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Presentation on theme: "THE REPORT AYP/Safe Harbor WILLIAM PENN SCHOOL DISTRICT NCLB Presentation 2003 - 2004."— Presentation transcript:


2 No Child Left Behind Today’s public schools are operating under a new federal law known as No Child Left Behind. As its title suggests, the main purpose of this law is to assure that all children get a good education.

3 No Child Left Behind Our country has many excellent public schools. It also has many schools that are in need of significant improvement. Although this new law was designed to help improve failing schools, it has also caused many other problems.

4 Testing Requirement No Child Left Behind requires all public schools to test students in reading, writing, and mathematics every year from grade 3 to grade 8. In Pennsylvania, local schools administer the PSSA tests.

5 Testing Requirement During the first years under this law, at least 35 percent of the students in each school must achieve a score of “proficient” or “advanced” in math and 45 percent of the students must achieve a score of “proficient” or “advanced” in reading.

6 Testing Requirement The examination measures how well students understand each of the state’s standards for reading and math. The cutoff scores for a student to be at least “proficient” are much higher in Pennsylvania than in many other states.

7 Testing Requirement For a student to achieve a score of “proficient” or “advanced” means much more than simply passing a test. It means that the student has demonstrated that he/she understands a significant portion of the state’s standards in reading and math.

8 Testing Requirement Schools that have a sufficient number of students scoring “proficient” or “advanced” are said to have made “adequate yearly progress.” Schools falling below this standard are put on the government’s list of schools “in need of improvement.”

9 Testing Requirement Each year the percentage of students that must score “proficient” or “advanced” on these tests is required by law to increase. By the year 2014, 100 percent of all students in each school must score “proficient” or “advanced” or the school will be considered “in need of improvement.”

10 Testing Requirement The fact that this law requires all students in every school to achieve test scores this high by 2014 is considered an impossible goal by most people. We can expect that more and more schools will be placed on the government’s list of schools needing improvement as requirements increase.

11 Smaller Group Requirement Not only does this law require that an entire school’s population of students score at least “proficient” at the required percentage levels, but also, sub-groups of students in each school that are listed in the law must also score at the same levels.

12 Smaller Group Requirement The sub-groups identified by the law include special education students, economically disadvantaged students, limited English proficient students, minority students, and migrant students.

13 Smaller Group Requirement If a school has 40 or more students in any of these sub-groups, that small group of students must also be shown to have scored “proficient” or “advanced” at the same rates as the total school population.

14 Smaller Group Requirement If an entire school’s student population achieves the required scores by the proper percentages, but just one of these sub- groups fails to do so, the government will place that school on the “needs improvement list” also.

15 Smaller Group Requirement Some of our schools in the district have 40+ students in special education. Most students are included in special education programs because they have learning difficulties and are not able to pass tests such as those required by this law.

16 Smaller Group Requirement Many of Delaware County’s middle and high schools are included on the list this year for this reason. Most people agree that special education students should not be required to take these tests, yet, until the law is changed, schools will have to abide by it.

17 Corrective Action Schools are required to find ways to help more and more students achieve proficiency on these tests every year since the percentages required to reach this goal increase each year.

18 Corrective Action In William Penn we have instituted an Academic Assistance Program for those students who are performing at the basic or below basic level in reading and math..

19 Corrective Action In some school districts where improvement efforts have not resulted in enough students scoring at least proficient, the law requires that students be given a choice to attend another school that is not on the government’s list of “schools needing improvement.”

20 Corrective Action The first option for such a school district is to offer school choice to another school within their school district that is not on the list. If a district has no such schools available, the law requires that such districts try to make arrangements with neighboring schools districts. school districts.

21 Corrective Action In our area, the Chester-Upland School District was required by law to contact all of the school districts in Delaware County to see if any district would be willing to offer a school choice option for interested Chester-Upland students. School districts are not required to enter into these agreements.

22 Schools Meeting AYP Targets These schools have met all achievement, participation, and other improvement standards. East Lansdowne - met the targets Colwyn - not judged

23 Schools Making Progress Schools that had previously been in Improvement or Corrective Action but achieved AYP in 2003 No school in this category

24 Schools Needing Improvement Warning - schools that fell short of the AYP targets, but have not been identified as Title I schools start this cycle in warning status. These schools must meet AYP targets in one year to get off the list. These schools must examine/modify their improvement strategies so they will meet targets next year. Schools: Aldan, PWE, PWW, PWHS

25 School Improvement I These schools must intensify their improvement strategies, establish a school improvement team, and offer school choice. Schools: Ardmore, Bell Avenue, Evans, Park Lane, Walnut Street

26 Safe Harbor Some schools may not meet the AYP achievement targets (45% in reading; 35% in mathematics) but still meet AYP through the safe harbor clause. If a school or subgroup does not meet the performance targets, but does reduce the percentage of below-proficient students by 10% or more for each and every subgroup it is considered to have met AYP.

