No Child Left Behind dogs school district
Recent changes that relaxed the federal No Child Left Behind Act have not spared the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District from lagging behind the law’s goals, according to school district officials.
The school board will hold a workshop on the program improvement status Wednesday at the district’s office at 5 p.m.
Though only two of the district’s schools ” Kings Beach Elementary and North Tahoe Middle schools ” are considered “program improvement schools,” the entire district has not met standards detailed in the No Child Left Behind Act, according to Jessamy Lasher, curriculum director for the district.
“It doesn’t mean that all schools have the label. It does mean that the district has the label,” Lasher said.
This year, Tahoe Truckee Unified has joined 150 California school districts as a program improvement district, based on standardized test performance, Lasher said. Last year only 14 of California’s 1,000 or so districts had the program improvement label.
Initially, more than 300 of the state’s school districts were slated to become program improvement in 2004-05. However, the California Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education compromised on a formula change that determines which districts are considered proficient by No Child Left Behind standards.
The formula looks at specific grade levels ” second through fifth, sixth through eighth and 10th grades ” and determines whether the district had 95 percent participation rate on standardized tests, a high enough federal proficiency rate and academic performance index growth on standardized tests.
In 2002-03, Tahoe Truckee Unified did not meet the 95 percent participation rate standard, and in 2003-04, the district’s English language learners did not meet federal English/language arts proficiency standards.
Now that the school district has been notified of its program improvement status, letters must be sent to parents notifying them of the district’s standing with the No Child Left Behind Act.
Also, the district must create a revised Local Educational Agency Plan. The plan will outline the district’s goals for future student proficiency and graduation rates. The district will also have to address how it will get its teachers trained to be highly qualify in the subjects they teach by 2006, as required by No Child Left Behind.
The embattled No Child Left Behind Act was put into law in 2001. The act requires that schools make marked progress in standardized tests each year, with a goal that every student ” including most special education students and all students learning English as their second language ” will be proficient in math and language arts by the 2013-2014 school year.
Last month, the Coachella Valley Unified School District board decided to sue the state of California over its implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. The district was one of 14 that was marked as a program improvement school district in 2003-04.
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