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    TITLE I What is a Title I school and what does it have to do with No Child Left Behind (NCLB)? A Title I school is a school that receives Title I money, the largest single federal funding source for education. About half of North Carolina's traditional and charter public schools are Title I schools and all 115 of the state's school districts receive Title I funding. Title I began with the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. It is intended to help ensure that all children have the opportunity to obtain a high quality education and reach grade-level proficiency. Title I funds help students who are behind academically or at risk of falling behind. Services can include: hiring teachers to reduce class size, tutoring, computer labs, parental involvement activities, professional development, purchase of materials and supplies, pre-kindergarten programs, and hiring teacher assistants or others. Many of the major requirements in NCLB are outlined in Title I - Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), teacher and paraprofessional (teacher assistant) requirements, accountability, sanctions for schools designated for improvement, standards and assessments, annual state report cards, professional development, and parent involvement.
  • How is Title I school funding determined?

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    Title I is a federal entitlement program, or non-competitive formula fund, allocated on the basis of student enrollment and census poverty and other data. The U.S. Department of Education distributes these funds to State Education Agencies (SEAs) that in turn, distribute the funds to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) or school districts. NC Department of Public Instruction holds 4 percent of the funds for administrative and school improvement purposes. Local school districts must allocate the funds to qualifying school campuses based on the number of low-income children in a school.
    Funding supports Title I Schoolwide Programs and Targeted Assistance Schools, depending on the level of poverty in the school and how the school wants to function. Schoolwide Program schools have 40 percent or more of the children on free or reduced-price lunch and go through a one-year planning process. Schoolwide Programs have flexibility in using their Title I funds, in conjunction with other funds in the school, to upgrade the operation of the entire school. Targeted Assistance Schools use Title I funds to focus on helping the students most at risk of academic failure on state assessments.
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  • What are the state and federal standards for low-income students and schools in poverty?

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    Low-income students are defined as those meeting free or reduced-price lunch criteria. Schools in poverty are defined by the number of low-income students. A Title I school must have: 1) a percentage of low-income students that is at least as high as the district's overall percentage; or 2) have at least 35 percent low-income students (whichever is the lower of the two figures).
    Only about one-third of the schools eligible for Title I are funded nationwide. Many eligible North Carolina schools do not receive funding. Districts rank schools by poverty and serve them in rank order until funds run out. Schools with 75 percent or more of the students on free or reduced-price lunch must be served. Districts must provide sufficient funding in each school to ensure that there is a reasonable chance of the program being successful.
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  • What about schools that don't get Title I funding, but have students on free and reduced-price lunch

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    The law looks at poverty by whole school, so there are poor students in some schools that don't receive Title I services. Also, funds go into a school based on poverty, but they are used to serve the students at-risk academically. The number of schools a district serves is based on the level of poverty in schools and the amount of funds available.
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  • What happens to Title I schools that do not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)?

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    Title I schools not making AYP in the same subject (reading or mathematics) for two years in a row are identified for Title I School Improvement. In the first and subsequent years of Title I School Improvement, schools must provide students with public school choice. In the second and subsequent years of Title I School Improvement, schools must offer tutoring services to economically disadvantaged students who choose not to transfer. In the third year of Title I School Improvement, schools must take corrective actions, such as replacing school staff, implementing a new curriculum, or changing the school's internal organization structure. In the fourth year of Title I School Improvement, schools must plan for restructuring. Schools in the fifth year of Title I School Improvement must implement the restructuring plan.
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  • How are Title I teachers and teacher assistants affected differently by the law?

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    All teachers of core academic subjects must be "Highly Qualified" by June 30, 2006, however, many Title I teachers must be "Highly Qualified" before that deadline.
    For instructional teacher assistants, new standards apply only to those who work in Title I schools or programs, unless the district in which they work applies the standards to all.
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  • How does No Child Left Behind affect Title I schools differently?

