NJDOE News

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    Kathryn Forsyth, Director
    Rich Vespucci

    Jon Zlock
    609-292-1126

For Release: August 16, 2007


New Jersey 2006-07 No Child Left Behind Act AYP Report

More than 72 percent of the 2,215 New Jersey schools in which state tests were administered this spring (and 74.6 percent of the state’s total 2,430 schools) met the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards mandated under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, state Department of Education officials announced today.
  
A total of 618 schools – 27.9 percent of the tested schools and 25.4 percent of New Jersey’s total schools – did not make AYP.

In 2006, 71 percent of the tested schools and 73.5 percent of the total schools met the AYP benchmarks.  In 2005, 62.2 percent of the tested schools and 66 percent of the total schools did not make AYP.

“Clearly, we have seen improvement. More than 100 schools that have been on the Schools In Need of Improvement list for two years or more did make AYP this year, and 64 other schools made AYP for two years in a row and are now off the list.  But there is still much work to be done if we are to adequately prepare our students for the 21st century workforce,” said Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy.

“It is also important to note that while we fully support the concept of accountability, we still have a number of issues about its equitable application under NCLB as it is currently written.  We hope that many of those issues can be addressed during the reauthorization of the act next year,” the Commissioner said.

“Finally, I want to make it clear that AYP is only one measurement of a school’s progress.  The DOE review teams that have been working with struggling schools over the past few years have been able to see real improvements in the learning environments in many of these buildings.  They still may not yet be meeting every one of the 40 AYP indicators with their test scores, but good work is being done and they are moving forward,” the Commissioner said.

This year, 517 schools – 23.3 percent of the tested schools and 21.2 percent of the total schools – did not make AYP for two or more years in a row and have been identified as “Schools In Need of Improvement” (SINI) under NCLB.  In 2006, 574 schools – 26 percent of the tested schools and 23.7 percent of the total schools – were on the SINI list.

Commissioner Davy said the preliminary (or “Cycle I”) analysis of the test data used to identify schools in today’s report does not include appeals, the application of the secondary measures (attendance for elementary and middle schools and graduation rates for high schools) and the scores on the alternate proficiency assessments (APAs) administered to students with the most serious disabilities.  Those assessments will be hand-graded and the results will be folded into the Cycle II analysis for each school later this year. 

How Schools Achieve AYP

AYP calculations are based on schools’ scores in the HSPA (High School Proficiency Assessment), the GEPA (Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment) and the NJASK3, NJASK4, NJASK5, NJASK6 and NJASK7 (New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge, Grades Three through Seven.). The tests are administered in the spring.

DOE officials aggregate the data for the third, fourth and fifth grade tests and sixth, seventh and eighth grade tests when the grades were housed in the same school, creating three grade spans:

  • Elementary – Grades three, four and five
  • Middle – Grades six, seven and eight
  • High School – Grade 11

The percentages of students required to meet the proficiency targets in 2007 assessments were the same as those used in 2005 and 2006:

           Subject

 Elementary
(Grades 3-5)

Middle School
  (Grades 6-8)

High School
 (Grade 11)

Language Arts Literacy

75%

66%

79%

Math

62%

49%

64%

In order to achieve AYP, a school’s students must meet both the proficiency targets and a 95 percent participation rate in the math and language arts assessments for each grade span at the school and for each of ten subgroups: total population, students with disabilities, limited English proficient (LEP) students, economically disadvantaged students and white, Hispanic, African American, Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Native American students.

In New Jersey, for participation calculations, if a subgroup in a grade span at a school contains fewer than 40 students, that subgroup’s performance is not included in the AYP calculation.  For proficiency calculations, the minimum subgroup count is 20, except for the students with disabilities subgroup, for which the count is 35.
           
The students in each subgroup in a grade span with more than the minimum number must meet the proficiency and participation benchmarks in both content areas.  If a school misses any one of the 40 indicators (participation and proficiency in both LAL and math, times ten subgroups) in any grade span tested at the school, it has not made AYP.

Two other factors are considered in the calculations:  New Jersey has received permission from the U.S. Department of Education to include a confidence interval (similar to what may be termed a “margin of error”) in calculating schools’ AYP results.  In addition, schools may also make AYP under the “Safe Harbor” provision if the number of students not achieving proficiency in a grade span decreases by more than ten percent.

“Early Warning” Status

If a school misses AYP in any one of the 40 indicators for any grade span after having achieved AYP in prior years, it is placed on DOE’s "Early Warning" list.  “Early Warning” schools face no NCLB sanctions. This is a category developed by New Jersey as a way to remind school officials that if they do not make AYP in the following year, they will be placed on the NCLB SINI list.

