UNDERSTANDING YOUR SCHOOL/DISTRICT REPORT CARD
Guide to Elementary and Middle School Assessments
Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education
Information and Reporting Services
Room 863 EBA
Albany, N.Y. 12234
York State School/District Report Card is an important part of the Board
of Regents effort to raise learning standards (see definition of learning
standards in the Q & A) for all students. It is designed to provide
information to the public on student performance on State tests and other
measures of school and district performance. Knowledge gained from the report
card on a school/district’s strengths and weaknesses can be used to plan
professional development, improve curriculum, and allocate resources.
While the report card can assist in performing these
important functions, misuse of the information on the report card can result in
harmful programmatic decisions. When reviewing school/district performance,
consider that student academic readiness, motivation, and family and community
support vary among schools/districts and significantly affect performance.
Though the report card can indicate how well students performed against measured
standards (e.g., State tests), it does not provide information about student
performance on other measures valued by the community. As such, decisions about
school/district programs are better made by combining information about
performance with information gained by visiting the school. Reviewers of the
report card should also note that small differences among schools/districts and
small year-to-year changes are not meaningful.
year’s report card is composed of complementary parts:
School/District Performance in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and
Science and Analysis of Student Subgroup Performance
(Overview and Analysis);
school/district Accountability Status Report;
school/district Comprehensive Information Report (CIR); and
a district Fiscal
reports the performance of students in English language arts (ELA) and
mathematics, school/district enrollments, and school/district demographic data.
It also reports the performance of students in science at the elementary and
middle levels. The Overview includes
graduation rates for groups of students who first entered grade 9 in the same
school year (cohorts). In addition, the Overview includes the percentage
of core classes taught by highly qualified teachers and the percentage of
teachers with no valid teaching certificate. School data and district data are
provided in separate reports: the School Report Card and the District
Report Card. The school report compares the school's results with those of
similar schools (see definition of similar schools in the Q & A), and the
companion district report compares school district results with statewide
results. The Analysis
reports English, mathematics, and elementary- and middle-level science
performance data and graduation-rate data for students grouped by
race/ethnicity, disability status, gender, English proficiency status, income
level, and migrant status.
Status Report indicates whether a school/district made adequate yearly
progress (AYP) in 2003–04. It also identifies schools/districts in need of
improvement and subject to interventions under the federal No Child Left Behind
Act and schools/districts requiring academic progress and subject to
interventions under Commissioner’s Regulations for the 2004–05 school year.
Information Report (CIR) reports
three years of results on all State tests not included in the Overview
and Analysis, including second language proficiency examinations, Regents
competency tests, Regents examinations, the introduction to occupations
examination, elementary- and middle-level social studies tests, and New York
State Alternate Assessments for students with severe disabilities. The CIR
also provides information on career development and occupational studies; high
school completers; attendance, suspension, and dropout rates; student
enrollments and demographics; and professional staff.
reports district-wide expenditures per pupil compared to similar districts and
district-wide percentages of students with disabilities receiving services
outside of general classroom settings compared to statewide percentages.
Q. What are the learning
A. The learning standards are descriptions of
broad expectations of what students should know, understand, and be able to do
at each grade level in seven subject areas as they progress through grades K-12
in New York State schools. The Board of Regents established these standards in
collaboration with teachers, administrators, and other professionals in the
Q. What is the relationship
between the district/school report card and the learning standards?
A. Both are part of the statewide strategy for
raising the level of student achievement. The
standards in seven subject areas;
the State tests to assess student progress toward achieving these higher
high school graduation requirements;
the capacity of schools to help students achieve the standards;
high standards and support for teachers and administrators;
partnerships to improve student achievement; and
school and district accountability through public reporting of student
is No Child Left Behind (NCLB)?
NCLB is federal legislation that is designed to ensure that all
students are proficient in ELA and mathematics by 2013–14. District and school performance on State tests in the 2003–04 school year were
evaluated using accountability criteria based on NCLB legislation. (Further
information on NCLB is available on the web: www.emsc.nysed.gov.)
Q. What is Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)?
A. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) indicates
acceptable progress by a district/school toward the goal of proficiency for all
students. To make AYP, districts/schools must test 95 percent of students
identified as seniors in the reporting year in each accountability group with 40
or more students. In addition, the Performance Index (PI) of each accountability
group with 30 or more students must equal or exceed its Effective Annual
Measurable Objective (AMO) or the group must make Safe Harbor.
Q. What is the Performance Index (PI)?
Schools are assigned Performance Indices (PIs)
ranging from 0 to 200, based on the performance of students on the elementary-
and middle-level State tests. Student scores on the tests are converted to four
achievement levels, from Level 1 (indicating no proficiency) to Level 4
(indicating advanced proficiency). Schools are given partial credit for students
scoring at Level 2 and full credit for students scoring at Level 3 or Level 4.
They receive no credit for students scoring at Level 1. Schools improve their PI
by decreasing the percentage of students scoring at Level 1 and increasing the
percentages scoring at Levels 3 and 4.
Q. What is the Effective
Annual Measurable Objective (AMO)?
