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Notice of Final Rule­mak­ing on Account­abil­i­ty, Pub­lic Report­ing, and State Plans

Overview of Key Issues

This sum­ma­ry is based on an ini­tial read of the final rules. The­se rules are meant to clar­i­fy the statute and show states how to imple­ment statu­to­ry require­ments.

Again, this doc­u­ment reflects our first review. We will con­tin­ue to dig in to the con­tent more deeply over the com­ing days and weeks; please use this overview as a quick out­line of the key issues.

As you con­sid­er how the­se pro­posed rules will impact your work, keep in mind that the first win­dow for sub­mit­ting state plans is April 2017.
Pro­vi­sions in Final Rules

Account­abil­i­ty

Char­ter Schools

 Account­abil­i­ty for char­ters is over­seen in accor­dance with state char­ter school law.

 If a char­ter autho­riz­er decides to revoke a char­ter, that deci­sion super­sedes any iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the school as a com­pre­hen­sive sup­port and improve­ment school or tar­get­ed sup­port and improve­ment school.
Goals and Inter­im Tar­gets

  The reg­u­la­tions reit­er­ate the ESSA require­ment that states must set long-term goals and inter­im pro­gress tar­gets for improv­ing achieve­ment on state assess­ments in at least math and read­ing, and for increas­ing grad­u­a­tion rates. Goals must be set for all sub­groups of stu­dents using the same mul­ti-year time­line and must expect more pro­gress for sub­groups that are fur­ther behind.

  Sep­a­rate goals and tar­gets must be set for math and read­ing.

  Goals for “aca­d­e­mic achieve­ment” are set on grade-lev­el pro­fi­cien­cy on state tests.

  Grad­u­a­tion rate goals are set based on the adjust­ed 4 year cohort grad­u­a­tion rate. States may also set goals based on extend­ed-year grad­u­a­tion rates, but those goals and asso­ci­at­ed pro­gress tar­gets have to be more ambi­tious.

  The state must set goals for improv­ing the per­cent of Eng­lish learn­ers mak­ing pro­gress toward Eng­lish lan­guage pro­fi­cien­cy. States must estab­lish uni­form pro­ce­dures to deter­mine research- based stu­dent-lev­el tar­gets for meet­ing those goals, based on stu­dent char­ac­ter­is­tics. Using the­se uni­form pro­ce­dures, the state must deter­mine the max­i­mum num­ber of years it should take for a stu­dent to become pro­fi­cient in Eng­lish. An Eng­lish learn­er who does not attain Eng­lish lan­guage pro­fi­cien­cy with­in the time­line set by the state must not be exit­ed from Eng­lish learn­er ser­vices or sta­tus pri­or to attain­ing Eng­lish lan­guage pro­fi­cien­cy.

  All indi­ca­tors must be mea­sured for each sub­group (stu­dents from each major racial and eth­nic group, low-income stu­dents, Eng­lish learn­ers, and stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties).
  The same indi­ca­tors must be used statewide and must be cal­cu­lat­ed the same way in all schools.
  The Aca­d­e­mic Achieve­ment indi­ca­tor is based on grade-lev­el pro­fi­cien­cy, but a state may elect to award par­tial cred­it for stu­dents who are not yet pro­fi­cient or extra cred­it for stu­dents who are advanced, though the extra cred­it can­not ful­ly com­pen­sate for stu­dents who are not pro­fi­cient.

o The reg­u­la­tions also reit­er­ate the ESSA require­ment that if more than 5 per­cent of stu­dents in any sub­group (in each school and dis­trict) did not take the state assess­ment, the state must count those addi­tion­al untest­ed stu­dents as fail­ing.

 The indi­ca­tor of School Qual­i­ty or Stu­dent Suc­cess:
o Can be dif­fer­ent in dif­fer­ent grade spans (i.e. chron­ic absen­teeism in ele­men­tary and mid­dle school and post­sec­ondary readi­ness in high school).
o Has to be sup­port­ed by research that links it to increased stu­dent learn­ing (e.g. grade point aver­age, cred­it accu­mu­la­tion, per­for­mance in advanced course­work) or grad­u­a­tion rates, post­sec­ondary enroll­ment, per­sis­tence or com­ple­tion, and career readi­ness.

o Must sup­port mean­ing­ful dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion of schools.

