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Education Commission of the States (ECS)
NCLB Reauthorization

To better inform the national debate on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) reauthorization, ECS collected and synthesized recommendations by national organizations to improve the federal law.

ECS' database is organized around 16 issue areas that captured most recommendations. Some organizations did not offer recommendations for all issues, at least according to our analysis. And several recommendations appear more than once since they applied to multiple issue areas.

The summary and full text of the Education Commission of the States' (ECS) original recommendations are listed in this report. Please see the main database page for additional reports.

Highlights
Issues addressed: 12 of 16
Adequate Yearly Progress; Assessment, Standards and Curriculum; Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development; Consequences and Interventions; Data Systems and Reporting;  English Language Learners; Finance; Safe Schools; Students with Disabilities; Supplemental Education Services; Teaching Quality; and Miscellaneous/Overarching.

Issues not addressed: 4 of 16
Early Childhood; High Schools; Other Programs; and School Leadership.

Areas of emphasis:
Adequate Yearly Progress; Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development; and Teaching Quality.
 
Source:
ECS Report to the Nation: State Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (July 2004)


Visit ECS' Database on NCLB Reauthorization main page for more information, explanations and access to organizations' original reports. Please note that ECS plans to expand the database as more information becomes available.

Database Last Updated: July 2007

This database was created and compiled by Mary Fulton, ECS policy analyst.
For questions and comments: 303.299.3679 or mfulton@ecs.org
NCLB Reauthorization : Education Commission of the States (ECS)
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)
AYP 1 - Summary of Recommendation Ensure NCLB focuses on the performance growth of all -- not just low-performing -- students.
AYP 1 - Full Recommendation Ensure performance growth of all students, not just low-performing students. The promise of NCLB to raise the achievement of students who have been struggling should not obscure the need to raise the achievement of all students, regardless of current academic standing. NCLB provides a unique opportunity to ensure improvement for all students.
AYP 2 - Summary of Recommendation Reassess AYP to ensure it measures school and district effects on student progress over time.
AYP 2 - Full Recommendation Reassess adequate yearly progress. AYP must be thoroughly analyzed to ensure it measures school and district effects on student progress. The reassessment should take into consideration that AYP currently does not follow the progress of cohorts of students over time – an approach that provides a more accurate picture of student performance and how schools and teachers are contributing to the gains.
AYP 3 - Summary of Recommendation Maintain goal of 100% proficiency by 2013-14 and ensure states support this objective, despite number of schools in improvement.
AYP 3 - Full Recommendation Maintain commitment to the goal of 100% proficiency by 2013-14. Ensure state NCLB plans continue to support this goal, even if an increasing number of schools are identified as in need of improvement.
AYP 4 - Summary of Recommendation Initiate independent AYP assessment to determine meaningful definition and measurement of student growth.
AYP 4 - Full Recommendation Initiate an independent reassessment of AYP to determine what constitutes meaningful growth, and to ensure the current formula is a statistically viable means of determining adequate yearly progress.
AYP 5 - Summary of Recommendation Expand AYP exemptions in rural states regarding alternative assessments for students with disabilities.
AYP 5 - Full Recommendation Allow exceptions for states with large rural areas, where district populations do not exceed 100 students, to reconfigure the 1% rule under AYP so at least two students doing well on an alternative assessment could be counted as proficient. Otherwise, districts with only one or no student classified as proficient would not qualify for the flexibility in NCLB.
Assessment, Standards and Curriculum (ASC)
ASC 1 - Summary of Recommendation Allow greater variation in testing options, such as value-added, that are valid and tied to state standards.
ASC 1 - Full Recommendation Allow for greater variation in testing options; for example, computer-based adaptive and value-added assessments, exams that reflect the varying capabilities of students with disabilities, and other emerging assessments. Require each testing option to be documented as valid, reliable and aligned with state standards.
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
CIRD 1 - Summary of Recommendation

Build state and district capacity to assist low performing schools.

CIRD 1 - Full Recommendation

Build state and local capacity. A growing number of schools are being labeled as “in need of improvement” at a time when state departments of education and local districts are experiencing budget and staff reductions. Nevertheless, states and districts must continue to build capacity for assisting schools in need of improvement. This may require reallocation of resources and new forms of collaboration.

