No Child Left Behind Waiver:
The U.S. Department of Education approved a request for a No Child Left Behind Waiver for Pennsylvania on August 20, 2013. The approved waiver is designed to improve Pennsylvania education in three areas:
- making sure all our students are ready for careers or college;
- developing recognition and accountability standards by the state for all public schools;
- improving and supporting effective teachers and principals in all our classrooms.
The waiver abolishes the adequate yearly progress designation for each school building and school district. In its place is the School Performance Profile that will be used to measure the academic progress of all public schools.
Title I schools, those with a high percentage of low-income students, will receive a federal designation of “Priority,” “Focus” or “Reward” based on four annual measurable objectives:
- Student participation on the math and reading Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) exams and the algebra I, biology and literature Keystone Exams;
- Student graduation or attendance rate;
- Closing the achievement gap of all students – reducing the number of students who score below proficient on the PSSA, Keystone Exams and the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA) by 50 percent over a six-year period; and
- Closing the achievement gap of historically underperforming students – reducing the number of students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged and English language learners who score below proficient on the PSSA, Keystone Exams and the PASA by 50 percent over a six-year period.
Schools designated as “Priority” or “Focus” will have access to intervention and support services from the state Department of Education to assist them in improving student achievement.
Schools that do not fall into a Title I category will receive a School Performance Profiles score rather than a federal designation, but will also have access to all the interventions and supports available.
For all public school buildings across the state, the School Performance Profile will provide a building-level academic score, which will be based on multiple indicators of academic achievement, including student performance on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment and Keystone Exams; closing the achievement gap; graduation rate; promotion rate; and attendance rate.
In addition, the new educator evaluation system will assess educators on multiple measures of student achievement, will provide schools with access to comprehensive resources to improve classroom instruction and provide professional development to teachers, principals and superintendents.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of January 2001:
The No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush in January 2001. This Act reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and incorporated the principles and strategies proposed by President Bush. These include increased accountability for States, school districts, and schools; greater choice for parents and students, particularly those attending low-performing schools; more flexibility for States and local educational agencies (LEAs) in the use of Federal education dollars; and a stronger emphasis on reading, especially for our youngest children. The law was intended to improve the performance of America's elementary and secondary schools while at the same time ensuring that no child is trapped in a failing school.