Effective Annual Measurable Objective (AMO) is the PI value that each
accountability group within a school or district is expected to achieve to make
AYP. The Effective AMO will be increased in regular increments beginning in
Q. What is Safe Harbor?
Safe Harbor provides an alternative means to
demonstrate AYP for accountability groups that do not achieve their Effective
AMOs. The safe harbor target is the PI value that represents the required level
of improvement over the previous year’s performance. To make safe harbor, the
accountability group must also make acceptable progress in science at the
elementary or middle level or graduation rate at the secondary level.
Q. What happens to districts/schools that do not make AYP?
Schools that fail to make AYP for two consecutive
years in the same grade and subject are placed in improvement status. Depending
on the number of years the school has failed to make AYP, among other
requirements, it may have to develop a school improvement plan, provide public
school choice, provide Supplemental Education Services (SES), or take actions
that may include replacing school staff, instituting a new curriculum, or
restructuring the internal organization of the school. Districts that fail to
make AYP at every relevant grade level in a subject or fail to make AYP on
graduation rate for two consecutive years are placed in improvement status.
Districts in improvement status must develop an improvement plan and are
ineligible to provide SES for their students. More information is available on
the following Web site: http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/deputy/Documents/sch-acct-categories.htm.
What are the accountability groups?
The accountability groups are all students and
students grouped by race/ethnicity, disability status, English proficiency
status, and income level. Gender and migrant status are disaggregated to report
results but are not used for accountability purposes.
What happens when there are too few
students in a school to make a judgment about the school’s performance?
a school reports fewer than 30 continuously enrolled students participating in a
test, the school’s achievement or progress is determined by combining student
results over two years in order to make the judgment on a minimum of 30
students. Data on small groups of students cannot provide reliable information
as to what extent the school is providing a program that enables students in
that group to meet the Effective AMO. Release of these data would also
jeopardize the anonymity of the students.
are similar schools?
A. Similar schools are schools throughout the State
that serve similar students and have similar resources. Each school report card
compares the school’s performance with that of similar schools. The following
factors are considered in grouping schools: a) the grade levels served by the
school, b) rates of student poverty and limited English proficiency, and c) the
income and property wealth of district residents. Student poverty levels are
indicated by determining the percentage of children in the school who
participate in the free-lunch program.
What information is provided about students
The performance of students with disabilities on the grades 4, 5, and 8
tests is reported. Students with disabilities may use accommodations when taking
State tests, if these accommodations are specifically written in their
individualized education program. The performance of students with severe
disabilities administered the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) is
How is the performance of limited
English proficient (LEP) students assessed and reported?
A. Certain grades 4 and 8 LEP students who are
not ready to participate effectively in the academic program are not required to
take the State ELA test. Instead, their progress in learning English is measured
and reported using the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement
Test (NYSESLAT). The school report card shows the number of students in this
category and the number who made appropriate progress in learning English. The
mathematics, science, and social studies tests are translated into other
languages for use by LEP students.
Q. What are the new requirements for a high school diploma?
A. Beginning with students who entered ninth
grade in 2001, all students will be required to score 55 or higher (with local
Board approval) on at least five Regents examinations and earn at least 22 units
of credit, including four units in English, four in social studies, three in
mathematics, three in science, one in the arts, one in a language other than
English, one-half in health, and two in physical education. These students will
have to score 65 or higher to earn a Regents diploma. Higher requirements have
been established for an advanced designation on the Regents diploma.
Q. How will school report
cards help parents ensure that their children’s schools are making AYP?
A. The school report card shows whether or not
schools are making AYP. Parents can use the school report cards to see how well
each student accountability group within the school is performing and whether or
not student performance is improving.
Q. How can parents help
their children meet higher standards?
A. Parents can help their children by talking
with them and reading aloud to them, asking teachers what is expected at school,
and monitoring their learning and homework.
Q. How can I get more
information on the school report card and the new higher standards?
A. You may call the State Education Department at (518) 474-7965 or e-mail us at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies of the New York State Report Card for all public schools and districts, information on the standards and new State assessments, and other information can be found on the Department’s web site: http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/irts.
Elementary- and middle-level tests in English
language arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and social studies are designed to
determine whether students have reached the higher learning standards. The tests
challenge students to demonstrate their ability to read, write, and listen, and
to understand and apply information related to mathematics, science, and social
studies. The tests also show whether students are getting the foundation
knowledge they need to succeed in later grades.
On the elementary- and middle-level ELA, mathematics,
science, and social studies tests, performance is shown using four levels (Level
1, indicating no proficiency, to Level 4, indicating advanced proficiency), each
encompassing a range of raw scores. The levels indicate how well students are
progressing toward meeting the learning standards. Mean scores are also reported
for these tests.
School districts must develop a plan for providing
appropriate academic intervention services to students who score at Level 1 or
Level 2 on the elementary- and middle-level ELA, mathematics, science, and
social studies tests.
|The State Education Department does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, religion, creed, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, gender, genetic predisposition or carrier status, or sexual orientation in its educational programs, services and activities. Portions of this publication can be made available in a variety of formats, including Braille, large print or audiotape, upon request. Inquiries concerning this policy of nondiscrimination should be directed to the Department’s Office of Diversity, Ethics, and Access, Room 152 Education Building, Albany, NY 12234.|