CIRD 2 - Summary of Recommendation Provide incentives for states to serve as R&D laboratories to broaden and deepen NCLB's impact.
CIRD 2 - Full Recommendation Ensure the research and development opportunities NCLB affords are not overshadowed by the law’s management challenges. Provide incentives that encourage states to serve as laboratories of research and development, thereby broadening the scope and deepening the impact of NCLB.
Consequences and Interventions (CI)
CI 1 - Summary of Recommendation Ensure eligible students have access to supplemental services, interventions and safe schools as soon as possible. 
CI 1 - Full Recommendation Ensure all eligible students have access to supplemental services, appropriate interventions and safe schools. This may require federal officials to make a greater investment in technical assistance programs to turn around low-performing schools. Children simply cannot wait seven years for the most serious NCLB measures to take effect.
CI 2 - Summary of Recommendation Ensure low-performing school interventions are scientifically-research based.
CI 2 - Full Recommendation Ensure interventions to improve low-performing schools – such as conversion to charter status or the use of management companies – are based on scientifically based research.
CI 3 - Summary of Recommendation Provide incentives for non-Title I school improvement interventions.
CI 3 - Full Recommendation Provide incentives for school improvement interventions in non-Title I schools.
Data Systems and Reporting (DSR)
DSR 1 - Summary of Recommendation Push for greater transparency in and comparability among federal and state data sets.
DSR 1 - Full Recommendation Push for greater transparency in and comparability among federal and state data sets to better inform public debate, and challenge what appear to be limited or questionable public policy pronouncements.
DSR 2 - Summary of Recommendation Require states to provide accurate and accessible teacher quality data.
DSR 2 - Full Recommendation Insist that states provide accurate and accessible data on the qualifications and competence of teachers.
Early Childhood Education (ECE)
ECE 1 - Summary of Recommendation No recommendations identified for this issue.
English Language Learners (ELL)
ELL 1 - Summary of Recommendation Allow more time and make accommodations for immigrant students to undergo acculturation to American society. 
ELL 1 - Full Recommendation Make modifications that allow different cultural biases to be accommodated or provide more time for students to undergo acculturation. This is particularly important for students who are recent immigrants and do not or cannot relate in conceptual terms to subject matter that reflects mainstream American culture.
Funding Issues (FI)
FI 1 - Summary of Recommendation Meet federal NCLB funding obligations once accurate costs are determined.  
FI 1 - Full Recommendation Require federal government meet NCLB funding obligations, once accurate levels of need are determined.  
FI 2 - Summary of Recommendation Identify NCLB requirements delayed due to costs and respond accordingly.
FI 2 - Full Recommendation Identify which NCLB requirements are being delayed in which states because of cost concerns, and structure market incentives to respond to the findings.
High Schools (HS)
HS 1 - Summary of Recommendation No recommendations identified for this issue.
Other Programs (OP)
OP 1 - Summary of Recommendation No recommendations identified for this issue.
Safe Schools (SS)
SS 1 - Summary of Recommendation Ensure eligible students have access to supplemental services, interventions and safe schools as soon as possible.
SS 1 - Full Recommendation Ensure all eligible students have access to supplemental services, appropriate interventions and safe schools. This may require federal officials to make a greater investment in technical assistance programs to turn around low-performing schools. Children simply cannot wait seven years for the most serious NCLB measures to take effect.
SS 2 - Summary of Recommendation Insist states review and create meaningful “persistently dangerous” school definitions.
SS 2 - Full Recommendation Hold states accountable for reviewing their “persistently dangerous” school definitions to eliminate the possibility that no school, in effect, could be labeled as such.
School Leadership (SL)
SL 1 - Summary of Recommendation No recommendations identified for this issue.
Students with Disabilities (SWD)
SWD 1 - Summary of Recommendation Reconcile differences between NCLB and IDEA.
SWD 1 - Full Recommendation Reconcile differences between NCLB and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
SWD 2 - Summary of Recommendation Accommodate for different achievement rates and levels of some students with disabilities.
SWD 2 - Full Recommendation Revise NCLB guidelines to recognize that students with disabilities may achieve at different rates and levels.
Supplemental Education Services (SES)
SES 1 - Summary of Recommendation Ensure eligible students have access to supplemental services, interventions and safe schools as soon as possible.
SES 1 - Full Recommendation Ensure all eligible students have access to supplemental services, appropriate interventions and safe schools. This may require federal officials to make a greater investment in technical assistance programs to turn around low-performing schools. Children simply cannot wait seven years for the most serious NCLB measures to take effect.
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation

Ensure states' HOUSSE plans meet letter and spirit of NCLB and set rigorous teacher quality requirements.

TQ 1 - Full Recommendation

Strengthen highly qualified teacher requirements. States must ensure their High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE) plans meet both the letter and the spirit of the law. In many instances, states have set high standards for veteran teachers, but they are accompanied by less rigorous provisions that provide a “trap door” through which teachers can escape the intent of the law.

TQ 2 - Summary of Recommendation Provide clear, consistent and timely guidance regarding highly qualified teachers provisions.
TQ 2 - Full Recommendation Require Education Department to provide clear, consistent and timely guidance regarding compliance with the highly qualified teachers provisions of NCLB.
TQ 3 - Summary of Recommendation Require states to provide accurate and accessible teacher quality data.
TQ 3 - Full Recommendation Insist that states provide accurate and accessible data on the qualifications and competence of teachers.
Miscellaneous/Overarching (Misc.)
Misc. 1 - Summary of Recommendation Embrace NCLB as a civil rights issue and commit to an unprecedented opportunity to raise expectations and narrow achievement gaps.
Misc. 1 - Full Recommendation Embrace NCLB as a civil rights issue. At its core, NCLB is a civil rights issue and requires commitment. The 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education a stark reminder that school integration has not been accompanied by equality of student academic achievement across color and income lines. The clearly set goals of NCLB offer an unprecedented opportunity to raise expectations and significantly narrow achievement gaps that persist in U.S. schools.
Misc. 2 - Summary of Recommendation Do not retreat on NCLB's promises or possibilities, provide flexibility for states to meet goals and give credit for progress. 
Misc. 2 - Full Recommendation Do not allow the nation to retreat on the promises or possibilities of NCLB. Recognize the unique political and cultural contexts of states, and accord them the necessary flexibility to accomplish their goals. Keep pressure on states, but give them credit for moving forward on NCLB.



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