Assess­ment Par­tic­i­pa­tion
  Assess­ment par­tic­i­pa­tion is mea­sured sep­a­rate­ly for Read­ing and Math.
  If a school miss­es the 95% par­tic­i­pa­tion require­ment, the state must either low­er its sum­ma­tive deter­mi­na­tion, give it the low­est rat­ing on the aca­d­e­mic achieve­ment indi­ca­tor, iden­ti­fy it as a tar­get­ed sup­port and improve­ment school, or take anoth­er (equal­ly rig­or­ous) action.
  Schools miss­ing 95% must devel­op an improve­ment plan that is approved by the LEA.
  LEAs with a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of schools miss­ing the 95% rate must devel­op an improve­ment plan to be approved and mon­i­tored by the state.
  States, LEAs, and schools can­not sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly exclude stu­dents in any sub­group.

N-size
  If a state choos­es an n-size that is greater than 30, it must provide jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for why it is doing so and have the Depart­ment approve it.

  States can have low­er n-sizes for report­ing than they do for account­abil­i­ty.

Rat­ings (Called “Deter­mi­na­tions” in final rule)

 For each indi­ca­tor (Aca­d­e­mic Achieve­ment, Aca­d­e­mic Pro­gress, Grad­u­a­tion Rate, Pro­gress in Achiev­ing Eng­lish Lan­guage Pro­fi­cien­cy, and School Qual­i­ty or Stu­dent Suc­cess), states must have at least three per­for­mance lev­els, which must get report­ed on LEA report cards. For exam­ple, a state could have red, yel­low, and green lev­els. You would have to be able to see that school X got a red on Achieve­ment, a green on Eng­lish Lan­guage Pro­fi­cien­cy, etc.

  The­se indi­ca­tors must roll up into one sum­ma­tive deter­mi­na­tion, which also must have at least three cat­e­gories. The state can choose to have two of the­se rat­ings be Com­pre­hen­sive Sup­port and Improve­ment and Tar­get­ed Sup­port and Improve­ment.
  The School Qual­i­ty or Stu­dent Suc­cess indi­ca­tor can­not keep a school from being iden­ti­fied for com­pre­hen­sive or tar­get­ed sup­port if it was going to be iden­ti­fied based on the oth­er three (unless the school is mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant pro­gress in one of the oth­er areas).
  A school that is con­sis­tent­ly under­per­form­ing for any sub­group must receive a low­er rat­ing than it would have received if it was not con­sis­tent­ly under­per­form­ing for any sub­group.

Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion

 States must iden­ti­fy the fol­low­ing types of schools for Com­pre­hen­sive Sup­port and Improve­ment:

o The low­est per­form­ing 5% of Title I schools.
o Any high school with a grad­u­a­tion rate below 67% (states can set a high­er thresh­old).
o Any Title I school that is chron­i­cal­ly under­per­form­ing for one or more sub­groups. The­se

are schools that are per­form­ing as bad­ly for one or more sub­groups as the low­est achiev­ing 5% of Title I schools are for all stu­dents, and that fail to meet state-set exit cri­te­ria.

 States must iden­ti­fy the fol­low­ing types of schools for Tar­get­ed Sup­port and Improve­ment: o Schools that are con­sis­tent­ly under­per­form­ing for any sub­group of stu­dents.

Con­sis­tent­ly under­per­form­ing” must be defined as
  Not meet­ing at least one of the State’s mea­sure­ments of inter­im pro­gress for a sub­group of stu­dents, being off track at least one of the State-designed long- term goals for a sub­group or per­form­ing below a State-deter­mined thresh­old for a sub­group on an indi­ca­tor for which the State is not required to estab­lish long-term goals; or
  Anoth­er state-devel­oped def­i­n­i­tion.
  In iden­ti­fy­ing the­se schools, states must con­sid­er no more than two years of per­for­mance, unless the state can show that a longer time­frame will bet­ter sup­port low-per­form­ing sub­groups to improve.

o Schools that are low-per­form­ing for any sub­group of stu­dents. “Low-per­form­ing” means doing as bad­ly for any sub­group of stu­dents as the low­est achiev­ing 5% of Title I schools are doing for all stu­dents.
  Com­pre­hen­sive Sup­port and Improve­ment schools will be iden­ti­fied for the first time in SY18-19 based on SY17-18 data. The­se schools must be iden­ti­fied once every three years.
  Schools that are con­sis­tent­ly under­per­form­ing for any sub­group of stu­dents must be iden­ti­fied annu­al­ly start­ing in SY19-20 based on SY17-18 and SY18-19 data. Schools that are low- per­form­ing for one or more sub­groups of stu­dents must be iden­ti­fied every three years start­ing in SY18-19.

