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National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
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 National Association of Secondary School Principals' (NASSP) original recommendations are listed in this report. Please see the main database page for additional reports.

Highlights
Issues addressed: 10 of 16
Adequate Yearly Progress; Assessment, Standards and Curriculum; Consequences and Interventions; Data Systems and Reporting; English Language Learners; Finance; High Schools; Students with Disabilities; Supplemental Education Services; and Teaching Quality.

Issues not addressed: 6 of 16
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development; Early Childhood; Other Programs; Safe Schools; School Leadership; and Miscellaneous/Overarching.

Areas of emphasis
Adequate Yearly Progress; Teaching Quality; and Assessment, Standards and Curriculum.

Source:
NASSP No Child Left Behind Legislative Recommendations (June 2005)


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 : National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)
AYP 1 - Summary of Recommendation Require Education Department to review state accountability plans to improve AYP data consistency through confidence intervals, subgroup size and full academic year considerations.
AYP 1 - Full Recommendation Require U.S. Department of Education to review and evaluation all state NCLB accountability plans to improve reliability and validity of adequate yearly progress (AYP) data by incorporating confidence intervals, subgroup size and full academic year consideration in AYP formula calculations. The department also should provide education and assistance to states where gaps and disparity exist. 
  • Much like the confidence intervals applied in standardized assessments, confidence intervals applied to AYP at the school level will provide a more accurate measure of a school’s performance. 
  • Currently, some states benefit from the use of confidence intervals applied to AYP; however, some individual schools are, in effect, being penalized because confidence intervals are not applied at the school level.
  • Differing AYP systems in each state require that each state, rather than the federal government, develop a confidence interval system that works for its local schools. 
  • The great disparity in the definition of subgroup size benefits some schools and penalizes others. 
  • The great disparity in the definition of full academic year benefits some schools in some states and penalizes others.  
AYP 2 - Summary of Recommendation Require all public schools, charter schools and nonpublic schools receiving federal funds to use state assessments and AYP criteria.
AYP 2 - Full Recommendation Require all public schools, charter schools and nonpublic schools receiving federal funds to use the same state assessment and meet the same state criteria for determining AYP. Schools identified as “receiving schools” must meet AYP criteria and/or Safe Harbor provision to gain authorization to receive federally funded transfer students.
AYP 3 - Summary of Recommendation Extend graduation rate to within five years of entering high school.
AYP 3 - Full Recommendation Extend the graduation rate to within at least five years of entering high school. 
  • The requirement to report graduation within four years does not take into account each student’s individual learning needs. 
  • High school graduation should be based on mastery of subjects, not on completion of seat time.
AYP 4 - Summary of Recommendation Incorporate ELL student scores in AYP determination after they develop English language proficiency.
AYP 4 - Full Recommendation

Incorporate the scores of English language learners (ELL) in AYP determination after these students have developed language proficiency, as evidenced by a research-based and state-approved assessment.

  • Research suggests that 7–10 years is required for individuals to become cognitive academic language proficient— the level of language proficiency required to demonstrate academic proficiency on assessment. NCLB requires reporting scores of new ELL students in three years, a period of time often insufficient for the development of language functionality. 
  • The practice of testing students in the English language on academic assessments is confusing, inappropriate, and of little value for ELL students who have not yet mastered the language.
AYP 5 - Summary of Recommendation Base AYP on multiple assessment results and multiple opportunities to retake state tests.
AYP 5 - Full Recommendation Base AYP on the results of multiple assessments and multiple opportunities to retake state tests. Multiple assessments provide greater reliability in determining individual student progress toward meeting graduation requirements.
AYP 6 - Summary of Recommendation Expand Safe Harbor definition to include demonstrated improvement, applied to all required reporting areas.
AYP 6 - Full Recommendation

Expand definition of Safe Harbor to include demonstrated improvement and apply to all required reporting areas.

  • When a district or school can demonstrate overall subgroup growth on the state assessment and on all “other academic indicators,” it should not be labeled as “in need of improvement.” 
  • Schools or districts that do not meet AYP or do not show improvement in all “other academic indicators” shall be designated as “in need of improvement.”
AYP 7 - Summary of Recommendation Allow states to use growth formulas to calculate AYP.
AYP 7 - Full Recommendation

Allow states to calculate AYP for each student subgroup on the basis of state-developed growth formulas that calculate growth in individual student achievement from year to year. 

