Elementary and Secondary Education Act Waivers
ESEA also known as No Child Left Behind
In September 2011, the
Obama administration announced that states could apply for an Elementary and
Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind or NCLB) waiver. The
flexibility offered to states, comes as Congress remains overdue in
reauthorizing the ESEA. In May
2012, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) received approval from
the U.S. Department of Education for its ESEA flexibility waiver for the
2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2105 school years. Information on flexibility under the ESEA waiver can be found
New York State’s ESEA
The approved waiver allows
New York State to design their own differentiated accountability system that does
not revolve around the original goal of 100 percent proficiency for all
students in math and reading by the end of the 2013-14 school year. In exchange
for having significant parts of the original law waived, New York State had to
commit to intervening in 15 percent of the lowest-performing schools, focus on
closing achievement gaps, and implement teacher and principal evaluation
systems that are based in part on student performance.
In 2011-12, a record
number of schools were labeled “in need of improvement” for failure to make
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on state assessment scores. At the end of the 2011-2012 school year,
the state’s waiver does away with the NCLB accountability designations: Schools In Need of Improvement (SINI),
Corrective Action (CA) and Restructuring (RS) corresponding to the number of
years a school fails to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Under the waiver,
schools will now be identified as “Priority” and “Focus” schools in place of the
prior school accountability designations. Districts will be identified as “Focus
Districts,” replacing identification of Districts in Need of Improvement,
Restructuring and Corrective Action. SED will identify Priority Schools and Focus Districts only
once during the waiver period. Lists can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/ESEADesignations.html.
schools for which districts must develop Local Assistance Plans or designation
of schools as Focus within Focus Districts will be determined annually by SED. Determinations
as to whether to remove Priority and Focus schools and Focus Districts from
this status will also occur annually.
Priority Schools, Focus
Schools and Focus Districts, and Good Standing Schools
- Priority Schools are among the lowest five percent in
the state, based on combined ELA and math performance that are not showing
progress or that have had graduation rates below 60 percent for the last
several years. Priority Schools
must develop and finalize a Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP) by the 2014‐15 school
year which implements:
- One of the four Federal School
Improvement Grant (SIG) intervention models (turnaround, transformation,
restart and closure) as part of a whole school reform model with partner
- All of the ESEA waiver turnaround principles as part of a whole
school reform model, with partner organizations.
Priority School may be further identified as a school under registration review
(SURR). Schools in a Special Act School
District will not be identified as Priority Schools, unless the school meets
the requirement for being a Priority School and has been identified as a poor
learning environment under registration review. Transfer schools for students
who have at least one year of high school and very few credits or a school in
which at least 50 percent of the student population are English language
learners attending a U.S. school for less than three years will be excluded on
a case by case basis. Small schools and schools with high performance are
- A Focus District is a district with low student performance
and lack of progress in ELA and math combined or graduation rates for one or
more accountability groups (racial/ethnic groups, lo-income students, English
language learners, and students with disabilities). Districts with one or more
Priority Schools will automatically be designated as Focus Districts. Focus
Districts must develop a District Comprehensive Improvement Plan (DCIP).
- Focus Schools, found within Focus Districts, are
those schools identified for high numbers or percentages of non-proficient
students in a subgroup for which the district was identified. In addition, in
order to exit Focus school status, the school must exceed the standards used to
identify Focus Schools initially, and must also increase their scores on a
performance index. Focus Schools must complete a Comprehensive Education Plan
- Local Assistance Plan School is a school that is not a Priority or Focus
- Fails to make AYP for one or more
subgroups on an accountability measure for three consecutive years; or
- Have large gaps in achievement on an
accountability measure for one or more subgroups and have not made sufficient
progress in reducing or closing the gap.
- Is located in a non-Focus District but
is among the lowest in the state for the performance of one or more subgroups
for which the school is not showing progress.
school must conduct a diagnostic review using a tool prescribed by the
commissioner, to inform the development of the Local Assistance Plan (LAP). The
LAP must specify the process school leadership, staff, parents and students
participate in the development of the plan, in accordance with Section 100.11
of the Regulations (shared decision making). Identification of any additional
resources and professional development that will be provided to support
implementation as well as a timeline for implementation are required components
of the LAP. Local Assistance Plans must be posted on the district’s website.
