Standards, Assessment and Accountability-Related Provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act

NCLBA-- Title I -- IMPROVING THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF THE DISADVANTAGED


SEC. 1111 STATE PLANS

(b) ACADEMIC STANDARDS, ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS, AND ACCOUNTABILITY.-
(1) CHALLENGING ACADEMIC STANDARDS.

  • (A) IN GENERAL.-Each State plan shall demonstrate that the State has adopted challenging academic content standards and challenging student academic achievement standards that will be used by the State, its local educational agencies, and its schools to carry out this part, except that a State shall not be required to submit such standards to the Secretary.
  • (B) SAME STANDARDS.-The academic standards required by subparagraph (A) shall be the same academic standards that the State applies to all schools and children in the State.
  • (C) SUBJECTS.-The State shall have such academic standards for all public elementary school and secondary school children, including children served under this part, in subjects determined by the State, but including at least mathematics, reading or language arts, and (beginning in the 2005-2006 school year) science, which shall include the same knowledge, skills, and levels of achievement expected of all children.
  • (D) CHALLENGING ACADEMIC STANDARDS.-Standards under this paragraph shall include-
    • (i) challenging academic content standards in academic subjects that-
      • (I)specify what children are expected to know and be able to do;
      • (II)contain coherent and rigorous content; and
      • (III)encourage the teaching of advanced skills; and
    • (ii) challenging student academic achievement standards that-
      • (I)are aligned with the State's academic con-tent standards;
      • (II)describe two levels of high achievement (proficient and advanced) that determine how well children are mastering the material in the State academic content standards; and
      • (III)describe a third level of achievement (basic) to provide complete information about the progress of the lower-achieving children toward mastering the proficient and advanced levels of achievement.
  • (E) INFORMATION.-For the subjects in which students will be served under this part, but for which a State is not required by subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) to develop, and has not otherwise developed, such academic standards, the State plan shall describe a strategy for ensuring that students are taught the same knowledge and skills in such subjects and held to the same expectations as are all children.
  • (F) EXISTING STANDARDS.-Nothing in this part shall prohibit a State from revising, consistent with this section, any standard adopted under this part before or after the date of enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