  • Individual student growth is the most important indicator of student success.
  • The most accurate measures of student and school performance analyze individual student growth from year to year. 
  • In implementing an individual growth model to measure annual student achievement, assessments used to determine AYP must be aligned to provide consistent, individual student longitudinal performance information. 
  • Current NCLB AYP determination only measures student performance by comparing different sets of students at the same grade level. 
  • The current AYP calculation has many schools and districts focusing on students closest to the cut scores rather than those with the greatest need.
AYP 8 - Summary of Recommendation Expand alternative assessments for students with disabilities that are counted for AYP.
AYP 8 - Full Recommendation

Expand the number of alternative assessments that are counted toward making AYP to accommodate schools that have high populations of students with cognitive disabilities and more accurately reflect the true school population of students with cognitive disabilities.

  • Expanding the percentage of students who may count toward the number of alternative assessments helps to accommodate schools and districts that have high populations of students with cognitive disabilities and more accurately reflect the true population of students with cognitive disabilities.
Assessment, Standards and Curriculum (ASC)
ASC 1 - Summary of Recommendation Require all public schools, charter schools and nonpublic schools receiving federal funds to use state assessments and AYP criteria.
ASC 1 - Full Recommendation Require all public schools, charter schools and nonpublic schools receiving federal funds to use the same state assessment and meet the same state criteria for determining AYP. Schools identified as “receiving schools” must meet AYP criteria and/or Safe Harbor provision to gain authorization to receive federally funded transfer students.
ASC 2 - Summary of Recommendation Require Education Department to accept all state high school "exit" documents as certification of graduation.
ASC 2 - Full Recommendation Allow students who complete high school with a state-approved exit document to be counted as graduates. 
  • States have approved many types of high school exit documents to meet the unique needs of students. 
  • Any document that a state has approved for graduation should be accepted by the Education Department.
ASC 3 - Summary of Recommendation Accept state high school "exit" documents for students with disabilities until they are 21 years old.
ASC 3 - Full Recommendation

Extend age to 21 years for special-needs students who complete high school with a state-approved exit document to be counted as graduates as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

  • IDEA allows students with disabilities to be educated by and graduate from public high schools until age 21, inclusive; therefore, NCLB should adopt statutes already written into existing federal law.
ASC 4 - Summary of Recommendation Incorporate ELL student scores in AYP determination after they developed language proficiency based on state assessments.
ASC 4 - Full Recommendation

Incorporate the scores of English language learners (ELL) in AYP determination after these students have developed language proficiency, as evidenced by a research-based and state-approved assessment.

  • Research suggests that 7–10 years is required for individuals to become cognitive academic language proficient— the level of language proficiency required to demonstrate academic proficiency on assessment. NCLB requires reporting scores of new ELL students in three years, a period of time often insufficient for the development of language functionality.
  • The practice of testing students in the English language on academic assessments is confusing, inappropriate, and of little value for ELL students who have not yet mastered the language.

 

ASC 5 - Summary of Recommendation Base AYP multiple assessment results and multiple opportunities to retake state tests.
ASC 5 - Full Recommendation Base AYP on the results of multiple assessments and multiple opportunities to retake state tests. Multiple assessments provide greater reliability in determining individual student progress toward meeting graduation requirements.
ASC 6 - Summary of Recommendation Expand alternative assessments for students with disabilities that are counted for AYP.
ASC 6 - Full Recommendation

Expand the number of alternative assessments that are counted toward making AYP to accommodate schools that have high populations of students with cognitive disabilities and more accurately reflect the true school population of students with cognitive disabilities.

  • Expanding the percentage of students who may count toward the number of alternative assessments helps to accommodate schools and districts that have high populations of students with cognitive disabilities and more accurately reflect the true population of students with cognitive disabilities.
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
CIRD 1 - Summary of Recommendation No recommendations identified for this issue.
Consequences and Interventions (CI)
CI 1 - Summary of Recommendation Eliminate funding reductions as AYP consequence and allow fund transfers in year three of corrective action.
CI 1 - Full Recommendation Eliminate funding reductions as a sanction for Title I schools that are not meeting proficiency levels, and allow school districts to transfer funding in year three of corrective action. Imposing funding sanctions is a regressive policy that impedes a school’s ability to provide the services required to improve student achievement.
CI 2 - Summary of Recommendation Eliminate requirement that Title I funds be used for transportation for school improvement purposes.
CI 2 - Full Recommendation

Eliminate requirement that Title I funds be reserved for transportation; funds needed for transportation should be in addition to—not subtracted from—a district’s Title I allocation.

