UNDERSTANDING YOUR SCHOOL/DISTRICT REPORT CARD
Guide to Secondary School Assessments
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
district Fiscal Accountability Supplement.
reports the performance of students in English language arts (ELA) and
mathematics, school enrollments, and school 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
What 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 in a district/school 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 cohort members on 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 levels 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.
Q. What 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.
information is provided about students
A. Results for students with disabilities are shown
for all State tests and for diplomas earned. 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 also reported.
How is the performance of limited
English proficient (LEP) students assessed and reported?
A. All general-education students, including LEP
students, who first entered grade 9 in 1996–97 or later, will be required to
score 55 or higher on the Regents English examination. Alternative-language
editions of all required Regents examinations except English and of all Regents
competency tests are available. The New York State English as a Second Language
Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) is also available at the secondary level to monitor
the achievement of LEP students.
What are the State’s minimum requirements for earning a high
A. To earn a high school diploma, students who entered
grade 9 in September 1999 must complete 20.5 units of study (one unit of study
equals 180 minutes of instruction per week for one academic year). These units
must include four in English, two in mathematics, four in social studies, two in
science, one in the arts, one-half in health education, and two in physical
education. The remaining five units of study may be in an elective of the
student’s choice or, for a diploma with Regents endorsement, courses that are
part of the student’s required “sequences.” A “sequence” is a series
of units of study in a particular subject that generally includes one unit of
study beyond the core requirement. (For example, students who take living
environment and Earth science to fulfill their core requirement of two units of
study in science may take chemistry to complete a science sequence.) To receive
a Regents diploma, students must complete two sequences in their subjects of
choice and pass all Regents examinations relevant to those sequences. (See the School
Administrator’s Manual at www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/assess.html
for more information.)
To earn a local diploma, general-education students who entered grade 9
in 1999 must also score 65 or higher on Regents examinations in five areas:
English, mathematics, global history and geography, U.S. history and government,
and a science. The State offers districts the option to award local diplomas to
students scoring 55–64 on required Regents examinations. To earn a diploma
with a Regents endorsement, students must have completed three units in a
language other than English and passed a minimum of eight Regents examinations.
The Board of Regents also established safety net provisions for students
with disabilities, allowing these students to earn a local diploma by passing
Regents competency tests in the required subject areas.
Beginning with students who entered ninth grade in 2001, the requirements for earning a Regents diploma have changed. Students will be required to pass at least five Regents examinations and earn at least 22 units of credit, including four units in English, three in mathematics, four in social studies, three in science, one in the arts, one in a language other than English, one-half in health, and two in physical education. Higher requirements have been established for an advanced designation on the Regents diploma.
State Testing Program at the Secondary Level
The report card shows three years of results for all
State tests at the secondary (high school) level. Regents examinations assess
the achievement of students based on classes generally taken in grades 9 through
12. A review of the results of these tests helps schools to determine the
quality of instruction they are providing to their students and helps students
to make educational and career decisions. The Regents competency tests allow
students with disabilities to show that they have the knowledge and skills
required for graduation under the safety net. Second language proficiency
examinations measure the performance of eighth- and ninth-graders in learning a
second language. The introduction to occupations examination measures skills
acquired in preparation for careers.
Attendance rate is the average daily attendance divided by the possible daily
attendance. Schools with higher attendance rates generally perform better on
State tests. Suspension rate measures
the rate of school suspensions, which are the temporary exclusions of a student
from school for disciplinary reasons for a full school day or longer. Dropout
rate measures the rate of dropouts, which refers to any student, regardless
of age, who left school prior to graduation for any reason except death and did
not enter another school or high school equivalency preparation program or other
For more information, call the Department at (518) 474-7965 or e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies of report cards for all public schools and districts and information on the standards and new State assessments, and other information can be found at: http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/irts.
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