July 12, 2005 ( ) Action Required
MEMORANDUM NO. 030-05M LEARNING AND TEACHING
TO: Educational Service District Superintendents
School District Superintendents
School Building Principals
District Data Administrators
District Title I Administrators
District Core Student Record System Coordinators
District Assessment Coordinators
District Bilingual Education Coordinators
District Migrant Education Coordinators
FROM: Dr. Terry Bergeson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
RE: Adequate Yearly Progress Policies and Results
This memorandum explains the changes to the state’s adequate yearly progress (AYP) policies that were approved by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to be used to calculate the 2005 AYP results. It also provides information about how to view your 2005 AYP results this summer, how to take action in response to these results, and when the results will be made public. Two attachments to this memorandum describe (1) the AYP appeals process, and (2) the sanctions that occur when schools or districts fall into “improvement” status. Action may be required in response to some of these changes and the initial AYP results.
Approved Changes in AYP Policies
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has worked closely with the DOE to revise the state’s accountability policies. These policies have become quite complex as the regulations and guidance to the federal No Child Left Behind legislation evolve and we seek to establish a fair accountability system. The policies will continue to change as we add more assessments in other grades and respond to changes at the federal level. Some of the changes we requested were not approved, and we will continue to pursue policies that will produce valid and fair accountability determinations.
The following policy changes were approved by DOE earlier this month. The AYP accountability workbook approved by DOE is posted at http://www.k12.wa.us/ESEA/ApplicationsReports.aspx.
1. Title I Set-Aside Districts do not need to set aside the entire 20% of their Title I funds prior to the beginning of the school year to cover school choice and supplemental educational services costs. Districts are still required to spend up to 20% of the district Title I, Part A funds to fund school choice and supplemental educational services when they are requested.
2. Use of Writing Results If the reading proficiency results do not meet the annual goal or make the 10% reduction needed to access safe harbor, writing results will be averaged with the reading results to determine AYP in a new “language arts” category in grades 4, 7, and 10. Separate annual goals have been established that average the results for the two subjects. OSPI will calculate the average and use it for AYP purposes if needed for these three grades.
3. Assessments in Grades 3, 5, 6 and 8 These new tests will be mandatory for the first time in spring 2006, but the results will not be used to determine AYP until 2007 when two years of results are available. (We have not yet determined how the results of these new tests will be incorporated in the accountability system.)
4. Early Testing Students who take an assessment prior to the required year (e.g., a grade 9 student taking a grade 10 test) will not have their results counted as the “first attempt for AYP purposes” if they do not meet standard. Students who take the assessment early and meet the standard will have their results counted in the year when they are required to take the test for the first time.
5. Safe Harbor A reduction of 19% over a 2-year period or a reduction of 27% over a 3-year period (the equivalent to a 10% reduction per year) will satisfy the safe harbor requirement. Accessing safe harbor in this manner must be done through an appeal (see Attachment A for more information about appeals). In addition, the safe harbor percentage is rounded to the nearest whole number. For example, a 9.5% reduction in the percentage of students not meeting standard from 2004 to 2005 meets the 10% reduction requirement.
6. Participation Rates If a participation rate is below the 95% goal, OSPI will average the rates over a two- to three-year period. In addition, all participation rates will be rounded to the nearest whole number.
7. Graduation Rates Issues A number of changes relate to the on-time graduation rate. More detailed information about these issues will be issued later this summer.
a) The graduation rate goal will increase gradually over time until it reaches 85% in 2014. If a school or district rate is below the annual goal (66% this year), the rate must be at least 2 percentage points above the previous year’s rate to meet the AYP target. (Previously, the annual goal stayed constant through 2013, and a one point increase was needed to make AYP if the rate fell below 66%.) As of 2010, the yearly increase in the goal will accelerate until it reaches 85% in 2014.
b) Limited English proficient (LEP) and migrant students are allowed to have more than four years to graduate from high school and still be counted as graduating “on time.” Migrant students can have an expected year of graduation that reflects a 5-year period when entering grade 9, and LEP students can have up to seven years to complete high school (the same as special education students). The assignment of the expected year of graduation for these students must be done on a case-by-case basis, and the rationale for the extra time needs to be noted in the student’s records. OSPI will revise the Core Student Record System (CSRS) rules to allow the assignment of a different expected year of graduation when these students are also marked as being in the migrant or state bilingual education program.
c) Any student who graduates after the expected year of graduation will be included in the graduation rate calculations. OSPI will calculate two sets of rates (one including late graduates, the other not including them) and use the higher one for AYP purposes.
d) High schools that do not have the capability to have graduates (e.g., a new high school that serves only grades 9-10, schools that offer selected courses via the Internet, alternative school programs that do not issue diplomas) will have their annual school-wide dropout rate used as the “other indicator.” For these schools, the maximum dropout rate allowed is either 7 percent or a rate less than the previous year. Possible Action Required: Indicate in the School Profile application of the OSPI Educational Data System (EDS) when a school falls in this category by removing the check in the box in the Organization Information section under Grade Span (click update to edit the data, then save).If this box is checked, we assume the school has the authority to have graduates, even if there are no graduates reported on Form P-210 or in CSRS.
e) Graduation rates will be rounded to the nearest whole number.