  • Use of Title I funds for transportation costs is a regressive policy. Title I funds are intended for school improvement purposes and should be used for in-school programs. 
  • As more Title I schools reach year three of corrective action, the full 20% set-aside will potentially be used for supplemental services and school choice, leaving little funding for other instructional support in schools that have the greatest demonstrated need. 
  • A negative consequence of the transportation set-aside is that school districts are supplanting state transportation funds with federal funds.
Data Systems and Reporting (DSR)
DSR 1 - Summary of Recommendation Use Title II and Higher Education Act funds to provide professional development for adolescent literacy and data use.
DSR 1 - Full Recommendation

Allocate a portion of federal funds, including Title II and Higher Education Act funds for professional development programs specifically focused on local schools in the area of adolescent literacy and in the use of data to improve student achievement.

  • The instructional leader and the school’s leadership team must have the capacity to improve student achievement through the use of data.
  • The pedagogy of teachers in secondary schools must include strategies to improve adolescent literacy.
  • Access to data does not always mean understanding or utilization.
  • State allocation of federal funds for training might not be currently used to train local school staff members on literacy and the proper use of data.
  • Higher education programs in principal and teacher preparation must provide training in the use and interpretation of data to improve student achievement.
Early Childhood Education (ECE)
ECE 1 - Summary of Recommendation No recommendations identified for this issue.
English Language Learners (ELL)
ELL 1 - Summary of Recommendation Incorporate ELL student scores in AYP determination after they developed language proficiency.
ELL 1 - Full Recommendation

Incorporate scores of English language learners (ELL) in AYP determination after these students have developed language proficiency, as evidenced by a research-based and state-approved assessment.

  • Research suggests that 7–10 years is required for individuals to become cognitive academic language proficient— the level of language proficiency required to demonstrate academic proficiency on assessment. NCLB requires reporting scores of new ELL students in three years, a period of time often insufficient for the development of language functionality.
  • The practice of testing students in the English language on academic assessments is confusing, inappropriate, and of little value for ELL students who have not yet mastered the language.
Funding Issues (FI)
FI 1 - Summary of Recommendation Eliminate funding reduction as AYP sanction.
FI 1 - Full Recommendation Eliminate funding withdrawl as a sanction for Title I schools that are not meeting proficiency levels, and allow school districts to transfer funding in year three of corrective action. Imposing funding sanctions is a regressive policy that impedes a school’s ability to provide the services required to improve student achievement.
FI 2 - Summary of Recommendation Eliminate requirement that Title I funds be used for transportation for school improvement purposes.
FI 2 - Full Recommendation

Eliminate requirement that Title I funds be reserved for transportation; funds needed for transportation should be in addition to—not subtracted from—a district’s Title I allocation. 

  • Use of Title I funds for transportation costs is a regressive policy. Title I funds are intended for school improvement purposes and should be used for in-school programs. 
  • As more Title I schools reach year three of corrective action, the full 20% set-aside will potentially be used for supplemental services and school choice, leaving little funding for other instructional support in schools that have the greatest demonstrated need. 
  • A negative consequence of the transportation set-aside is that school districts are supplanting state transportation funds with federal funds.
FI 3 - Summary of Recommendation Allow carryover and more flexible use of SES funds by states and schools.
FI 3 - Full Recommendation

Allow schools and states to carryover supplemental services funds an additional year if they are unspent due to calendar constraints, and to spend the funding in a more flexible manner on Title I services. 

  • Current federal law and regulations require schools to reserve a percentage of Title I funds for supplemental services expenses. If the funds are not expended by the end of the year, there is a small window of time within which schools can use these funds for other purposes. There is not always sufficient time and flexibility to expend these funds. 
  • The late release of unused set-aside funds and the resulting impracticality of being able to spend all those funds in that school year, results in the appearance of excessive carryover and decreased district need, which is quite the opposite of reality.
  • Funds that are not appropriated until late in the school year should be carried over to the next school year.
FI 4 - Summary of Recommendation Allow use of Title II funds for teacher mentoring programs.
FI 4 - Full Recommendation

Allow use of funds under NCLB Title II to create meaningful teacher mentoring programs that significantly sustain the retention and development of new teachers. 

  • An issue of paramount concern is the importance of mentoring and sustaining new teachers, because research indicates that many new teachers leave the profession within the first five years of service. 
  • Funding to provide programs designed to retain these teachers and provide them with the skills to persist is essential to meet the intent of NCLB.
High Schools (HS)
HS 1 - Summary of Recommendation Extend graduation rate to within five years of entering high school.
HS 1 - Full Recommendation

Extend the graduation rate to within at least five years of entering high school. 

