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Kathryn Forsyth, Director
For Release: December 5, 2006
DOE Identifies 60 NCLB “Districts in Need of Improvement”
Fifty-four New Jersey school districts and six charter schools have been designated as “Districts in Need of Improvement” (DINI) based on their students’ 2006 statewide test scores as calculated under a formula established by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), Department of Education officials announced today.
A list of the 60 districts and charter schools is attached.
Districts were evaluated on whether or not the aggregated scores of the students tested in each grade in all schools within the district attained the necessary proficiency levels to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two consecutive years in both language arts literacy and mathematics. For NCLB calculation purposes, each individual charter school is considered to be a district.
Sixty-three districts were on the 2005 list. Districts that have been DINI-designated must make AYP in both language arts literacy and math at all grade levels for two consecutive years in order to be removed from the list.
“Our main focus continues to be improving student achievement, and we have seen gains in many districts,” said Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy.
“While we are disappointed that there are any districts on this list at all, we are pleased to note that 19 of the districts – almost one-third of this year’s list – did make AYP this year. These districts are in ‘hold’ status. If they make AYP on their 2007 assessments, they will no longer be in federal status next year,” the Commissioner said.
“In addition, eight districts – Lenape Regional, East Orange, Buena Regional, Jersey City, the Morris School District, Academy Charter High School in Monmouth County, Liberty Academy Charter School in Hudson County and Lady Liberty Academy Charter School in Essex County – made AYP two years in a row and are no longer DINI-designated. All of these districts should be congratulated on their efforts,” the Commissioner said.
Districts received notification of their DINI status on October 13. The deadline for the submission of appeals was November 13. Two districts’ appeals were accepted and they were removed from the list prior to its publication.
School administrators were required to notify all parents that the district has been DINI-designated. Districts that receive federal Title I funding are required to develop and implement district improvement plans and allocate ten percent of their federal money to professional development for the teaching staffs.
Thirteen of the DINI announced today did not make AYP for four consecutive years and are now facing federal corrective action sanctions. These could include the loss of federal funds, the implementation of a new district curriculum or the replacement of administrators and teachers deemed relevant to the inability of the district to make progress.
The corrective action districts will be evaluated using DOE’s new monitoring process, NJ QSAC (Quality Single Accountability Continuum), which is an alignment of state and federal accountability standards in a single review process.
The designations announced today are based on preliminary calculations and do not contain the results of the Alternate Proficiency Assessments (APAs), which are administered to the special education students with the most serious disabilities. Once the APA results are included, the data will be recalculated. If necessary, a revised DINI list will be issued.