8. District Improvement A district is identified as “needing improvement” only when it has not made AYP in the same subject in all tested grade levels in two consecutive years. Districts already in improvement will not move to the next step of sanctions unless all tested grades do not make AYP in the same subject in two consecutive years. Thus, a district that does not make AYP in different subjects in different grades (e.g., did not make the reading proficiency goals in grades 4 and 10 or the math goal in grade 7 math) in two consecutive years would still not make AYP, but it would not move into district improvement with NCLB sanctions.
For additional information about the consequences of not making AYP and the sanctions that occur when a district or school falls into improvement, see Attachment B or contact Gayle Pauley at 360.725.6100 or by email at email@example.com. For more detailed information about AYP policies, see the AYP Questions and Answers document at http://www.k12.wa.us/ESEA/pubdocs/AYPFAQJuly2005.doc.
Reviewing AYP Results
Preliminary AYP proficiency, participation, and other indicator data and results will be available for viewing on a confidential Web site in EDS at http://eds.ospi.k12.wa.uson July 28, the same day when preliminary WASL results are available for review. Your District Data Security Manager can provide access to this system. A list of Data Security Managers is available at https://eds.ospi.k12.wa.us/SecurityManagerList.aspx. To get help accessing or using EDS, contact OSPI Customer Support at Customersupport@ospi.wednet.edu or by calling 360.725.6371 or 1.800.725.4311.
The rules that determine whether a district or school falls into “improvement” or advances to the next “step” of sanctions are quite complex. Thus, in the first week of August, OSPI will contact a district if it or any of its schools fall into any step of improvement. We will explain what step of sanctions apply and the reason(s) for being in improvement, and offer help with possible appeals. The deadline for filing an appeal is September 6, but we encourage you to file appeals as soon as possible. See Attachment A for more information about the appeals process.
Apart from the appeal process, you have the opportunity to make record changes if you find errors in the student data. Pay special attention to the data for students who were not tested or exempted and the dates of enrollment and exit, which determine if a student is continuously enrolled. If student records need to be changed, two Web applications can be used: CSRS and SchoolHouse. Both sites will open for edits from July 27 to August 8. A second period for making edits is from September 6 to 13.
· CSRS OSPI uses CSRS to determine enrollment numbers when calculating the percentage of students that meet standard in the different AYP groups and when determining which students are continuously enrolled. If you find discrepancies in your data, correct them under the WASL Reports tab in CSRS during the record change period. The WASL Reports tab has six reports that can be used to verify the accuracy of data. Discrepancies may also be resolved by re-uploading a corrected data file (for more information, see Bulletin 22-05 at http://www.k12.wa.us/BulletinsMemos/bulletins2005/B022-05.docand its attachment).
· SchoolHouse This Web site (www.ncsschoolhouse.com) will be open for test status changes, merges, and “delete blank booklets” requests. For technical assistance, please contact Robin Jindrich-Cecil at 1.800.627.7990, X6973, or Vickie Slade at X6536. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Results for the other indicators—unexcused absences and graduation rates—will also be available for viewing. If you find errors in the unexcused absence data, you can make changes by accessing the EDS system as described in Bulletin 42-05 at http://www.k12.wa.us/BulletinsMemos/bulletins2005/B042-05.docand its attachment. District unexcused absence data will be based on the grade spans of the elementary and middle/junior high schools. Possible Action Required: If you have not already done so, indicate the Grade Span of the schools in the Organization Information section of the School Profile application of EDS. The graduation and dropout rates used for AYP purposes come from data in school year 2003-04, which were submitted to OSPI on Form P-210. If you find errors in these rates, contact Pete Bylsma at 360.725.6356 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT: Edits made from July 27 to August 8 and appeals made through August 15 will be reflected in the updated WASL results and the initial list of districts and schools that are in “improvement” status that we intend to release in late August. Edits made in September and appeals made after August 15 will be reflected in the final AYP results posted to the OSPI School Report Card in October. You can simulate your AYP results by using the various templates in the worksheets found online at http://www.k12.wa.us/ESEA/pubdocs/AYPspreadsheet2005.xls (set your computer’s security settings to allow the use of the macros).
