposes? Group size is. Minimum days of membership is. In the process to have all students at grade level by , when do PA’s AYP achievement standards next increase? In all probability, this coming school year! How many years of being under “Needs Improvement” can a school exist before the option of supplemental services kicks in? Three.

24 Answers to the Pop Quiz!!! What are the three conditions that must be met to acquire “safe harbor” for any given subgroup in a given subject area? Reduce percentage of non-proficient students by 10% or more; Test at least 95%; Meet the threshold of the other academic indicator How much of Title I funds must a district set aside to fund transportation costs for the Schools of Choice sanction? 5% What is a principal’s responsibility to parents if they are being taught by an unqualified teacher (e.g., permanent substitute) Timely notification and changing the teacher assignment before a month has transpired. At what point does a parent have the right to determine if their child’s teacher and/or teacher assistant meets the NCLB standards of being “highly qualified” to teach their child? Anytime


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