(2) ACCOUNTABILTY

  • (A) IN GENERAL.-Each State plan shall demonstrate that the State has developed and is implementing a single, statewide State accountability system that will be effective in ensuring that all local educational agencies, public elementary schools, and public secondary schools make adequate yearly progress as defined under this paragraph. Each State accountability system shall-
    • (i)be based on the academic standards and academic assessments adopted under paragraphs (1) and (3), and other academic indicators consistent with subparagraph (C)(vi) and (vii), and shall take into account the achievement of all public elementary school and secondary school students;
    • (ii)be the same accountability system the State uses for all public elementary schools and secondary schools or all local educational agencies in the State, except that public elementary schools, secondary schools, and local educational agencies not partici-pating under this part are not subject to the require-ments of section 1116; and
    • (iii)include sanctions and rewards, such as bonuses and recognition, the State will use to hold local educational agencies and public elementary schools and secondary schools accountable for student achievement and for ensuring that they make adequate yearly progress in accordance with the State's definition under subparagraphs (B) and (C).
  • (B) ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS.-Each State plan shall demonstrate, based on academic assessments described in paragraph (3), and in accordance with this paragraph, what constitutes adequate yearly progress of the State, and of all public elementary schools, secondary schools, and local educational agencies in the State, toward enabling all public elementary school and secondary school students to meet the State's student academic achievement standards, while working toward the goal of narrowing the achievement gaps in the State, local educational agen-cies, and schools.
  • (C) DEFINITION.-'Adequate yearly progress' shall be defined by the State in a manner that-
    • (i) applies the same high standards of academic achievement to all public elementary school and secondary school students in the State;
    • (ii) is statistically valid and reliable;
    • (iii) results in continuous and substantial academic improvement for all students;
    • (iv) measures the progress of public elementary schools, secondary schools and local educational agencies and the State based primarily on the academic assessments described in paragraph (3);
    • (v) includes separate measurable annual objectives for continuous and substantial improvement for each of the following:
      • (I) The achievement of all public elementary school and secondary school students.
      • (II) The achievement of-
        • (aa) economically disadvantaged students;
        • (bb) students from major racial and ethnic groups;
        • (cc) students with disabilities; and
        • (dd) students with limited English proficiency; except that disaggregation of data under subclause (II) shall not be required in a case in which the number of students in a category is insufficient to yield statistically reliable information or the results would reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student;
    • (vi) in accordance with subparagraph (D), includes graduation rates for public secondary school students (defined as the percentage of students who graduate from secondary school with a regular diploma in the standard number of years) and at least one other academic indicator, as determined by the State for all public elementary school students; and
    • (vii) in accordance with subparagraph (D), at the State's discretion, may also include other academic indicators, as determined by the State for all public school students, measured separately for each group described in clause (v), such as achievement on additional State or locally administered assessments, decreases in grade-to-grade retention rates, attendance rates, and changes in the percentages of students completing gifted and talented, advanced placement, and college preparatory courses.
  • (D) REQUIREMENTS FOR OTHER INDICATORS.-In carrying out subparagraph (C)(vi) and (vii), the State-
    • (i) shall ensure that the indicators described in those provisions are valid and reliable, and are consistent with relevant, nationally recognized profes-sional and technical standards, if any; and
    • (ii) except as provided in subparagraph (I)(i), may not use those indicators to reduce the number of, or change, the schools that would otherwise be subject to school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under section 1116 if those additional indicators were not used, but may use them to identify additional schools for school improvement or in need of corrective action or restructuring.
  • (E) STARTING POINT.-Each State, using data for the 2001-2002 school year, shall establish the starting point for measuring, under subparagraphs (G) and (H), the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the State's proficient level of academic achievement on the State assessments under paragraph (3) and pursuant to the timeline described in subparagraph (F). The starting point shall be, at a minimum, based on the higher of the percentage of students at the proficient level who are in-
