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State Board News Release January 8, 2003


For Immediate Release
January 8, 2003

Contact: Phil Garcia
(916) 319-0827

State Board of Education Proposes Plan
to Demonstrate School Progress Under NCLB
API would remain hallmark of California school accountability system

Sacarmento - The State Board of Education today approved a statewide accountability proposal to implement the requirement in the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) that schools demonstrate annual progress in getting all students to proficiency in reading and math.

A major provision in NCLB is that all schools demonstrate "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) so that all students in all schools perform at or above the "proficient" level in reading-language arts and mathematics by 2014. Over the past several months, the State Board has reviewed options on how it might integrate AYP requirements within the framework of California's existing statewide accountability system, the Academic Performance Index or API.

By an 8-1 vote, the State Board approved a recommendation by Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell to establish an appended API so that California would maintain its API system while adding the AYP requirements as another element of each school's accountability report. As a result, the API and its widely known statewide ranking of schools
would be maintained with relatively little change. The biggest change to the API is a mandate under NCLB to include students with disabilities, and students with limited English-language proficiency, known as English learners, to the list of significant "subgroups" for which detailed reporting is required.

Under the approved plan, the API would be supplemented with an AYP report that would provide a breakdown on the percent of each subgroup scoring at "proficient or above" on standards-based tests in reading and mathematics. The AYP school report would appear on the back of the traditional API report.

"Under this proposal, the API will remain the beacon of stability in our school accountability system," said State Board President Reed Hastings. "At the same time, we would report to the federal government the information it seeks to implement the provisions for ensuring adequate yearly school progress."

Added Superintendent O'Connell: "There will be more information to show what we need to do to improve. This is the right way to go in an imperfect world."

Hastings noted that in California , students who graduate at the "proficient" level are considered college-ready. "We applaud the high goals for individual student progress in NCLB," Hastings said. "Even our most outstanding schools do not today meet NCLB's mandate for 100% student proficiency in reading and math. But this is a challenge we will work hard to meet."

California's AYP plan must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education by the end of January, after which it will undergo a "peer" review process at the USDE. After this review, the USDE may require changes in California's AYP plan.

The State Board reviewed other options for implementing AYP, but rejected those because they were deemed to be non-compliant with NCLB and therefore "non-starters" for federal officials. State Board members and Superintendent O'Connell expressed the need for the state to submit a plan that would win prompt approval to ensure that federal funds would not be jeopardized, particularly at a time when California schools are facing state budget cuts. In addition, under the approved proposal, the API may be used in conjunction with AYP to prioritize interventions for Title I schools identified for special assistance.

Here are the highlights of California 's proposed AYP reporting plan:

For more detailed information, see the attached Q&A.


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Questions: State Board of Education | 916-319-0827 
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