Release of Improvement Lists and AYP Results – Anticipated Timeline
Updated AYP results that reflect the edits and appeals made through August 15 will be available for review on the same confidential Web site as of August 23. August 26 is our tentative date to release the list of schools and districts identified for improvement. This complies with the federal requirement that we notify districts of that status before the school year begins so parents of students in schools that are in improvement can be notified before school begins. Model notification letters are found at http://www.k12.wa.us/ESEA/AdequateYearlyProgress.aspx. Complete AYP results will be posted on the OSPI Web site in early October. This gives us time to process appeals received by September 6 and make changes in CSRS or SchoolHouse during September 6-13. We plan to release WASL results prior to Labor Day, as we did last year.
LEARNING AND TEACHING
Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel
Attachment A AYP Appeal Process (Enclosed)
Attachment B AYP Sanctions (Enclosed)
AYP APPEALS PROCESS
Under flexibility granted to states by the U.S. Department of Education regarding the adequate yearly progress (AYP) requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) provides a process in which districts may appeal AYP determinations. This attachment provides information regarding the process and possible reasons for appealing AYP determinations.
From July 27 to August 8, 2005, preliminary AYP results for schools and districts will be posted on a confidential Web site. You have the ability to preview your own data, validate accuracy, and make any necessary corrections to the student records data through CSRS or SchoolHouse, as noted in this memorandum and in Bulletin 47-05 (http://www.k12.wa.us/BulletinsMemos/bulletins2005/B047-05.doc). If the student records are correct but you would like to appeal the initial AYP determination, districts have until September 6, 2005 to make an appeal to OSPI about school and/or district AYP results. Districts must appeal on behalf of schools. Districts need not wait until the official OSPI release of AYP results to submit an appeal—we encourage early submissions of appeals. We plan to process appeals submitted by August 15 in time to have our decision reflected in the initial release of schools and districts that “need improvement,” tentatively scheduled for August 26. The release of all AYP results will occur in early October and will reflect the results of all appeals and changes to student records. OSPI will respond to districts within 15 calendar days of the receipt of an appeal. All final appeal determinations will be made by September 30, 2005.
A number of situations may warrant an appeal to ensure a proper AYP determination is made. These could relate to the following topics:
· Calculating proficiency using an alternate method, such as averaging scores across tested grades or years (e.g., averaging scores for a subgroup across two to three years to see if the average met the annual target). OSPI will automatically average WASL results over grades 4, 7, and 10 when multiple grades are served and one or more grades do not make the AYP target, but averaged results could be combined across multiple years.
· Calculating improvement for safe harbor purposes using an alternate method (e.g., making 19% reduction over 2 years or 27% reduction over 3 years, which is an average of a 10% reduction per year).
· Counting former Limited English Proficient or special education students for up to two years after exiting the program (if this is done, all such students need to be included in the analysis; it will not affect the N for this subgroup).
· Including all students in the calculations, including those who were not continuously enrolled.
· AYP decisions made when data were in error or missing from previous years.
· Changes in district or school policies, definitions, or practices that would change the way in which data are reported from one year to the next (e.g., changes in unexcused absence policies).
· Changes in data systems that result in differences in the way results are calculated from one year to the next.
· Excluding results of students who had previously taken the WASL and took it again.
· Requesting extra latitude, consistent with U.S. Department of Education guidance, if the only reason a school or district does not make AYP is because of the special education category.
· Any unusual circumstance that could have affected student performance or AYP results.
We cannot change the AYP status from previous years to reflect what would have occurred if the current policies were in place at that time. However, information about how that status would have been different can be included in an appeal for consideration.
If a district wants to appeal any AYP determination, it must submit the appeal in written form (letter, fax, or email), with supporting documentation of the circumstances that warrant the appeal, to:
Assistant Superintendent for Special Programs
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
P.O. Box 47200
Olympia, Washington 98504-7200
Submit appeals when they are warranted and stand a reasonable chance of being approved. OSPI will look closely at the rationale provided when making decisions about changes to any AYP results. If you have questions about the appeals process or the types of appeals that could be made, please contact Bob Harmon at the email shown above or by phone at 360.725.6170.
No Child Left Behind requires increased accountability for all public elementary and secondary schools, especially those that receive Title I funds. Under this act, schools and districts that do not make adequate yearly progress (AYP) face a series of specific consequences as defined in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
States are required to report the names of all public schools that “need improvement” based on the state’s adequate yearly progress (AYP) policies, regardless of whether or not they receive Title I funds. These schools are considered to be in “school improvement.” Districts and schools which have been identified for improvement are listed on OSPI’s Web site. (Complete AYP results and data are available on OSPI’s Report Card link at http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/.) However, only districts and schools that receive Title I funds face a series of escalating consequences until they meet AYP criteria for two consecutive years.