This year, 346 schools are on the “Early Warning” list.  One hundred and twenty-five of those schools are in “Early Warning Hold” status, which means that while they made AYP this year, they did not make it in the 2005-06 school year.  Schools must make AYP two years in a row in order to be removed from either the “Early Warning” or SINI list.

Sanctions for Schools that Do Not Make AYP Two or More Years in a Row

SINI schools that receive federal Title I funds and that do not make AYP two years in a row in the same content area face sanctions that increase in severity each year that AYP is not achieved.

The sanctions include parental notification, intra-district school choice, the use of 20 percent of the school’s federal Title I money to provide tutoring to struggling students, school improvement plans and technical assistance from the district and the state.

Schools must make AYP two years in a row in order to be removed from the SINI list. 

Year 2 Status

One hundred and fifty-eight schools were notified that they had not achieved AYP two years in a row in the same content area and were placed in the “Year 2 School Choice" status.  Of these, 79 schools are in “Year 2 Hold” status.

Any of these schools that receive Title I funding must offer parents intra-district school choice at another school that did achieve AYP within the district.  If choice is not available in the district – either because there is only one school at that grade level in the district or because the other schools at the grade level are either already at capacity or did not make AYP – the school must offer supplemental educational services, such as tutoring, and develop and implement a school improvement plan.

Year 3 Status

One hundred and twenty-eight schools which are now in the third level of AYP sanctions, "Year 3 Supplemental Educational Services."  Of these, 24 are in “Year 3 Hold” status.

If these schools receive Title I funding, they are required to offer parents intra-district choice, if feasible, and supplemental educational services, such as tutoring, using 20 percent of the Title I money they receive.  They must also complete a school improvement plan.

Year 4 Status

Seventy-six schools received notice that they are now placed in “Year 4 Corrective Action" status.  Of these, 57 are in “Year 4 Hold” status.

Any of those schools that receive federal Title I funding must allot 20 percent of their Title I funds for parental options, such as intra-district school choice, if feasible, and supplemental educational services, such as tutoring; complete or update a school improvement plan and undergo a comprehensive review; and take other corrective actions.

Year 5 Status

One hundred and six schools are in “Year 5 Restructuring” status.  Two of these schools made AYP in 2007 and are in “Year 5 Hold” status.

The remaining schools, which have not made AYP for five consecutive years, now face more severe federal sanctions.  Administrators must begin planning for school restructuring and for the implementation of the restructuring plan in the 2008-09 school year should the school miss the AYP proficiency targets next year.

Under NCLB rules, restructuring requires the imposition of an alternative governance arrangement for the school.  In New Jersey, this could involve major operational or governance changes within the school or the replacement of all or most of the school’s staff deemed relevant to the school’s inability to make progress.  DOE officials will be working with the Year 5 schools to help them create and implement a blueprint for change and identify their responsibilities and options under NCLB rules.

Year 6 Sanctions

Eleven schools are now in “Year 6 Restructuring” status.  Eight of these schools are in “Year 6 Hold” status.  All of the schools must continue to implement the DOE-approved restructuring plans that they submitted during Year 5.

Year 7 Sanctions

Thirty-eight New Jersey schools have missed AYP for seven consecutive years.

NCLB has no provision for Year 7 sanctions, but we must continue working with these schools,” said Commissioner Davy.  “Every Year 7 school will be reviewed with the department staff, the district and the school administrators.  The support provided by the department will be differentiated and will depend on the specific needs of the school and the district.  We will work together to develop individualized action plans focusing on the major obstacles to achievement.”     

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The following links provide additional information on this story:

Preliminary AYP School Profiles and Status Summaries for School Year 2007-2008
Key Points 2007
School Improvement Information Sheet for 2007
Understanding Accountability in New Jersey for 2007
2007 Schools in Early Warning
2007 Schools identified as in Need of Improvement and Yearly Status
2007 Schools that missed AYP and number of indicators made

NOTE TO REPORTERS: Attached also is a link to a list of all New Jersey school districts that received Title I funding last year. The link is provided as a guide to assist in story development. The list of schools receiving Title I funding for the 2007-08 school year will not be available until October.  In addition, in some school districts, only some of the schools are eligible for Title I funds.  Reporters are encouraged to check with local school districts to determine which of their schools are eligible to receive Title I funds.

2006 Title I List