No Child Left Behind (NCLB) affects your school and every public K-12 school in the country. Key requirements of the law are: closing achievement gaps, holding schools accountable for all students and having a Highly Qualified teacher in every classroom.
The ABCs and NCLB reports may seem to give conflicting information about your school’s performance. Schools can do well in the ABCs and fail to meet standards for NCLB because of the different ways the models look at test results and because of different components considered in each model. The ABCs sets performance standards for the school as a whole and growth standards for individual students. These standards are compiled to determine a school’s growth status and resulting designation such as School of Excellence and High Growth. Schools have an additional challenge under NCLB.
As part of the U.S. Department of Education flexibility waiver granted to North Carolina, AMOs for mathematics and reading have been recalculated for the 2011-12 school year. The AMOs are set individually for each subgroup with the goal of reducing by one-half the number of non-proficient students within six years. The AMOs are accessible at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/accountability/reporting/abc/2011-12/amotargets.pdf
Grade 10 reading targets are based on students scoring proficient on English I. Grade 10 mathematics targets are based on Algebra I (including “banked” scores, i.e., Algebra I scores for 10th graders who took Algebra I in any prior school year). Reading and mathematics targets for grade 10 were changed for the 2011-12 school year. Comparisons of current results to those prior to the recalculation year should be avoided as they will be inaccurate.
The measurement used for NCLB are Annual Measureable Objectives (AMOs). AMOs “set the bar” for school performance by groups of students. There is flexibility including Safe Harbor, confidence interval, and trajectory growth. Targets are set for student attendance, cohort graduation rates, student participation in assessments, and for student performance on the state standardized tests in reading and mathematics.
Schools work toward targets in each of those areas for the school’s performance as a whole and for the following student groups: White, Black, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian, Pacific Islander, Two or More Races (when two or more race/ethnicities are selected with the exception of Hispanic which overrides all other races/ethnicities), Economically Disadvantaged, Limited English Proficient, and Students with Disabilities. Most schools will not have all groups represented at their school, but all schools will have the School as a Whole (all students) group.
Look at your child’s performance and be sure you understand where your child stands in reading and mathematics. Talk with your child's teacher(s) and principal to find out how you and your school can work together to improve your child’s performance. Be aware of your school’s performance under NCLB and the ABCs. Communicate your school’s successes to your community and look for ways to support your school in challenging areas.