November 4, 2002
|TO:||Chief School Administrators
Charter School Lead Persons
|FROM:||Isaac Bryant, Assistant Commissioner
Division of Student Services
|SUBJECT:||Starting Points for AYP under NCLB|
Under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), states are required to use spring 2002 assessment results to identify the starting points for the new adequate yearly progress (AYP) standard for Title I schools and districts. Attached to this memo are those pass rates that form the base for New Jersey, upon which future performance objectives will be set as well as a description of how these points were identified. In spring 2003, assessment results will be reviewed to determine whether students and all subgroups within both schools and districts have performed at these levels. In subsequent years, these performance levels or expected pass rates will be raised incrementally until we attain the goal of 100% proficiency.
New Jersey employs a rigorous set of quality controls to assure the validity of all test results reported publicly. These starting points represent projected targets since they are based upon data that have not been fully reviewed for quality control purposes. Nevertheless, they will provide an estimate of the final starting points to be submitted to the United States Department of Education that will form the foundation for future state objectives for adequate yearly progress directed to the goal of 100% proficiency within 12 years. It is estimated that after final quality controls have been completed, these figures will vary no more than five percentage points up or down. We are releasing them now so districts can review their spring data and determine their school and district status in relationship to new objectives in accordance with NCLB. Final objectives will be released at the end of January 2003. Because High School Proficiency Assessment data are not yet available, we are reporting only ESPA and GEPA figures at this time. HSPA information will be reported as soon as data are available.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requires that schools and districts assure that all students perform at high levels of academic achievement. Therefore, when school and district performance data are reviewed, not only will total school and district population performance be compared to performance objectives, but also the performance of each subgroup within the school and district will be reviewed. The subgroups by which performance will be reviewed include:
Socioeconomic status students receiving free and reduced priced lunch;
Racial/ethnic groups students will be reported out by the following breakouts: African American, white, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander and native American;
Students with disabilities; and
Students with limited English proficiency.
All students in the aggregate, as well as each subgroup, must meet these objectives. A worksheet that will assist you and your staff in this analysis is also attached. ( PDF)
There are two caveats to the review of subgroup data. They are:
If the number is too small within any subgroup of students, the data will not be considered statistically significant and, therefore, the performance of that subgroup will not be considered in making the determination of whether or not they have achieved AYP.
If the performance of a subgroup fails to reach the objective for AYP, they may still be considered as having met state objectives if the failure rate of the subgroup was reduced by 10% from one year to the next. (This is referred to as reaching "safe harbor".)
The determination of "statistically significant" has not yet been made. The department will solicit input on this factor from educators across the state prior to making a final decision.
When final data analysis is conducted, secondary measures will also be included in the analysis. At the high school, that measure must be graduation rate. The secondary measure for elementary levels has not yet been determined. Among factors under consideration at this level are: attendance rate, retention/promotion rates or others. We will solicit input from educators across the state in the upcoming weeks. It should be noted that secondary measures:
Must be considered for total school/district population and each subgroup; and
May serve to identify additional schools and districts for improvement status; but
May not remove a school/district from improvement status.
We hope that releasing this information now will assist you as you review your school and district data. If you have any questions, please call the Office of Title I Program Planning and Accountability at (609) 943-4283.