School Improve­ment

 Com­pre­hen­sive Sup­port and Improve­ment Schools
o Par­ents of stu­dents in schools iden­ti­fied for Com­pre­hen­sive Sup­port and Improve­ment

must be noti­fied of the school’s sta­tus imme­di­ate­ly.
o Must con­duct, in part­ner­ship with stake­hold­ers, a needs assess­ment that exam­i­nes the school’s aca­d­e­mic per­for­mance and unmet needs, includ­ing stu­dent sup­ports, school lead­er­ship and instruc­tion­al staff, qual­i­ty of instruc­tion­al pro­gram, fam­i­ly and com­mu­ni­ty involve­ment, school cli­mate, and dis­tri­b­u­tion of resources.

o Must imple­ment a sup­port and improve­ment plan, which has been approved by the school, the LEA, and the state.

o Inter­ven­tions should, to the extent prac­ti­ca­ble, have been shown to work in oth­er sim­i­lar set­tings.

o Theim­prove­ment­plan­musti­den­ti­fyan­dad­dress­re­sour­ceinequities­be­tween­schools with­in the LEA and with­in the school, includ­ing at min­i­mum dis­pro­por­tion­ate rates of inef­fec­tive, out-of-field, or inex­pe­ri­enced teach­ers and per pupil expen­di­tures, as well as access to advanced course­work, preschool pro­grams and full-day kinder­garten pro­grams, and spe­cial­ized instruc­tion­al sup­port per­son­nel.

o The state sets uni­form exit cri­te­ria, which must require that a school a) improves stu­dent out­comes and b) no longer meets the cri­te­ria under which it was iden­ti­fied as a com­pre­hen­sive sup­port and improve­ment school.

o If any school does not meet that exit cri­te­ria, it has to do anoth­er needs assess­ment that also looks at why it didn’t meet that cri­te­ria. It must also take on addi­tion­al inter­ven­tions, as deter­mined by the state.

o There can be dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed inter­ven­tions for small high schools with low grad­u­a­tion rates and alter­na­tive schools.

 Tar­get­ed Sup­port and Improve­ment Schools iden­ti­fied for con­sis­tent under­per­for­mance for one or more sub­groups.

o Par­ents of stu­dents in schools iden­ti­fied for Tar­get­ed Sup­port and Improve­ment must be noti­fied of the school’s sta­tus imme­di­ate­ly.

o Must imple­ment a sup­port and improve­ment plan, which has been approved by the LEA. Plans have to address how the school will improve out­comes for the low­est- per­form­ing stu­dents.

o Inter­ven­tions should, to the extent prac­ti­ca­ble, have been shown to work in oth­er sim­i­lar set­tings.

o The LEA estab­lish­es the exit cri­te­ria schools must meet. If any school does not meet that exit cri­te­ria, it must amend its sup­port and improve­ment plan. The state may require LEAs to sub­mit for review and approved the amend­ed plan.

Addi­tion­al require­ments for Tar­get­ed Sup­port and Improve­ment Schools iden­ti­fied for low per­for­mance for one or more sub­groups
  Improve­ment plans for the­se schools must iden­ti­fy and address resource inequities between schools with­in the LEA and with­in the school, includ­ing at min­i­mum dis­pro­por­tion­ate rates of inef­fec­tive, out-of-field, or inex­pe­ri­enced teach­ers and per pupil expen­di­tures, as well as access to advanced course­work, full-day kinder­garten pro­grams and preschool pro­grams, and spe­cial­ized instruc­tion­al sup­port per­son­nel.
  States must set exit cri­te­ria for the­se schools that must at min­i­mum require that the­se schools a) improve out­comes for the low-per­form­ing subgroup(s), and b) no longer meet the cri­te­ria for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.
 Schools that do not meet the­se exit cri­te­ria in a state-deter­mined time­frame become com­pre­hen­sive sup­port and improve­ment schools.