- Good Standing Schools are schools that are not identified as
Priority, Focus or in need of a Local Action Plan (LAP). Districts that are not
identified as Focus Districts are now designated as in Good Standing.
Reward schools are
high performing school or those making the most progress and can be used as
models. Reward schools are identified annually and recognized by the SED as
models for other schools. Reward schools are eligible to compete for a
Commissioner’s Schools Dissemination Grant of up to $100,000.
Recognition Schools meet most
but not all of the criteria of the Reward School.
the waiver, Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) will be determined in a similar
manner as currently required under NCLB, but will no longer be determined for
schools and districts, only for subgroups. Elementary/Middle School Performance
Index (PI) Calculation will no longer be based on achievement Levels 1‐4, rather the Performance Index will be revised to
include both achievement and growth to proficiency.
a. District A is accountable for Black,
Hispanic and Economically Disadvantaged (ED) subgroups. The combined 2009-10
and 2010-11 ELA and Math Student Growth Percentile (SGP) for Black students is
42, Hispanic students is 47, and ED students is 48. The state average SGP is
43, 47 and 47 respectively. The ED group’s SGP is above the state average
therefore the group’s PI will be removed from identification. District A can
now be identified only for the Black and Hispanic groups.
b. All schools with an elementary
student-weighted composite performance index are given a percentile rank for
school years 2009-10 and 2010-11. School
B’s composite performance index for 2009-10 is 177, which places them in the
88th percentile. In 2010-11, the school’s PI is 178, which places them in the
86th percentile for that year.
Full credit will be
given to high schools for meeting measures of high school performance in ELA
and math based on College-and Career-Ready graduation standards (i.e., a score
of 75 or higher on the ELA Regents and a score of 80 or higher on a math
Regents) and partial credit for meeting Regents diploma requirements. The SED is
also studying an alternate methodology for computing Safe Harbor.
SED created the
Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE), a diagnostic
tool for Priority and Focus Schools and Focus Districts. The Commissioner will
appoint annually an Integrated Intervention Team to conduct an on-site
diagnostic district review and school reviews of selected Priority and/or Focus
schools to inform the development of the District Comprehensive Improvement
Plan and school Comprehensive Education Plan. Priority and Focus schools not
selected for on-site diagnostic review will be required to conduct a District
led review using the Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness
(DTSDE) protocol, to inform the development of the district Comprehensive
Improvement Plan and the school Comprehensive Education Plan. The tool replaces
prior requirements for School Quality Review, Curriculum Audit and Joint
Supplemental Education Services
in the 2012-2013 school year, school districts and public charter schools are
no longer required to offer SES or set aside money to pay for SES in identified
Title I schools.
and public charter schools may opt to continue to provide SES to students in
Title I schools that have been identified as Priority or Focus Schools.
may choose the SES providers and offer parents the opportunity to select from a
minimum of two providers who serve students in the grades enrolled in the
district’s Priority and Focus Schools requiring service.
district continues to offer SES, it must provide SES to the lowest performing
highest need students. SES per pupil amount calculation methods, SES provider
eligibility, access to school facilities by SES providers and when services are
to be provided remain the same for those districts opting to continue SES.
Public School Choice
are still required to offer public school choice for all students attending
non-charter Title I Priority or Focus Schools.
capacity cannot be used to deny student access to the public school choice
option, however, single school districts that are identified as Focus do not
require public school choice to be offered
- Parent notification requirements,
eligible students, transfer options, and timelines do not change.
- There is
no set-aside amount requirement for transportation costs to Charter Schools.
District/School Accountability Status
· Bottom 5% of districts identified for their combined
elementary, middle and high school 2010-2011 ELA and math performance index
and graduation rate for each ESEA accountability subgroup.
