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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MARCH 17, 2009
For More Information, Contact:
Tom Dunn, Jonathan Burman or Jane Briggs at (518) 474-1201
Internet:  http://www.nysed.gov

543 TITLE I SCHOOLS AND 53 DISTRICTS STATEWIDE ARE "IN NEED OF IMPROVEMENT" UNDER NCLB; 122 SCHOOLS AND 8 DISTRICTS ALSO IDENTIFIED UNDER SEPARATE STATE RULES
A total of 543 elementary, middle and high schools and 53 districts have been identified by the State Education Department as "in Need of Improvement" under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.  Of these, 62 schools and four districts were newly identified this school year.  All Schools in Need of Improvement (SINI) and Districts in Need of Improvement (DINI) receive federal Title I funds and must take a variety of actions under federal law.   
In addition, 85 schools and 11 districts have been removed from the Title I improvement list because they have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two consecutive years in all areas for which they were identified.   This represents a substantial increase from the 46 schools and four districts that were removed from school improvement last year.
Complete lists of schools with their accountability status are available by clicking on http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/press-release/archive/home.shtml. The lists are grouped by district. Lists also show newly identified schools, schools removed from SINI and SRAP status, and schools in good standing.
Under NCLB, schools receiving Title I funds that did not make AYP for two consecutive years in the same subject and grade level with one or more groups are designated as Schools in Need of Improvement.  Districts receiving Title I funds that did not make Adequate Yearly Progress for two consecutive years at both the elementary-middle level and high school level in the same subject are designated as Districts in Need of Improvement (DINI).
Despite the fact that schools and districts were required to show increased levels of student performance in order to make Adequate Yearly Progress, the number of schools and districts identified as needing improvement declined this year compared to 2007-08.  The 62 schools newly identified as needing improvement this year represent a significant decline from the 123 Title I schools that were newly identified for improvement last school year. Similarly, the four districts identified this year represent more than a 50% decline from the nine districts that were newly identified last year.
Under New York’s federally approved NCLB accountability system, schools and districts are responsible for the performance of every "disaggregated" group in which at least 30 students (enrolled in the school for a full academic year) participate in the grade 3-8 math or English tests. Disaggregated groups include low-income students, students with disabilities, limited English proficient students, and racial/ethnic groups.
Thirty-two of the newly identified SINI schools and 44 of the newly removed schools were in New York City.    None of the newly identified districts were in New York City, while four New York City districts were removed from improvement status.
A total of 122 schools have also been identified as "Schools Requiring Academic Progress" (SRAP).  These schools did not receive Title I funds for a sufficient amount of time to be identified as Schools in Need of Improvement. Of these, 13 schools — 3 in New York City — are newly identified. These schools are required to develop a plan for improvement in the area(s) for which they are identified. Forty-six schools — 14 in New York City — in SRAP status in 2007-08 made sufficient progress to be placed in good standing.   In contrast, 45 SRAP schools in 2006-07 made sufficient progress to be placed in good standing. In addition eight Special Act School Districts that do not receive Title I funds have been designated as Districts Requiring Academic Progress (DRAP).
The number of schools identified as either SINI or SRAP declined statewide from 719 in 2007-08 to 665 in 2008-09. The number of districts identified as DINI or DRAP declined from 68 to 61 during that period.
 The following tables summarize the accountability status of all State and New York City public schools.


School Status for All State Schools with a Final Accountability Status

2007-08*

2008-09*

2008-09
(closed schools removed)

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Good Standing

3,781

84.0%

3,837

85.2%

3,826

85.4%

In Improvement Status under Title 1

573

12.8%

543

12.1%

542

12.1%

Requiring Academic Progress

146

3.3%

122

2.7%

111

2.5%

Total in improvement status

719

16.0%

665

14.8%

653

14.6%

Total Schools

4,500

 

4,502

 

4,479

 

School Status for New York City Schools with a Final Accountability Status

2007-08*

2008-09*

2008-09
(closed schools removed)

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

 

 

Good Standing

964

69.1

987

70.6

985

71.1%

In Improvement Status under Title 1

374

26.8

355

25.4

355

25.6%

Requiring Academic Progress

58

4.2

56

4.0

46

3.3%

Total in improvement status

432

31.0

411

29.4

401

28.9%

Total NYC

1,396

 

1,398

 

1,386

 

*Note: The numbers in these two columns contain information on schools in operation in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 school years, plus two new schools which began operation in the 2008-09 school year with a status other than Good Standing.


