SPECIAL PROGRAMS: No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) was first passed by Congress as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. The most recent reauthorization amending ESEA is the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). The primary function is to close the achievement gap between groups of students by requiring greater accountability and offering increased flexibility and choice. Funding under NCLB based a district’s economically disadvantaged population. NCLB affects almost every school district and charter school in the state.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB), 2001, is the seventh reauthorization of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA,1965. The original ESEA was enacted as part of President Johnson’s war on poverty and it is now the largest source of federal spending on elementary and secondary education. This funding is intended to help schools with high concentrations of low income families provide a high quality education that will enable all children to meet the state’s student performance standards. Fundamental to NCLB is the belief that all students can achieve the same high standards and must be provided the education they need to reach those standards, regardless of income, ability, or background.
The Major Components of NCLB are:
Although NCLB covers numerous federal education programs, the law’s requirements for testing, accountability, and school improvement receive the most attention. NCLB requires states to test students in reading and mathematics annually in grades 3-8 and once in grades 10-12. States must test students in science once in grades 3-5, 6-8, and 10-12. Individual schools, school districts and states must publicly report test results in the aggregate and for specific student subgroups, including low-income students, students with disabilities, English language learners, and major racial and ethnic groups.
NCLB requires states, school districts, and schools to ensure all students are proficient in grade-level math and reading by 2014. States define grade-level performance. Schools must make "adequate yearly progress" toward this goal, whereby proficiency rates increase in the years leading up to 2014. The rate of increase required is chosen by each state. In order for a school to make adequate yearly progress (AYP), it must meet its targets for student reading and math proficiency each year. A state’s total student proficiency rate and the rate achieved by student subgroups are all considered in the AYP determination.
Schools that fail to make adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years are identified for "school improvement," and must draft a school improvement plan, devote at least 10 percent of federal funds provided under Title I of NCLB to teacher professional development. Schools that fail to make AYP for a third year are identified for corrective action, and must institute interventions designed to improve school performance from a list specified in the legislation. Schools that fail to make AYP for a fourth year are identified for restructuring, which requires more significant interventions. If schools fail to make AYP for a fifth year, they much implement a restructuring plan that includes reconstituting school staff and/or leadership, changing the school’s governance arrangement, converting the school to a charter, turning it over to a private management company, or some other major change.
School districts in which a high percentage of schools fail to make AYP for multiple years can also be identified for school improvement, corrective action, and restructuring.
NCLB requires that instructional materials or programs used in schools must be based on scientifically based research. When an instructional program or practice is based on scientifically based research, there must be consistent and reliable evidence that the particular program or practice has been proven effective. Scientifically Based Research involves the application of rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures to obtain reliable and valid knowledge relevant to education activities and programs. This includes research that:
· Employs systematic, empirical methods;
· Involves rigorous data analyses;
· Relies on measurements that provide reliable and valid data;
· Uses experimental or quasi-experimental designs;
· Ensures that studies are clear and detailed to allow for replication; and
· Has been reviewed or accepted by independent experts.
All Title I programs, both targeted assistance and schoolwide, must use instructional strategies and methods that are based on scientifically based research. All schools who receive Title I funds must provide documentation as to how the programs and strategies they employ are based on scientifically based research. Title I paid staff who provide instruction in reading and/or math, as well as all staff teaching in a schoolwide program, must use instructional strategies and methods that are based on scientifically based research.
National Standards for Family-School Partnerships
· Families are active participants in the life of the school
· Families and school staff will engage in regular, two way, meaningful communication about student learning
· Families and school staff continuously collaborate to support student learning
· Families are empowered to be advocates for children
· Families and school staff are equal partners in decisions that affect children and families
· Families and school staff collaborate with community members to connect to expanded learning opportunities, community services, and civic participation
NCLB requires that school districts and campuses notify parents about student progress, school report cards and AYP, school improvement where applicable, highly qualified staff, and annual meetings. NCLB also requires that parents be consulted in the development of the schoolwide plan, parental involvement policy and compact, and at the time of the consolidated application
Benefits of an Effective Parental Involvement Program
· Higher Student Achievement
o Students achieve more, regardless of socio-economic status, ethnic/racial background, or the parents’ education level
o Students have higher test grades and test scores, better attendance, and complete homework more consistently
o Students have higher graduation rates and greater enrollment rates in postsecondary education
o Student achievement for disadvantaged students improves dramatically, reaching levels that are standard for middle-class children
· Improved Student Behavior
o Students exhibit more positive attitude and behavior
o Students have more self-confidence and feel school is more important
o Student behaviors such as alcohol use, violence, and other antisocial behaviors decrease
· Bridging the Cultural Gap
o Children from diverse cultural backgrounds tend to do better when parents and professionals work together to bridge the cultural gap between home and school
o The school’s practices to inform and involve parents are stronger determinants of whether inner-city parents will be involved in their children’s education than are parent education, family size, and marital status
o Successful schools engage families from diverse backgrounds, build trust and collaboration, recognize, respect and address family needs, and develop a partnership where power and responsibility is shared
o For low-income families, programs offered in the community or at church or through home visits are more successful than programs requiring parents to come to the school
· School Quality
o Schools with parent-teacher groups have higher student achievement
o School experience improved teacher morale and higher ratings of teachers by parents When schools are held accountable, school districts make positive changes that include securing resources and funding to improve the curriculum and provide after school and family support programs
o Schools have more support from families and better reputations in the community
· Helps Students of All Ages
o Parental involvement clearly benefits students in the early years, but continued parental involvement shows significant gains at all ages and all grade levels Junior and senior high school students make better transitions, maintain the quality of their work, and develop realistic plans for the future