  • The requirement to report graduation within four years does not take into account each student’s individual learning needs. 
  • High school graduation should be based on mastery of subjects, not on completion of seat time.
HS 2 - Summary of Recommendation Require Education Department to accept all state high school "exit" documents as certification of graduation.
HS 2 - Full Recommendation Allow students who complete high school with a state-approved exit document to be counted as graduates.
  • States have approved many types of high school exit documents to meet the unique needs of students.
  • Any document that a state has approved for graduation should be accepted by the Education Department.
HS 3 - Summary of Recommendation Accept state high school "exit" documents for students with disabilities until they are 21 years old.
HS 3 - Full Recommendation

Extend age to 21 years for special-needs students who complete high school with a state-approved exit document to be counted as graduates as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

  • IDEA allows students with disabilities to be educated by and graduate from public high schools until age 21, inclusive; therefore, NCLB should adopt statutes already written into existing federal law.
Other Programs (OP)
OP 1 - Summary of Recommendation No recommendations identified for this issue.
Safe Schools (SS)
SS 1 - Summary of Recommendation No recommendations identified for this issue.
School Leadership (SL)
SL 1 - Summary of Recommendation No recommendations identified for this issue.
Students with Disabilities (SWD)
SWD 1 - Summary of Recommendation Accept state high school "exit" documents for students with disabilities until they are 21 years old.
SWD 1 - Full Recommendation

Extend age to 21 years for special-needs students who complete high school with a state-approved exit document to be counted as graduates as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

  • IDEA allows students with disabilities to be educated by and graduate from public high schools until age 21, inclusive; therefore, NCLB should adopt statutes already written into existing federal law.
SWD 2 - Summary of Recommendation Expand alternative assessments for students with disabilities that are counted for AYP.
SWD 2 - Full Recommendation

Expand the number of alternative assessments that are counted toward making AYP to accommodate schools that have high populations of students with cognitive disabilities and more accurately reflect the true school population of students with cognitive disabilities. 

  • Expanding the percentage of students who may count toward the number of alternative assessments helps to accommodate schools and districts that have high populations of students with cognitive disabilities and more accurately reflect the true population of students with cognitive disabilities.
Supplemental Education Services (SES)
SES 1 - Summary of Recommendation Eliminate requirement that Title I funds be used for transportation for school improvement purposes.
SES 1 - Full Recommendation

Eliminate requirement that Title I funds be reserved for transportation; funds needed for transportation should be in addition to—not subtracted from—a district’s Title I allocation. 

  • Use of Title I funds for transportation costs is a regressive policy. Title I funds are intended for school improvement purposes and should be used for in-school programs. 
  • As more Title I schools reach year three of corrective action, the full 20% set-aside will potentially be used for supplemental services and school choice, leaving little funding for other instructional support in schools that have the greatest demonstrated need.
  • A negative consequence of the transportation set-aside is that school districts are supplanting state transportation funds with federal funds.
SES 2 - Summary of Recommendation Allow carryover and flexible use of SES funds by states and schools.
SES 2 - Full Recommendation

Allow schools and states to carryover supplemental services funds an additional year if they are unspent due to calendar constraints, and to spend the funding in a more flexible manner on Title I services.

  • Current federal law and regulations require schools to reserve a percentage of Title I funds for supplemental services expenses. If the funds are not expended by the end of the year, there is a small window of time within which schools can use these funds for other purposes. There is not always sufficient time and flexibility to expend these funds.
  • The late release of unused set-aside funds and the resulting impracticality of being able to spend all those funds in that school year, results in the appearance of excessive carryover and decreased district need, which is quite the opposite of reality.
  • Funds that are not appropriated until late in the school year should be carried over to the next school year.
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation Allocate federal funds for principal/teacher professional development regarding adolescent literacy and use of data to improve student performance.
TQ 1 - Full Recommendation

Allocate a portion of federal funds, including Title II and Higher Education Act funds for professional development programs specifically focused on local schools in the area of adolescent literacy and in the use of data to improve student achievement.

  • The instructional leader and the school’s leadership team must have the capacity to improve student achievement through the use of data.
  • The pedagogy of teachers in secondary schools must include strategies to improve adolescent literacy.
  • Access to data does not always mean understanding or utilization.
  • State allocation of federal funds for training might not be currently used to train local school staff members on literacy and the proper use of data.
  • Higher education programs in principal and teacher preparation must provide training in the use and interpretation of data to improve student achievement.
TQ 2 - Summary of Recommendation Prohibit lack of highly qualified teachers to be grounds for litigation.
TQ 2 - Full Recommendation

Prohibit a lack of highly qualified teachers to be grounds for litigation.