In addition to the 4,502 schools that have a 2008-09 accountability designation based on 2007-08 school year results, 62 new public schools, including 52 in New York City, and 22 charter schools began operation in September 2008 as Schools in Good Standing.

Of the 122 schools identified as SRAP, 12 schools that had been SINIs were moved to the SRAP list because they will not receive Title I funds during the 2008-09 school year.  Conversely, four schools that now receive Title I funds moved from SRAP to SINI status. Of the 543 schools identified as in need of improvement under NCLB, all received Title 1 funds in the 2008-09 school year.
The decrease in the number of identified schools and districts reflects the increase in the percentage of students demonstrating proficiency in grade 3-8 English Language Arts and mathematics. The percentage of students achieving proficiency in grade 3-8 English Language Arts increased from 63% to 69% and the percentage proficient in grade 3-8 mathematics increased from 73% to 81% between 2006-07 and 2007-08.  These results were previously reported this past June.
Some of the schools and districts identified today as needing improvement have educational programs that produce good results for many students. However, the identified schools and districts have not made AYP for particular groups of students, most often the students with disabilities.  In other cases, 95% of their students may not have participated in State tests as required by NCLB. 
Among other requirements, SINI schools are required to develop school improvement plans and offer public school choice.   Schools in Need of Improvement receive additional funding targeted toward improving achievement.
SINI schools that in subsequent years fail to make AYP on a criterion for which they have been identified are subject to additional requirements.  These schools must continue to implement their improvement plans, provide public school choice and also offer eligible students Supplemental Educational Services (SES).  These services are provided outside of regular school hours by an organization selected by the parent from a list of qualified providers approved by the Department.  Continued failure to make AYP will result in schools being subject to corrective actions or restructuring. In some cases, school districts make a determination to phase out a school and replace it with a new one as a means to meet this restructuring requirement.
Schools Requiring Academic Progress do not fall under the provisions of school accountability. However, they must develop improvement plans in the area for which they are identified and may also be required to take corrective actions or to restructure.  Schools Requiring Academic Progress are not required to offer public school choice or supplemental educational services.
Districts in Need of Improvement (DINI) must develop a Local Educational Agency (LEA) Plan within three months of being identified. DINIs that fail for two years to make Adequate Yearly Progress at every applicable grade level in the subject area for which they are identified while receiving Title I funds become a District Requiring Corrective Action. These districts must conduct and implement the recommendations of a curriculum audit or risk the withholding of funds.
Two of the 543 SINI schools in improvement status under NCLB are charter schools.
Of the 53 districts identified as Districts in Need of Improvement, 22 are in New York City and 31 are in the rest of the state.
Schools and districts received notification of their accountability status in February 2009, and information on their potential status in August 2008.  Public announcement of results was delayed this year as the Department continued the transition to a new individualized student data collection system and districts were given an opportunity to review and verify their district and school designations.  The State Education Department anticipates accountability decisions based on 2008-09 school year results will be made public prior to the start of the 2009-10 school year.
Given the planning involved in meeting SINI and SRAP requirements, the Department strives to provide districts with the information they need to determine the accountability status of their schools and districts at the earliest possible date. The school and district report cards issued last spring informed school districts and the public which schools would be required to provide choice and Supplemental Educational Services in the 2008-09 school year and pointed to those that might have to provide choice and SES pending 2007-08 school year results. This information was also provided to each superintendent prior to the start of the school year.  To facilitate the provision of SES, the Department has approved 342 SES providers with multiple sites across the state.
New York State has been approved by the United States Department of Education to implement a differentiated accountability pilot program beginning in the 2009-10 school year. Upon action by the Regents to amend Commissioner’s Regulations to conform with the approved pilot, the State Education Department will allow many schools greater flexibility to work with their districts to develop school improvement plans, reverse the order in which Title I schools offer Supplementary Educational Services and public school choice to eligible students, revise the time frame under which schools implement corrective action plans and require a curriculum audit as part of the process, assign Joint Intervention Teams including as necessary distinguished educators to restructuring schools, merge Title I and non-Title improvement classifications, and integrate the Schools Under Registration Review  program into the Differentiated Accountability pilot.
Information on New York’s accountability system is available at: www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/accountability/home.shtml.
The consequences for schools are spelled out at:  http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/school-accountability/about.shtml.