State Respon­si­bil­i­ties
  SEA must reg­u­lar­ly review (and to the extent prac­ti­ca­ble, address) its resource allo­ca­tions (includ­ing the kinds of resource inequities con­sid­ered in Com­pre­hen­sive Sup­port and Improve­ment plans) to LEAs with high num­bers or per­cent­ages of iden­ti­fied schools, as com­pared to all oth­er LEAs in the state and in schools in those LEAs as com­pared to all oth­er schools in the state.
  SEA must provide tech­ni­cal assis­tance to LEAs with sig­nif­i­cant num­bers or per­cent­ages of Com­pre­hen­sive or Tar­get­ed Sup­port and Improve­ment schools, includ­ing increas­ing LEA capac­i­ty to devel­op tools such as needs assess­ments and improve­ment plan­ning doc­u­ments.

Fund­ing
  Com­pre­hen­sive Sup­port and Improve­ment schools must be pri­or­i­tized for Title I funds reserved at the State lev­el for school improve­ment.
  Unless the state deter­mi­nes that lesser amounts are suf­fi­cient to sup­port effec­tive imple­men­ta­tion of improve­ment plans, the min­i­mum grant for an LEA sup­port­ing Com­pre­hen­sive Sup­port and Improve­ment schools is $500K per year per school; it is $50K per year per school for sup­port­ing Tar­get­ed Sup­port and Improve­ment schools.
  If avail­able funds are insuf­fi­cient for all Com­pre­hen­sive and Tar­get­ed Sup­port and Improve­ment schools, the state must pri­or­i­tize cer­tain LEAs, includ­ing:

o LEAs serv­ing Com­pre­hen­sive Sup­port and Improve­ment Schools;
o LEAs with the great­est need (based on the SEA’s analy­sis of resource allo­ca­tions,

num­ber of schools imple­ment­ing improve­ment plans and stu­dent achieve­ment in

schools being served); and
o LEAs with the great­est com­mit­ment to using funds to improve achieve­ment (based on

use of evi­dence-based inter­ven­tions, and com­mit­ment to family/community engage­ment).

Pub­lic Report­ing

Report Cards

 Over­all
o Report cards must be con­cise, under­stand­able and devel­oped in con­sul­ta­tion with

par­ents.
o For report cards, data must also be dis­ag­gre­gat­ed by the fol­low­ing sub­groups: migrant stu­dents, home­less stu­dents, stu­dents in fos­ter care, and stu­dents with an active-duty mil­i­tary par­ent.
o All report cards must include a con­cise descrip­tion of the state’s account­abil­i­ty sys­tem.

 State Report Cards
o Must include an analy­sis com­par­ing – by autho­riz­ing agen­cy — the school enroll­ment by sub­group and achieve­ment lev­els of char­ter schools to oth­er schools in their geo­graph­ic area or the LEA(s) from which they draw the most stu­dents.
o Must have an overview sec­tion that clear­ly shows the statewide dis­ag­gre­gat­ed data for account­abil­i­ty indi­ca­tors.

LEA Report Cards
o Must include com­par­isons of LEA data to the state as a whole. o For each school in the LEA:
  Its sum­ma­tive deter­mi­na­tion.
  Whether it is iden­ti­fied as in need of Com­pre­hen­sive Sup­port and Improve­ment

or Tar­get­ed Sup­port and Improve­ment (and the rea­son for that iden­ti­fi­ca­tion).
  Com­par­isons of data to the LEA as a whole.

 Tim­ing

o Report cards must be pub­lished by Decem­ber 31st. If the state’s per pupil expen­di­ture

data are not avail­able by Decem­ber 31st, those data can be added lat­er (but no lat­er

than June 30th).
o Report cards reflect­ing the new require­ments must be released by Decem­ber 31st, 2018.

