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Definition of Tiers I, II, and III

Guidance from U.S. Department of Education around the School Improvement Grant requires states to identify schools in three tiers.
Tier I

Tier I schools are elementary, middle, or high schools that are:

  • Identified as being in Program Improvement (PI) in the 2009–10 school year; and
  • Anticipated to receive a Title I, Part A apportionment in the 2009–10 Consolidated Application; and
  • Located in a local educational agency (LEA) that has an approved LEA Plan and is anticipated to receive Title I funds in 2009–10; and
  • Identified as the lowest achieving five percent of all Tier I schools, or identified under the high school graduation rate criteria (see the California Department of Education [CDE] Identification Criteria Web page [http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/pl/criteria.asp]).
Data Sources:
Tier II

Tier II schools are middle or high schools that are:

  • Eligible to receive Title I funds in 2009–10 based on their demographic characteristics (i.e., the school is above the district’s average in poverty or is above 35 percent poverty); and
  • Not anticipated to receive a Title I, Part A apportionment in the 2009–10 Consolidated Application; and
  • Located in an LEA that has an approved LEA Plan and is anticipated to receive Title I funds in 2009–10; and
  • Identified as the lowest achieving five percent of all Tier II schools, or identified under the high school graduation rate criteria (see the CDE Identification Criteria Web page [http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/pl/criteria.asp]).

OR

  • Identified as a middle or high school and meets the first three criteria in Tier I, but not identified as part of the five percent lowest achieving. The State Board of Education approved a waiver to change the Tier II definition at their March 2010 meeting.
Data Sources:
Tier III

Tier III includes elementary, middle, and high schools that were in PI in 2009–10; and middle and high schools from the Tier II pool. The criteria for PI schools to be included on the Tier III list are:

  • In PI in the 2009–10 school year; and
  • Anticipated to receive a Title I, Part A apportionment in the 2009–10 Consolidated Application; and
  • Located in an LEA that has an approved LEA Plan and is anticipated to receive Title I funds in 2009–10; and
  • Not identified as Persistently Lowest-Achieving School (PLAS) in Tiers I or II.

The criteria for schools from the Tier II pool to be included on the Tier III list are:

  • Eligible to receive Title I, Part A funds in 2009–10, but did not receive those funds; and
  • Located in an LEA that has an approved LEA plan and is anticipated to receive Title I funds in 2009–10; and
  • Had five-year Academic Performance Index growth less than 50 points; and
  • Had three-year average Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) score that was less than or equal to the highest three-year average AYP score by school type for schools identified on Tier II list; and
  • Not identified as PLAS in Tier II.
Questions:   Analysis, Measurement, and Accountability Reporting Division | 916-319-0869
Last Reviewed: Monday, September 14, 2015
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