  • Parents of children in classrooms that do not have a highly qualified teacher should not have grounds to sue the school, principal, or district. 
  • For many districts it is very difficult to find highly qualified teachers for every subject, particularly in rural and high-need areas. Also, in many of these areas, teachers teach more than one subject because of the lack of qualified candidates.
  • There are more productive means of solving situations where there is a lack of a highly qualified teacher, such as moving the student to another classroom with a highly qualified teacher or providing mediation between the parent and teacher to understand how and when the teacher will become highly qualified.
TQ 3 - Summary of Recommendation Allow use of Title II funds for teacher mentoring programs.
TQ 3 - Full Recommendation

Allow use of funds under NCLB Title II to create meaningful teacher mentoring programs that significantly sustain the retention and development of new teachers.

  • An issue of paramount concern is the importance of mentoring and sustaining new teachers, because research indicates that many new teachers leave the profession within the first five years of service.
  • Funding to provide programs designed to retain these teachers and provide them with the skills to persist is essential to meet the intent of NCLB.
TQ 4 - Summary of Recommendation Extend time period for special education teachers to become highly qualified until 2007-08.
TQ 4 - Full Recommendation

Extend time period for special education teachers to become highly qualified. Special education teachers should have until the beginning of the 2007–08 school year to complete the requirements for highly qualified status.

  1. With the inception of NCLB in 2002 and subsequent guidance and regulations from the Education Department, general education teachers had a very specific definition of “highly qualified.” During the first years of the law, such a clear definition was not afforded to special education teachers.
  2. When IDEA was reauthorized in fall 2004, continued definition and guidance was given to special education teachers. However, at this point they were two years behind their peers in beginning the process of becoming highly qualified; therefore, it is reasonable that special education teachers should be given an extension to reach highly qualified status.
TQ 5 - Summary of Recommendation Accept special education certificate as highly qualified measure.
TQ 5 - Full Recommendation

Accept special education certificate as highly qualified measure. Teachers of students with disabilities, who hold special education certification should be considered highly qualified to provide instruction in grades 9–12.

  • Special education certification courses train individuals to provide targeted remediation for students with special needs in the curriculum areas measured by NCLB.
  • Special education teachers must also pass tests of general knowledge to become certified and should therefore reliably possess the general knowledge covered in grades 9–12.
TQ 6 - Summary of Recommendation Provide $2,500 yearly tax credit to special education teachers who acquire highly qualified status in English, mathematics or science.
TQ 6 - Full Recommendation

Provide tax credit to special education teachers. Teachers with special education certification who have or acquire highly qualified status in English, mathematics or science should receive a yearly tax credit of $2,500 for the duration of service in those subject areas. 

  • Teachers who currently hold a special education certification and who have or acquire highly qualified status should be rewarded with incentives for pursuing professional development that will allow them to teach in special education and subject-matter areas.
  • Acquiring extra certifications after one has already completed a state’s required licensure requirements presents a hardship to personnel who already have a salary below the average for individuals with bachelor’s degrees.
  • These teachers should be compensated for adding this licensure, which is an added financial responsibility.
TQ 7 - Summary of Recommendation Provide $2,500 yearly tax credit to highly qualified English, mathematics or science teachers who acquire special education certification.
TQ 7 - Full Recommendation

Provide a yearly tax credit of $2,500 for the duration of service to teachers who are highly qualified in English, mathematics or science and who have or acquire special education certification.

  • There is a severe shortage of special education teachers. 
  • Offering an incentive, such as a tax credit, to those subject-matter teachers who pursue special education certification may help recruit and retain more special education–certified teachers. 
  • Subject-matter teachers deal with many different types of students in general classroom settings, including some mildly disabled children. Allowing subject-matter teachers to become special education certified will help them educate the diverse student population they teach. It also represents the spirit of NCLB in providing the most challenging and high-quality education to every student.
TQ 8 - Summary of Recommendation Provide special education teachers tuition reimbursement of up to $17,500 after five years of service.
TQ 8 - Full Recommendation

Provide tuition reimbursement of up to $17,500 for teachers entering the special education field after completing their first five years of service in a public school. The reimbursement would apply to teachers who hold a Federal Family Education Loan or Federal Direct Loan.

  • There is a severe shortage of special education teachers.
  • The federal government needs to find ways to recruit and retain teachers in this field.
  • The federal government has offered tuition reimbursement for teachers in high-need areas in math and science, and a similar program should be offered to all highly qualified special education teachers who are in need in every school in the nation.
  • The amount of reimbursement offered to teachers who meet these requirements should be $17,500. In addition, a teacher should have to remain in the special education field for five years before receiving reimbursement to encourage retention.
Miscellaneous/Overarching (Misc.)
Misc. 1 - Summary of Recommendation No recommendations identified for this issue.



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