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    Sanctions for schools that do not make AYP, deadlines for teachers in becoming "Highly Qualified," and requirements for teacher assistants are all defined differently for Title I schools.
    In addition, Title I schools are required to notify parents of their rights to receive certain information. Parents may request information concerning the professional qualifications of their child's teacher(s) including the degrees held, certifications held, and whether the teacher is certified in the area he/she is teaching.
    Title I schools must notify parents if their child has been assigned, or has been taught for at least four consecutive weeks by a teacher who does not meet the "Highly Qualified" definition.
    Parents also may request information concerning whether or not their child is receiving instruction by teacher assistants, and if so, their qualifications.
    The law states that parents in Title I schools:
    · Must be a part of developing a written parent involvement policy that is distributed to all parents and to the local community and announced at an annual meeting.
    · Have a right to be involved in the planning and implementation of the parent involvement program in their school.
    · Can receive materials and training for parents and staff to foster greater parent involvement.
    · Must have the opportunity to jointly develop, with school staff, a school-parent compact that outlines how parents, the entire school staff, and students will share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement and the means by which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership to help children achieve the state's high standards.
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  • How can parents and others find out if a school gets Title I money or not?

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    Ask the district's superintendent or Title I coordinator, or access the Web at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/nclb/title1/ to see whether or not a school receives Title I money.
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  • Do schools consistently missing AYP in the same subject face sanctions if they do not receive Title

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    No. Non-Title I schools that do not make AYP do not face sanctions, but must amend their School Improvement Plans to indicate how they will improve. All public schools are affected by NCLB's testing requirements, "Highly Qualified" teacher standards, reporting to and notifying parents and the public, and AYP accountability.
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  • What is a School Improvement Plan?

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    A School Improvement Plan includes strategies for improving student performance, how and when improvements will be implemented, use of state funds, requests for waivers, etc. Plans are in effect for no more than three years.
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  • How is it determined whether or not a school makes Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)?

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    AYP measures the yearly progress toward achieving grade level performance for each student group in reading and mathematics. Schools must test at least 95 percent of students in each group and each group must meet the targeted proficiency goal in reading and mathematics in order to make AYP. Student groups are: 1) the School as a Whole; 2) White; 3) Black; 4) Hispanic; 5) Native American; 6) Asian; 7) Multiracial; 8) Economically Disadvantaged Students; 9) Limited English Proficient Students; and 10) Students With Disabilities. If just one student group in one subject at a school does not meet the targeted proficiency goal with a confidence interval applied to account for sampling error, then the school does not make AYP for that year.
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  • Can a school make Adequate Yearly Progress if a student group or groups fail to reach their target g

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    If a school meets "safe harbor" criteria for each student group that does not make "regular" AYP, the school still makes AYP. "Safe harbor" is a safety net for schools to use when a student group or groups fail to meet target goals. Because tests and statistical calculations are imperfect measures, "safe harbor" is one of the safeguards in place to help ensure that schools are not unfairly labeled. If a student group meets the 95 percent participation rate, but does not meet a target goal for a subject area, the group can meet it with "safe harbor" if: 1) The group has reduced the percent of students not proficient by 10 percent from the preceding year for the subject area; and 2) The group shows progress on the other academic indicator.
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  • What is the other academic indicator?

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    In North Carolina, the other academic indicator is the attendance rate or the graduation rate of a school. For schools that have both elementary/middle grades and high school grades, the other academic indicator is the graduation rate if the school has 12th grade and graduates seniors and attendance rate if the school does not. Progress is considered to be at least a .1 percentage point increase up to the 90 percent threshold for attendance and graduation rates. Any fluctuations above 90 percent meet the requirement for progress.
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  • If a school makes 18 of its 19 target goals, is the school still not considered to have made Adequat

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    The school needs to meet 19 of its 19 target goals in order to make AYP. Invoking "safe harbor" is one safety net schools can use. In addition, beginning with the 2003-04 data, a 95 percent confidence interval is used around the percentages of students scoring proficient in reading and/or mathematics to determine whether target goals for AYP are met.
    The NC School Report Card includes more than this "all or nothing" AYP information by providing numbers and percentages of targets each school has met. It is available at http://www.ncreportcards.org/src/.
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  • What is a confidence interval?