    • (i) the State's lowest achieving group of students described in subparagraph (C)(v)(II); or
    • (ii) the school at the 20th percentile in the State, based on enrollment, among all schools ranked by the percentage of students at the proficient level.
  • (F) TIMELINE.-Each State shall establish a timeline for adequate yearly progress. The timeline shall ensure that not later than 12 years after the end of the 2001-2002 school year, all students in each group described in subparagraph (C)(v) will meet or exceed the State's proficient level of academic achievement on the State assessments under paragraph (3).
  • (G) MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES.-Each State shall establish statewide annual measurable objectives, pursuant to subparagraph (C)(v), for meeting the requirements of this paragraph, and which-
    • (i) shall be set separately for the assessments of mathematics and reading or language arts under subsection (a)(3);
    • (ii) shall be the same for all schools and local educational agencies in the State;
    • (iii) shall identify a single minimum percentage of students who are required to meet or exceed the proficient level on the academic assessments that applies separately to each group of students described in subparagraph (C)(v);
    • (iv) shall ensure that all students will meet or exceed the State's proficient level of academic achievement on the State assessments within the State's timeline under subparagraph (F); and
    • (v) may be the same for more than 1 year, subject to the requirements of subparagraph (H).
  • (H) INTERMEDIATE GOALS FOR ANNUAL YEARLY PROGRESS.-Each State shall establish intermediate goals for meeting the requirements, including the measurable objectives in subparagraph (G), of this paragraph and that shall-
    • (i) increase in equal increments over the period covered by the State's timeline under subparagraph (F);
    • (ii) provide for the first increase to occur in not more than 2 years; and
    • (iii) provide for each following increase to occur in not more than 3 years.
  • (I) ANNUAL IMPROVEMENT FOR SCHOOLS.-Each year, for a school to make adequate yearly progress under this paragraph-
    • (i) each group of students described in subparagraph (C)(v) must meet or exceed the objectives set by the State under subparagraph (G), except that if any group described in subparagraph (C)(v) does not meet those objectives in any particular year, the school shall be considered to have made adequate yearly progress if the percentage of students in that group who did not meet or exceed the proficient level of academic achievement on the State assessments under paragraph (3) for that year decreased by 10 percent of that percentage from the preceding school year and that group made progress on one or more of the academic indicators described in subparagraph (C)(vi) or (vii); and
    • (ii) not less than 95 percent of each group of students described in subparagraph (C)(v) who are enrolled in the school are required to take the assessments, consistent with paragraph (3)(C)(xi) and with accommodations, guidelines, and alternative assessments provided in the same manner as those provided under section 612(a)(17)(A) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and paragraph (3), on which adequate yearly progress is based (except that the 95 percent requirement described in this clause shall not apply in a case in which the number of students in a category is insufficient to yield statistically reliable information or the results would reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student).
  • (J) UNIFORM AVERAGING PROCEDURE.-For the purpose of determining whether schools are making adequate yearly progress, the State may establish a uniform procedure for averaging data which includes one or more of the following:
    • (i) The State may average data from the school year for which the determination is made with data from one or two school years immediately preceding that school year.
    • (ii) Until the assessments described in paragraph (3) are administered in such manner and time to allow for the implementation of the uniform procedure for averaging data described in clause (i), the State may use the academic assessments that were required under paragraph (3) as that paragraph was in effect on the day preceding the date of enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, provided that nothing in this clause shall be construed to undermine or delay the determination of adequate yearly progress, the requirements of section 1116, or the implementation of assessments under this section.
    • (iii) The State may use data across grades in a school.
  • (K) ACCOUNTABILITY FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS.-The accountability provisions under this Act shall be overseen for charter schools in accordance with State charter school law.

