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Public School Ratings



Public school ratings are an important element of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. This article has an overview of public school ratings, examples of school plans, and statistics on public school ratings.

The 2001 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), often called the “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) law, was signed into law on January, 2002. It requires that by 2014, all students in all schools be proficient in math, reading, and language arts. To this end, it has established a system to ensure that local education agencies (LEAs) are showing adequate yearly progress (AYP). To this end, each state has to have a public school rating plan in place. Keep reading for more information on public school ratings.

Overview of Public School Ratings

Each state’s plan set the proficiency levels that it must achieve each year. The proficiency is measured by annual tests and related indicators. The state accountability system has to meet certain criteria. It must:

  • include all schools and districts and hold them all to the same criteria
  • issue report cards and implement rewards and sanctions based on results
  • include graduation rates as one of the additional indicators
  • establish starting points for the Adequate Yearly Progress calculation and set objectives for improvement.

Examples of School Plans

Here is an example from the state of California, showing its separate objectives for Math and English/Language Arts based on the California Standards Tests:

ELA    Year  Math

13.6% 2002 16.0% (Starting Points)

24.4% 2005 26.5% (Intermediate Goals)

35.2% 2008 37.0%

46.0% 2009 47.5%

56.8% 2010 58.0%

67.6% 2011 68.5%

78.4% 2012 79.0%

89.2% 2013 89.5%

100.0% 2014 100.0% (Final Goals)

Vermont uses the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) and the New Standards Reference Exam and chooses to set progress goals by the annual measurable objective, which is defined in the state plan, with proficiency being defined as 500 points. Meeting the AMO is part of demonstrating AYP.

 

3-8

3-8

3-8 & 10

3-8 & 10

9-12

9-12

Year

Math AMOs

Reading AMOs

Math AMOs

Reading AMOs

Math AMOs

Reading AMOs

2006

390

403

341

377

326

384

2007

390

403

341

377

326

384

2008

427

435

394

418

384

423

2009

427

435

394

418

384

423

2010

427

435

394

418

384

423

2011

463

468

447

459

442

462

2012

463

468

447

459

442

462

2013

463

468

447

459

442

462

2014

500

500

500

500

500

500

Results

In the National Center for Education Statistics table of state ratings, it is possible to see what percentage of schools in each state failed to achieve AYP in 2004-2005 (the most recent year for which data is given), with data not being available for Arkansas or Nebraska, and only high school data being given for New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Looking at the column that shows “Percent of schools that did not make AYP based on data from 2004-2005,” we can see that the national percentage of schools not making AYP--26%--is higher than the percentage for 28 of the states. Hawaii has the highest AYP at 66%, with Florida close behind at 64%. Wisconsin has the lowest AYP at 2% , with Oklahoma close behind with 3%.

Here is a chart showing how things stack up.

% of schools not making AYP

States

2

Wisconsin

3

Oklahoma

7

Montana, Tennessee

9

Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota

11

Mississippi

12

Michigan

13

Minnesota, Texas, Utah

14

Arizona

16

Louisiana, South Dakota

17

West Virginia

18

Georgia

19

Pennsylvania, Virginia

20

Connecticut, New York, Washington, Wyoming

23

Maine

24

Ohio

25

Colorado, Maryland

26

Delaware, Kentucky

27

Illinois

32

Oregon

35

Missouri

38

California

39

New Jersey

40

Indiana

41

Alaska

42

North Carolina

43

Idaho, Massachusetts

47

Alabama

53

Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina

55

District of Columbia

64

Florida

66

Hawaii

Obviously, this data needs to be contextualized to be appropriately interpreted. For example, information about students who are not native speakers of English and students with disabilities would throw light on this data.

Sources

National Center for Education Statistics - nces.ed.gov

NY Times - nytimes.com

Ed.gov Approved State Accountability Plans - ed.gov

Schoolwisepress - schoolwisepress.com