The following describes the actions that are required of districts and schools when they “need improvement” and receive Title I funds. Information about these sanctions and why they occurred must be made available to parents and community members in an understandable, accessible format by the beginning of the school year. This may be accomplished in part by referring them to OSPI’s Web site under the Report Card section. Teachers, principals, parents, and community members also need to be informed about AYP results, even if no sanctions occur.
Districts in Step One are required to develop or revise a district improvement plan. The plan must be developed or revised no less than three months after being identified for improvement and implemented no later than the beginning of the next school year. The development of the plan must involve parents, school staff, and others. Districts can use the School System Improvement Resource Guide, a collaborative project between OSPI and the Washington Association of School Administrators, to help align district and school(s) improvement plans. This document can be found at http://www.k12.wa.us/SchoolImprovement/SSIRG.aspx. The research report Characteristics of Improved School Districts: Themes from Research may be a useful tool in this process—it can be found at http://www.k12.wa.us/research/default.aspx.
The district improvement plan must:
- Address the fundamental teaching and learning needs of the district"s school(s), especially the needs of low-achieving students;
- Define specific measurable achievement goals and targets for each student subgroup;
- Incorporate strategies grounded in scientifically based research that will strengthen instruction in core academic subjects;
- Include appropriate student learning activities before school, after school, during the summer, and during any extension of the school year;
- Provide for high-quality professional development for instructional staff that focuses on improved instruction;
- Include strategies to promote effective parental involvement in the district"s schools; and
- Include a determination of why the district"s previous plan did not bring about the required increase in student academic achievement.
A district identified for improvement must allocate 10% of its Title I budget to address the professional development needs of teachers who work with the student groups that have not met AYP. The 10% set aside is not limited to those teachers, however. If a district requests technical assistance of the state, the state is required to provide this assistance. The technical assistance provided by OSPI must be supported by effective methods and instructional practices that are based on scientifically-based research.
This is the first year in which districts may fall into Step Two of district improvement. In this step, districts are required to implement the district improvement plan that was developed in Step 1 by the beginning of the school year.
The state must continue to ensure the district is provided with technical assistance and must take at least one of the following corrective actions, as consistent with state law:
- Defer program funds or reduce administrative funds; or
- Institute and fully implement a new curriculum based on state and local content and academic achievement standards that includes scientifically research-based professional development for all relevant staff.
In conjunction with at least one of these actions, the state may also authorize parents to transfer their student from a school operated by the district to a higher-performing school that is not identified for improvement.
Schools in this category have not made AYP for two consecutive years in the same subject and are considered to be in Step One of school improvement. At the start of the school year, the schools that receive Title I funds must notify the families of enrolled students about the opportunity to transfer their student to another school in the same district that is not identified for school improvement. Districts must use up to an amount equivalent to 20% of their Title I, Part A budget (unless a lesser amount is needed) to fund public school choice. Transportation costs (within federal parameters) must be covered by the district for families exercising this option. The school must also develop or revise its school improvement plan. The plan must be completed not later than three months after the school is identified for school improvement.
Schools in Step Two of school improvement must continue school improvement planning. The district must continue to offer public school choice and must also provide supplemental educational services (SES) to low-achieving students who are considered low-income (e.g., qualify for free/reduced lunch). SES providers must be selected from OSPI’s state approved list of SES providers. (The approved providers list is available on OSPI’s Web site at http://www.k12.wa.us/ESEA/pubdocs/SESApprovedProviders.doc.) Districts must use an amount equivalent to 20% of their Title I budget (unless a lesser amount is needed) to fund public school choice and supplemental educational services.
For schools in Step Three (“corrective action”), districts must select at least one of the following options (and identify their own actions):
1. Make curriculum and instruction changes to improve student learning;
2. Appoint outside experts to work to advise the school on revising and implementing the school plan; or
3. Extend the school year or school day.
In addition to taking a corrective action, the district must continue to offer public school choice and supplemental educational services, and the school must review the school improvement plan.
In this step, school districts are required to undertake “school restructuring.” The district has one year to prepare a restructuring plan with an implementation timeline for schools in this step. The plan must be implemented the following year if the school does not make AYP again and enters Step Five.
The restructuring plan needs to include at least one of the following three actions:
- Replace school staff, which may include the school principal, who are relevant to the school"s inability to meet standards;
- Enter into a contract with an entity with a demonstrated record of effectiveness, to operate the school; or
- Implement other restructuring activities that are consistent with the principles of restructuring.
The district must provide technical assistance that emphasizes (a) the importance of improving instruction by using strategies grounded in scientifically-based research so that all students achieve proficiency in the core academic subjects of reading and mathematics, and (b) the importance of analyzing and applying data in decision-making. The district must also continue to offer public school choice and supplemental educational services to all eligible students.