Accountability Designations | Follow-up Activities
Under the NYSED ESEA flexibility waiver renewal schools and districts are responsible for meeting ELA and Math state testing and Graduation rate targets for the following student groups, (also known as accountability groups) in grades three through twelve:
- All Students
- American Indian or Alaska Native Students
- Black or African American Students
- Hispanic or Latino Students
- Asian or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander Students
- White Students
- Multiracial Students
- Students with Disabilities (also known as special needs students)*
- Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students (also known as English Language Learners – ELLs)*
- Economically Disadvantaged Students (also known as free lunch eligible)
*Students are included in the Students with Disabilities, LEP Students, or Economically Disadvantaged Students group, if they were reported to NYSED as being a member of the group at any time during the reporting school year. Former Students with Disabilities and ELLs are also included in this group for up to two school years.
A student is said to have met the state testing target by receiving a Level 3 out of Levels 1 to 4 on a state test. Similarly, high school student graduates awarded a Local or Regents diploma within 4 or 5 years meet the graduation rate target. In addition, students may make good gains in their test performance to meet their state targets. Schools and districts must meet a Performance Index in order to meet or go above their state testing or graduation rate targets. A Performance Index is determined by using a formula to add together the performance levels of the school or district students on state ELA and math tests. The school’s or district’s graduation rate is computed on school or district students who have been enrolled in high school for either four or five continuous school years. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the measures used to decide if schools and districts meet their ESEA targets.
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On Thursday, February 26, 2016, the New York State Education’s (NYSED) Office of Accountability (OA) notified the New York City Department of Education of the final accountability status of schools for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years based on school and district 2014-15 school year performance on state English Language Arts (ELA) and Math tests and high school graduation rates. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) identifies schools under the following designations:
- Reward: Schools showing high performance or high progress in ELA, Math, Science, and graduation rate. NYSED plans to release an updated list during Spring 2016.
- Schools In Good Standing: School are designated in good standing based on their accountability groups meeting the state testing or graduation rate targets or having failed to meet their testing or graduation targets for one year.
- Local Assistance Plan: Schools are designated as LAP for either failing to make progress in ELA, Math, Science or Graduation Rate for a subgroup for multiple years; having large and increasing gaps in performance between specific subgroups of students; or in the case where the school is not located in a low performing district, having a subgroup perform at or below the benchmark used to identify low performing districts. NYSED plans to release an updated list of LAP schools during Spring 2016
- Focus: Title I schools that have the lowest subgroup achievement in meeting or exceeding the standard on English Language Arts and math state tests or high schools with the lowest graduation rate for any NCLB student subgroup (excluding the All Students group) are designated Focus. There are 211 2015-2016 through 2016-2017 school years’ Focus schools, down from the 232 Focus schools of the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years.
- Priority: The New York State Education Department identifies “Priority Schools” as Title I or Title I-eligible schools based on the following factors: low achievement in the “All Students” group in terms of meeting or exceeding the statewide ELA and Math testing targets and a lack of progress for this group over a number of years; or, high schools with a graduation rate less than 60 percent for a number of years; or, schools carrying out school improvement models using School Improvement Grants (SIG); see below. In 2012-13 there were 122 schools identified as Priority Schools. However, on February 26, 2016 only 90 City schools were identified as Priority Schools. Therefore, NYCDOE now has 25% fewer Priority schools.
- In July 2015 NYSED identified 62 NYC Priority Schools as “Struggling” or “Persistently Struggling.” These schools were placed under NYCDOE’s Chancellor’s Receivership. All 62 must meet their receivership requirements through the end of the 2015-16 school year. Fortunately, only 28 of the 62 2015 schools are 2016-17 Priority Schools and included in the above priority schools list. In addition, NYSED did not identify any new Struggling or Persistently Struggling schools on the basis of 2014-15 school year results.
In addition to the identification of Priority and Focus schools, NYSED also identified Focus Districts. A district is identified as a Focus District if one or more of its schools is identified as a Priority School; or one or more accountability subgroup in the district, excluding the all students accountability group, based on 2014-15 school year data was among the lowest performing in the state for the ELA and math tests; or was identified as among the lowest performing in the state on the graduation rate; and the accountability group(s) for which the district had been already identified did not make its targets. In New York City the only Community School District (CSD) that is not a Focus District is CSD 6 in Manhattan.
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Accountability Designation Follow-up Activities
Now that the 2015-16 waiver renewal school statuses have been released, there are several follow-up activities that NYSED with the assistance of the New York City Department of Education must do with Focus Districts, Focus Schools, and Priority Schools before the end of the school year. These activities include site visits, offering school choice for Title I students to attend schools in Good Standing in the 2016-17 school year, and providing extra funding to schools and districts so that they can reorganize and begin to enact changes to improve their academic performance. Parents of these schools and districts will receive letters informing them of the status of their school and/or district and outlining the specific activities that will take place.
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