(3) ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS.-

  • (A) IN GENERAL.-Each State plan shall demonstrate that the State educational agency, in consultation with local educational agencies, has implemented a set of high-quality, yearly student academic assessments that include, at a minimum, academic assessments in mathematics, reading or language arts, and science that will be used as the primary means of determining the yearly perform-ance of the State and of each local educational agency and school in the State in enabling all children to meet the State's challenging student academic achievement standards, except that no State shall be required to meet the requirements of this part relating to science assess-ments until the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year.
  • (B) USE OF ASSESSMENTS.-Each State educational agency may incorporate the data from the assessments under this paragraph into a State-developed longitudinal data system that links student test scores, length of enroll-ment, and graduation records over time.
  • (C) REQUIREMENTS.-Such assessments shall-
    • (i) be the same academic assessments used to measure the achievement of all children;
    • (ii) be aligned with the State's challenging academic content and student academic achievement standards, and provide coherent information about student attainment of such standards;
    • (iii) be used for purposes for which such assessments are valid and reliable, and be consistent with relevant, nationally recognized professional and technical standards;
    • (iv) be used only if the State educational agency provides to the Secretary evidence from the test publisher or other relevant sources that the assessments used are of adequate technical quality for each purpose required under this Act and are consistent with the requirements of this section, and such evidence is made public by the Secretary upon request;
      • (I) except as otherwise provided for grades 3 through 8 under clause vii, measure the proficiency of students in, at a minimum, mathematics and reading or language arts, and be administered not less than once during-
        • (aa) grades 3 through 5;
        • (bb) grades 6 through 9; and
        • (cc) grades 10 through 12;
      • (II) beginning not later than school year 2007-2008, measure the proficiency of all students in science and be administered not less than one time during-
        • (aa) grades 3 through 5;
        • (bb) grades 6 through 9; and
        • (cc) grades 10 through 12;
    • (v) involve multiple up-to-date measures of student academic achievement, including measures that assess higher-order thinking skills and understanding;
    • (vi) beginning not later than school year 2005-2006, measure the achievement of students against the challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards in each of grades 3 through 8 in, at a minimum, mathematics, and reading or language arts, except that the Secretary may provide the State 1 additional year if the State demonstrates that exceptional or uncontrollable circumstances, such as a natural disaster or a precipitous and unforeseen decline in the financial resources of the State, prevented full implementation of the academic assessments by that deadline and that the State will complete implementation within the additional 1-year period;
    • (vii) at the discretion of the State, measure the proficiency of students in academic subjects not described in clauses (v), (vi), (vii) in which the State has adopted challenging academic content and academic achievement standards;
    • (viii) provide for-
      • (I) the participation in such assessments of all students;
      • (II) the reasonable adaptations and accommodations for students with disabilities (as defined under section 602(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) necessary to measure the academic achievement of such students relative to State academic content and State student academic achievement standards; and
      • (III) the inclusion of limited English proficient students, who shall be assessed in a valid and reliable manner and provided reasonable accommodations on assessments administered to such students under this paragraph, including, to the extent practicable, assessments in the language and form most likely to yield accurate data on what such students know and can do in academic content areas, until such students have achieved English language proficiency as determined under paragraph (7);
    • (ix) notwithstanding subclause (III), the academic assessment (using tests written in English) of reading or language arts of any student who has attended school in the United States (not including Puerto Rico) for three or more consecutive school years, except that if the local educational agency determines, on a case-by-case individual basis, that academic assessments in another language or form would likely yield more accurate and reliable information on what such student knows and can do, the local educational agency may make a determination to assess such student in the appropriate language other than English for a period that does not exceed two additional consecutive years, provided that such student has not yet reached a level of English language proficiency sufficient to yield valid and reliable information on what such student knows and can do on tests (written in English) of reading or language arts;
    • (x) include students who have attended schools in a local educational agency for a full academic year but have not attended a single school for a full academic year, except that the performance of students who have attended more than 1 school in the local educational agency in any academic year shall be used only in determining the progress of the local educational agency;
    • (xi) produce individual student interpretive, descriptive, and diagnostic reports, consistent with clause (iii) that allow parents, teachers, and principals to understand and address the specific academic needs of students, and include information regarding achievement on academic assessments aligned with State academic achievement standards, and that are provided to parents, teachers, and principals, as soon as is practicably possible after the assessment is given, in an understandable and uniform format, and to the extent practicable, in a language that parents can understand;
    • (xii) enable results to be disaggregated within each State, local educational agency, and school by gender, by each major racial and ethnic group, by English proficiency status, by migrant status, by students with disabilities as compared to nondisabled students, and by economically disadvantaged students as compared to students who are not economically disadvantaged, except that, in the case of a local edu-cational agency or a school, such disaggregation shall not be required in a case in which the number of students in a category is insufficient to yield statistically reliable information or the results would reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student;
    • (xiii) be consistent with widely accepted professional testing standards, objectively measure academic achievement, knowledge, and skills, and be tests that do not evaluate or assess personal or family beliefs and attitudes, or publicly disclose personally identifiable information; and
    • (xiv) enable itemized score analyses to be produced and reported, consistent with clause (iii), to local educational agencies and schools, so that parents, teachers, principals, and administrators can interpret and address the specific academic needs of students as indicated by the students' achievement on assessment items.
  • (D) DEFERRAL.-A State may defer the commencement, or suspend the administration, but not cease the development, of the assessments described in this paragraph, that were not required prior to the date of enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, for 1 year for each year for which the amount appropriated for grants under section 6113(a)(2) is less than-
    • (i) $370,000,000 for fiscal year 2002;
    • (ii) $380,000,000 for fiscal year 2003;
    • (iii) $390,000,000 for fiscal year 2004; and
    • (iv) $400,000,000 for fiscal years 2005 through 2007.

(4) SPECIAL RULE.-

Academic assessment measures in addition to those in paragraph (3) that do not meet the requirements of such paragraph may be included in the assessment under paragraph (3) as additional measures, but may not be used in lieu of the academic assessments required under paragraph (3). Such additional assessment measures may not be used to reduce the number of or change, the schools that would otherwise be subject to school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under section 1116 if such additional indicators were not used, but may be used to identify additional schools for school improvement or in need of corrective action or restructuring except as provided in paragraph (2)(I)(i).