27 Significant Growth Schools that may not have made AYP, but who moved significant percentages of students from Basic or Below Basic into higher achievement categories. Bell Avenue, Park Lane, and Walnut Street showed significant growth in one or more areas.

28 AYP Determinations The State looked at two data sets: Participation rate and PSSA scores for 2003 Average of the current year and the previous year’s data. Whichever scores/rates were higher (the current versus the average) were used to determine AYP.

29 School Improvement I - How were these calculated? Title I schools were required to meet their targets on local assessments and expected to make 5% progress on the PSSA. In 2003, schools were required to meet the 45% reading, and 35% math proficiency overall and in subgroups. Applied: the 5% expectation from 2002 and the 35/45% to 2003 as required by NCLB

30 Our Message: This report represents a comprehensive analysis of where we stand in meeting the educational needs of “ALL” students. We have a complete diagnosis of where WPSD is and where it needs to be with regard to student achievement. We will strategically target support and resources to schools that need improvement.

31 ASSESSING STUDENTS High stakes tests have serious consequences attached to the results. They can be direct (school take-over) or indirect (publishing scores in the newspaper, shaming, or job reassignment).

32 Three outcomes of high stakes testing: Disproportionate impact of state testing on drop out rates for minorities Bizarre effect of monetary rewards for students, and Diminishment in the quality of education as a consequence of testing for all but especially for minority students when differential performance on tests is translated into the “achievement gap.”

33 Increased drop out rates Based on two factors: graduations tests themselves impact of increased rates of retention in grade, especially in 8th and 9th grades.

34 Student Rhetoric “ The test pressure just about kills some kids. I have never heard a student say, “All this pressure from the test gets me all fired up!” More often I see kids cracking. They start freaking out…the test is taking away the real meaning of school. Instead of learning new things and getting tools for life, the mission of the schools is becoming to do well on the test.” (7th grader’s words, February 10, 2003)

35 Research shows High stakes testing contributes to the: Deprofessionalization of teachers Narrowing of curriculum and the adoption of curriculum driven by tests that under-represent the purposes of schooling Practice of only teaching what is tested Elimination of project based student work, field trips, recess, and Creation of unproductive stress

36 Achievement gap…. Focusing on a test score gap without attention to other gaps will do little to alleviate the real problem $opportunity gap $resources gap $income gap


38 Challenge: Preparing students for standardized tests without teaching the test. Solution: Develop and implement a standards-based curriculum in each content area. Three key components to prepare students for mandated tests: –rich, solid, standards-based curriculum –skilled teachers –clear directions from administrators on expectations

39 Challenge: Preparing students for standardized tests without teaching the test. Solution: Look at the performance of the subgroups from last year and establish targets. Review previous two years’ data to discern improvements, declines, and trends in students’ performance.

40 Challenge: Helping teachers and staff analyze the data. Solution: Create leadership teams at district and school levels to work together. –Hold regular meetings with principals to discuss student progress towards the targets. –Establish monthly meeting time for study- groups at the school sites to interpret and analyze test results and ongoing classroom assessments to inform instruction.

41 Challenge: Helping teachers and staff analyze the data. Format data to work best for teachers. Teachers advise us on what works best for them to read and decipher data so they can make the best use of all data.

42 Challenge: Bringing the community in the loop. Create a communication plan and be proactive about explaining test results to everyone. Explain test results to parents, business leaders, and the general community before the media puts a different spin on it. Hold informational meetings for parents and community members.

43 Future of No Child Left Behind The law has forced all school districts, including William Penn School District, to focus much more attention on the state PSSA tests. Teachers spend more class time focused on ways to improve test scores since so much media and public attention is given to the test results.

44 Future of No Child Left Behind Many educators and parents are becoming more and more concerned that important areas of a child’s education other than those included on state tests may receive less and less instructional time.

45 Future of No Child Left Behind We are trying to maintain a proper balance between the need to have our students do well on the state tests and their need for a rich and diverse academic background.

46 Future of No Child Left Behind We recommend that, as you continue to read news articles about No Child Left Behind, about schools appearing on improvement lists, and about state test results, you keep in mind the information contained in this presentation.

47 Future of No Child Left Behind Although this new law was developed with good intentions, it has resulted in many problems that were not anticipated.

48 For More Information If you would like to read more about this new law, you can find more information on the Internet at: http://www.nclb.gov Be sure to watch for William Penn School District’s newsletter, Happenings, coming out in January. This presentation will be listed on the district’s website at

49 Thanks for the support! Thanks to colleagues from the Rose Tree Media School District and the Ridley School District for providing support for this presentation. Whenever groups of people work together, the outcome is a richer product.

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