· A district with a Priority School
· Focus districts must notify the general public of the
accountability status of the district and its schools.
· District Comprehensive Improvement Plan (DCIP), developed and
updated in consultation with parents and school staff as required by Section
100.11 of the Regulations.
Schools in a Focus District with
either greatest number or greatest percentage of non-proficient student
results and non-graduate students for the group(s) identified.
· Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP),developed and updated in
consultation with parents and school staff as required by Section
100.11 of the Regulations
· Schools awarded a SIG grant in 2011-2102;
· Graduation rates below 60% for the 2004, 2005, and 2006 four
year graduation cohorts; or
· The lowest performing in ELA and math combined and failed
to show progress.
Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP)finalized
by the 2014‐15
school year which implements:
· Turnaround, restart, transformation or closure model
funded by a 1003(g) SIG, or
· Three year plan for redesign of a school by implementation
of the turnaround principles.
Preliminary Registration Review (SURR)
Consistent lack of improvement in Academic Performance
· 2012-2013 School Year – Commissioner may place any
school under preliminary registration review that has conditions that
threaten the safety and/or educational welfare of students based on several
factors affecting student learning.
· Beginning with 2013-2014 School Year Results – Local
Assistance Plan School that are lowest performing in ELA and Math and failed
to show progress or graduation rates below 60% for previous three year.
· Beginning with 2014-2015 School Year Results – Focus
or Priority Schools for at least three consecutive years that have made
little or no progress towards implementation of their comprehensive
improvement plans or have failed to demonstrate progress.
· Notification by the Commissioner to the district and district
notification to parents and the public.
· An Integrated Intervention Team appointed by the
Commissioner to make recommendations on the district continuing to implement
its current improvement plan, as modified; implement a new Comprehensive
Improvement Plan, which may be based on a whole school reform model; or be
phased out or closed.
· Commissioner can approve or modify any of the recommendations
of the Integrated Intervention Team.
· The Commissioner must establish a plan to ensure the
educational welfare of the students and develop a plan for closure should the
Board of Regents revoke the registration of the school.
Local Assistance Plan School
Not a Priority or Focus School that:
· Has large gaps in student achievement among subgroups; or
· Has failed to make AYP for same subgroup on same measures
for three consecutive years.
· Located in a non-Focus District but is among the lowest
performing for one or more subgroups not showing progress.
Local Assistance Plan (LAP)
· District Plan that identifies the schools in need of local
· Developed in consultation with parents and school staff,
in accordance with Section 100.11 of Regulations; and
· Describes how the district will support school improvement
in each of those schools.
Good Standing School/District
Not Priority, Focus or Local
Assistance Plan School
Data used annually for identification
· Top ten percent of schools in the state in combined ELA
and mathematics Performance Index or among the top percent in terms of
improvement in the combined Performance Index;
· Have made AYP on all measures for which they are
· Have student growth percentiles for the bottom quartile of
students that equal or exceed fifty percent; and
· Not have large gaps in student achievement among subgroups
Eligible to compete for a
Commissioner’s Schools Dissemination Grant of up to $100,000.
Advice to Local Leaders
2012-2013 school year, Good Standing Schools and Districts no longer need to
meet the improvement plan and set-aside requirements of their prior
designation. Local leaders should work with school administrators to ensure
resources and assistance is targeted towards subgroups previously identified.
leaders should urge school district administrators to collaborate with all
stakeholders as they implement District Comprehensive Improvement Plans (DCIP)
and Comprehensive Educational Plans (CEPs), in compliance with Section 100.11 of
the Regulations requiring school districts to include parents and teachers in
school-based planning and shared decision- making.
leaders should review information on what specifically will be shared with
parents regarding Supplemental Educational Services (SES) and Public School
TM/mc – 90972 May
 A school under registration
review means the Commissioner can recommend that the Regents revoke the
registration of the school. Upon approval of revocation of registration by the
Board of Regents, the Commissioner will develop a plan to ensure that the
educational welfare of the pupils of the school is protected.