(5) STATE AUTHORITY.-

If a State educational agency provides evidence, which is satisfactory to the Secretary, that neither the State educational agency nor any other State government official, agency, or entity has sufficient authority, under State law, to adopt curriculum content and student academic achievement standards, and academic assessments aligned with such academic standards, which will be applicable to all students enrolled in the State's public elementary schools and secondary schools, then the State educational agency may meet the requirements of this subsection by-

  • (A) adopting academic standards and academic assessments that meet the requirements of this subsection, on a statewide basis, and limiting their applicability to students served under this part; or
  • (B) adopting and implementing policies that ensure that each local educational agency in the State that receives grants under this part will adopt curriculum content and student academic achievement standards, and academic assessments aligned with such standards, which-
    • (i) meet all of the criteria in this subsection and any regulations regarding such standards and assessments that the Secretary may publish; and
    • (ii) are applicable to all students served by each such local educational agency.

(6) LANGUAGE ASSESSMENTS.-

Each State plan shall identify the languages other than English that are present in the participating student population and indicate the languages for which yearly student academic assessments are not available and are needed. The State shall make every effort to develop such assessments and may request assistance from the Secretary if linguistically accessible academic assessment measures are needed. Upon request, the Secretary shall assist with the identification of appropriate academic assessment measures in the needed languages, but shall not mandate a specific academic assessment or mode of instruction.

(7) ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY.-

Each State plan shall demonstrate that local educational agencies in the State will, beginning not later than school year 2002-2003, provide for an annual assessment of English proficiency (measuring students' oral language, reading, and writing skills in English) of all students with limited English proficiency in the schools served by the State educational agency, except that the Secretary may provide the State 1 additional year if the State demonstrates that exceptional or uncontrollable circumstances, such as a natural disaster or a precipitous and unforeseen decline in the financial resources of the State, prevented full implementation of this paragraph by that deadline and that the State will complete implementation within the additional 1-year period.

(8) REQUIREMENT.-

Each State plan shall describe-

  • (A) how the State educational agency will assist each local educational agency and school affected by the State plan to develop the capacity to comply with each of the requirements of sections 1112(c)(1)(D), 1114(b), and 1115(c) that is applicable to such agency or school;
  • (B) how the State educational agency will assist each local educational agency and school affected by the State plan to provide additional educational assistance to individual students assessed as needing help to achieve the State's challenging academic achievement standards;
  • (C) the specific steps the State educational agency will take to ensure that both schoolwide programs and targeted assistance schools provide instruction by highly qualified instructional staff as required by sections 1114(b)(1)(C) and 1115(c)(1)(E), including steps that the State educational agency will take to ensure that poor and minority children are not taught at higher rates than other children by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers, and the measures that the State educational agency will use to evaluate and publicly report the progress of the State educational agency with respect to such steps;
  • (D) an assurance that the State educational agency will assist local educational agencies in developing or identifying high-quality effective curricula aligned with State academic achievement standards and how the State educational agency will disseminate such curricula to each local educational agency and school within the State; and
  • (E) such other factors the State educational agency determines appropriate to provide students an opportunity to achieve the knowledge and skills described in the chal-lenging academic content standards adopted by the State.

(9) FACTORS AFFECTING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT.-

Each State plan shall include an assurance that the State educational agency will coordinate and collaborate, to the extent feasible and necessary as determined by the State educational agency, with agencies providing services to children, youth, and families, with respect to local educational agencies within the State that are identified under section 1116 and that request assistance with addressing major factors that have significantly affected the academic achievement of students in the local educational agency or schools served by such agency.

(10) USE OF ACADEMIC ASSESSMENT RESULTS TO IMPROVE STUDENT ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT.-

Each State plan shall describe how the State educational agency will ensure that the results of the State assessments described in paragraph (3)-

  • (A) will be promptly provided to local educational agencies, schools, and teachers in a manner that is clear and easy to understand, but not later than before the beginning of the next school year; and
  • (B) be used by those local educational agencies, schools, and teachers to improve the educational achieve-ment of individual students.

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