 Cal­cu­lat­ing Data for all Report Cards o Aca­d­e­m­i­cAchieve­ment
  Must report pro­fi­cien­cy rates both as cal­cu­lat­ed for account­abil­i­ty (i.e. count­ing most stu­dents who don’t take the assess­ment as non-pro­fi­cient) and as a per­cent­age of stu­dents pro­fi­cient out of just those who took the test.
  Must report the per­cent­age of stu­dents at each lev­el of achieve­ment.
  Whether each sub­group of stu­dents met goals or inter­im pro­gress tar­gets.

o Grad­u­a­tion rate mea­sures include stu­dents who have received a state-defined

alter­na­tive diplo­ma for stu­dents with the most sig­nif­i­cant cog­ni­tive dis­abil­i­ties. o Per­Pupil­Ex­pen­di­tures
  Does not include fund­ing from pri­vate sources.
  Must be a sin­gle statewide pro­ce­dure for what to include and how to allo­cate costs.
  Must report on LEA costs that are not allo­cat­ed to a school site.
  Does not include com­mu­ni­ty ser­vices, cap­i­tal out­lay or debt ser­vice.

o Post­sec­ondary­Ma­tric­u­la­tion
  Must include data (if data is rou­tine­ly obtain­able) for all stu­dents going to any in-state pub­lic pro­gram, and – if pos­si­ble – stu­dents attend­ing in-state pri­vate pro­grams or out-of-state pro­grams.
  If a state doesn’t have the data, it must say on the report card what year it will have that data avail­able.

o TeacherAs­sign­ment

 For the pur­pos­es of exam­in­ing teacher assign­ment across schools, “high- pover­ty” is defined as in the top quar­tile of pover­ty, and “low-pover­ty” is in the bot­tom quar­tile of pover­ty.

 Note: This def­i­n­i­tion only applies to the data report­ed on the report cards; for the pur­pose of mea­sur­ing dis­pro­por­tion­al access as part of the state plans, states can define “low-income” in a dif­fer­ent way.
State Plans
 States must estab­lish a statewide def­i­n­i­tion of “inex­pe­ri­enced” and “not teach­ing in the sub­ject or field for which the teacher is cer­ti­fied or licensed” for the pur­pos­es of the report cards.

  States may choose from two sub­mis­sion dates – April 3, 2017 or Sep­tem­ber 18, 2017.
  Pri­or to sub­mis­sion, state plans have to be avail­able for pub­lic com­ment for at least 30 days.
  Plans must be reviewed and revised (if nec­es­sary) at least every four years.
  The groups that must be con­sult­ed was expand­ed to include com­mu­ni­ty-based orga­ni­za­tions, civil rights orga­ni­za­tions, insti­tutes of high­er edu­ca­tion, employ­ers, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of pri­vate school stu­dents, ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­tors and lead­ers, and the pub­lic.

Teacher Equi­ty
  State plans must detail the state’s strate­gies to provide low-income stu­dents and stu­dents of col­or greater access to effec­tive, expe­ri­enced, and in-field teach­ers.
  States must define “inef­fec­tive”, “out of field”, and “inex­pe­ri­enced” in ways that cap­ture dif­fer­ent people/characteristics (i.e. you can’t define inef­fec­tive as out of field).
  States must annu­al­ly cal­cu­late and report on the dif­fer­ences in the rates at which low-income stu­dents and stu­dents of col­or have inef­fec­tive, out of field, and inex­pe­ri­enced teach­ers, com­par­ing low-income stu­dents and stu­dents of col­or in Title I schools to non-low-income, non- minor­i­ty stu­dents in non-Title I schools.
  Where dis­pro­por­tion­al­i­ty exists, states must do a root cause analy­sis that reflects gaps between dis­tricts, with­in dis­tricts, and with­in schools, and devel­op strate­gies that focus on the most sig­nif­i­cant rates of dis­pro­por­tion­al­i­ty.
  SEAs can direct LEAs to use Title II funds to increase access and reduce dis­pro­por­tion­al­i­ty. They can also deny Title II dol­lars to an LEA if it fails to address dis­pro­por­tion­al­i­ty in its Title II appli­ca­tion.
  SEAs must annu­al­ly pub­lish the per­cent­age of teach­ers in each LEA in each cat­e­go­ry of effec­tive­ness based on the state’s def­i­n­i­tion of effec­tive­ness.
  SEAs must describe their time­li­nes and inter­im tar­gets for elim­i­nat­ing dif­fer­ences in the rates of inef­fec­tive, unqual­i­fied, and out-of-field teach­ers.