Different Interventions For Different Schools

Good news for schools that miss AYP by just one subgroup:

Schools and districts that make AYP in

the “ALL students” subgroup, but not in one or more of the other

subgroups would be placed in the ‘focused’ category, while schools

that fail to meet state standards in the “ALL students” subgroup

would be identified as ‘comprehensive.’


Illinoisreceives additional flexibility to help schools meet federal NCLB requirements

One

of 6 states accepted into new U.S.

Dept. of Education pilot program;

flexibility

targets low-performing schools earlier with tailored resources

Springfield — Illinois State Superintendent of

Education Christopher A. Koch announced today that Illinois has been chosen to

participate in a federal pilot program to provide additional flexibility and

tools to assist schools in meeting federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements.

The U.S. Department of Education selected Illinois as one of six states to participate

in the new pilot program that allows the Illinois State Board of Education

(ISBE) to focus additional resources and efforts on schools and districts

across the state with targeted efforts.

“Our state testing data shows that there are many

different reasons why schools fail to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)

measures. Current NCLB guidelines are one-size-fits-all, and treating all

schools the same is not an effective approach, just as treating each student

the same is not effective,” said Supt. Koch. “With this additional

flexibility we will be able to identify and focus our efforts on the students

that need it the most. I’m excited about this opportunity to take more

immediate action to improve our lowest-performing schools.”

With the U.S. Department of Education’s

‘Differentiated Accountability’ pilot program, ISBE can use

different strategies, providing additional resources, techniques and approaches

to help all students succeed. Illinois’

approval is conditioned on demonstrating that state assessments administered in

2007-08 are fully compliant with NCLB. The overarching goal of NCLB is for all

students to meet or exceed standards in reading and mathematics by 2014.

Because of the flexibility, low-performing schools in Illinois will begin

offering additional tutoring earlier to students. Currently, schools that fail

to make AYP in the same subject area two consecutive years must offer public

school choice (PSC) and tutoring services after three years. Under the pilot,

schools will offer either school choice or tutoring after failing to make AYP

for two consecutive years and both options after failing for three consecutive

years.

With school choice, students must be given the option to

attend a public school that is not identified for improvement. However, in

smaller districts, this option isn’t always available to students. By

implementing tutoring as an earlier option, students will have access to

additional services such as academic assistance in reading and math, to take

place before school, after school or during the summer.

Also, ISBE will be able to differentiate between

low-performing schools under the new pilot program. Schools and districts will

continue to move through the process of improvement each year they do not make

AYP, however, instead of all schools failing to meet state standards being

labeled as in ‘need of improvement’, under the new system, schools

and districts will be classified as either in the ‘focused’ or

‘comprehensive’ category. Schools and districts that make AYP in

the “ALL students” subgroup, but not in one or more of the other

subgroups would be placed in the ‘focused’ category, while schools

that fail to meet state standards in the “ALL students” subgroup

would be identified as ‘comprehensive.’

Illinois

testing data shows that schools in the ‘comprehensive’ category are

achieving lower than those in the ‘focused’ category and would

greatly benefit more from intensive and specific interventions. In addition,

ISBE would also eliminate ‘corrective action’ as a school

designation of improvement. The corrective designation for schools will be

replaced with a third year of either ‘focused school improvement’

or ‘comprehensive school improvement so that interventions have longer to

work.’

The state’s lowest-performing schools will also be

eligible to participate in an intensive ‘Priority Schools’

initiative. This initiative aims to make drastic changes that produce

significant achievement gains as quickly as possible.

The five other states approved for the pilot include Florida, Georgia,

Indiana, Maryland

and Ohio. A

total of 17 states submitted proposals for the program. Each state’s

proposal, including Illinois’,

was reviewed by a panel of nationally recognized experts. In return for the

additional flexibility, each state has to commit to building their capacity for

school reform; take the most significant actions for the lowest-performing

schools, including addressing the issue of teacher effectiveness; and use data

to determine the method of differentiation and categories of intervention.

ISBE will begin implementing portions of the proposal

during the 2008-09 school year with full implementation in the 2009-10

year.

Filed under: ISBE / Springfield

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