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    A confidence interval helps factor in the idea that test data reveals "fairly certain" results as opposed to "absolutely certain" results. The more students taking the test in a particular group, the more confident we can be that the true results lie fairly close to the results obtained. Students' test results are only an estimate of a student group or school's true proficiency. For each student group, a 95 percent confidence interval is used around the percentages of students scoring proficient in reading and/or mathematics to determine whether target goals for AYP are met.
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  • Why don't test results reflect a student group's ability with certainty?

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    There are many reasons why testing and test analysis are not perfect processes. A few examples include: the test or testing process may be flawed in some way; a student's performance on any given day may or may not reflect his/her true ability; or estimates for proficiency are often made without everyone's participation. In addition, data for small groups can be misleading. For instance, the average score of a student making a 60 and a student making a 95 is 77.5, but that score is not close to reflecting the achievement level of either student.
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  • How were the starting points and target goals determined?

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    North Carolina set incremental reading and mathematics target goals by averaging student test data ranging from 1998 to 2002 and determining what it would take to get to 100 percent proficiency by 2013-14 as required by NCLB. The 2002-03 school year was the first year for AYP accountability under NCLB. Increases in the percentages of students expected to meet or exceed grade-level proficiency in reading and mathematics are set for 2004-05, 2007-08, 2010-11, and 2013-14.
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  • Do alternative schools have the same criteria for making Adequate Yearly Progress?

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    Yes. According to the U.S. Department of Education, alternative schools must be evaluated on AYP using the same criteria as traditional public schools. However, alternative schools are evaluated for the growth component of the ABCs program using the alternative schools model.
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  • Are school districts accountable for AYP and are they sanctioned for not meeting proficiency standar

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    School districts are held to the same reading and mathematics proficiency goals for student groups. School-based AYP results cannot be combined to calculate district AYP results. In some cases, a student group is under 40 at the school level, but at 40 or above at the district level. In other cases, a student may not have been at a particular school for 140 days (full academic year), but may have been in the district for 140 days. This means that some students' scores are part of AYP calculations at the district level, but not at the school level. Thus, it is possible for a district to not make AYP, even though its individual schools do. Districts in Title I District Improvement must take certain measures, such as setting aside 10 percent of their Title I allotment for professional development purposes.
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  • What does it mean if a school does well in the ABCs, but does not make Adequate Yearly Progress?

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    The ABCs program and NCLB use different tests and different ways of looking at test results that may lead to seemingly contradictory results.
    Reading and mathematics End-of-Grade tests for Grades 3-8 are used for both ABCs and AYP calculations. At the high school level, however, the High School Comprehensive Tests of Reading and Mathematics for Grade 10 are used to calculate AYP. End-of-Course test results, a comparison of percentages of students completing College/University Prep or College Tech Prep courses of study, and gain in passing rate on high school competency tests from the end of eighth grade to the end of tenth grade determine high schools' composite ABCs scores.
    The ABCs focuses on school and individual student progress and performance. The ABCs looks at the school as a whole and at the growth of the same students over time. Growth is calculated using prediction formulas that factor in past performance to predict students' future performance. NCLB focuses on groups of students meeting set target goals. Student groups are defined to include each child, regardless of race, poverty, disability, or language status.
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  • What is the major difference between NCLB and North Carolina's ABCs of Public Education program?

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    NCLB's accountability measure, Adequate Yearly Progress, is an all-or-nothing model that does not distinguish between schools that miss student proficiency goals by a little (one student group) and schools that miss AYP by a lot. AYP is measured by student group performance and individual subject performance (reading and mathematics). A weakness in the performance of a student group or one subject cannot mask the performance of another student group or another subject. AYP does not recognize growth or progress in student achievement, only performance. AYP does not measure students against their own previous performance. There is no staff recognition system for schools making AYP.
    The ABCs, North Carolina's accountability system that has been in place since 1996, focuses on the percentage of students performing at grade-level along with a school's overall growth and progress. Individual students' growth from one year to the next is measured as well.
    Schools receive recognition and certified staff and teacher assistants receive incentive awards based on the percentage of students' scores at or above grade level and making or exceeding expected growth. Certain low-performing schools and districts receive help from state assistance teams.
    Documents posted on the Web at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/nclb/ncperspective/ offer a more detailed look at the differences between the two initiatives.
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