Approving Proposed Amendments: Virginia Consolidated State Application Accountability Plan
Resolution Number 2008-9
January 10, 2008
The Board of Education approves the proposed amendments to the Virginia Consolidated State Application Accountability Plan as permitted in Section 9401 of the federal law.
The amendments read as follows:
Amendments to Virginia's Consolidated State Application Accountability Plan as Required by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB)
Technical Amendments1. Procedures for Implementation of Science Assessments during the 2007-2008 school year (Critical Element 6.1)
Technical Clarification: Virginia will use the science assessments already administered under its established state accountability system in grades 3, 5, 8, and End-of-Course to meet the requirement under Section 1111(b)(3) for implementation of science assessments beginning in 2007-2008. As stated in the USED guidance letter in November 2007, these science assessments will not be included in the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) calculations.
Rationale: Virginia has administered science assessments in grades 3, 5 and 8 and End-of-Course since 1998. End-of-course Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments in science have also been administered at the middle or high school level after completion of the corresponding content course since 1998. Existing science assessments already administered throughout the state since 1998 can be used to meet the NCLB requirement.
Technical Clarification: Virginia uses the uniform averaging procedure described in Section 1111(b)(2)(j) for adequate yearly progress (AYP) calculations. For the 2008-2009 school year based on assessments administered during the 2007-2008 school year, all tests given in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and End-of-Course subjects will be included in the participation and performance calculations for AYP. Schools and school divisions can make AYP in one of two ways: 1) current year performance; or 2) the average of student performance in grades 3 through 8 and End-of-Course for the previous three years. Safe harbor is applied if a school does not make AYP through the current or three-year average.
Rationale: By 2007-2008, schools and divisions will have implemented assessments in grades 3 through 8 and End-of-Course for three consecutive years. This three-year implementation of the assessments will allow averaging across all grade levels as opposed to averaging of assessments only in grades 3, 5, 8 and End-of-Course as was previously required.
Policy Amendments3. Reversing Order of School Improvement Sanctions (Critical Elements 1.6 and 4.1)
Request: Virginia will allow schools the flexibility to reverse the order of sanctions in the first two years of school improvement. Supplemental educational services may be offered to eligible students attending Title I schools in improvement in the first year and public school choice in the second year.
Rationale: Currently, USED requires Title I schools in Year One Improvement status to provide eligible students the option of public school choice. Title I schools in Year Two Improvement status must provide eligible students supplemental educational services (SES) and continue to offer choice. An effective school choice plan requires time to develop and communicate to parents and the public. AYP is calculated using test scores from the spring administration; therefore, AYP determinations are not available until late July or early August. This is too close to the opening of school for choice plans to be implemented effectively. A more effective intervention strategy for the first year of improvement is offering eligible students SES while planning for choice implementation. If the school moves to Year Two Improvement status, the school would offer choice while continuing to provide SES.
Virginia has participated in a USED pilot for the past three years that permits selected school divisions to provide SES to eligible students in Title I schools in the first year of school improvement in lieu of choice, thereby reversing the order of sanctions as specified in the law. The pilot divisions report favorable results in higher levels of student participation as well as improved student achievement. As a result, Virginia believes that all schools should have this option.4. Assessing Students with Disabilities – Use of Two Percent Proxy (Critical Element 5.3)
Request: Virginia will continue to implement the United State's Secretary of Education's Transition Option Number 1 (2 percent proxy) for the inclusion of students with disabilities in the calculation of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the 2008-2009 school year, based on assessments administered to those students during the 2007-2008 school year. Option Number 1 permits states to make a mathematical adjustment to the proficiency rate for the students with disabilities subgroup in schools or divisions that failed to make AYP based solely on the scores of students in that subgroup. The proxy will be calculated in accordance with guidance disseminated by USED on May 10, 2005.
Rationale: The U.S. Secretary of Education has extended the use of a proxy for students with disabilities for states that are working toward developing modified achievement standards if certain eligibility conditions are met. Virginia meets the eligibility requirements as follows: 1) the statewide assessment participation rate for students with disabilities for the purpose of measuring AYP is 95 percent; 2) Virginia is in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); 3) appropriate accommodations on statewide assessments are available for students with disabilities; 4) targeted statewide technical assistance efforts are being implemented to improve students' achievement for students with disabilities; 5) Virginia's assessment system has received a rating of "Approval Expected"; and 6) Virginia is making substantial progress in developing an alternate assessment based on modified achievement standards. Therefore, Virginia is requesting a continuation of the use of the proxy for certain students with disabilities under this extension.5. Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives for Limited English Proficient (LEP) students (Consolidated State Application September 1, 2003 Submission)
Request: Virginia will extend the targets for the Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) for limited English proficient (LEP) students approved by USED in the Consolidated State Application September 1, 2003, submission to include the 2008-2009 school year. The AMAOs for the percent of LEP students making progress and attaining English language proficiency will each increase by 5 percent in 2008-2009 in keeping with the previously approved trajectory. AMAOs for future years will be set after the data from the statewide implementation of the newly adopted English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessment scheduled for implementation in 2008-2009 have been analyzed.
Rationale: The AMAOs for the percent of LEP students making progress in learning English and attaining English language proficiency have been approved through the 2007-2008 school year. Currently, school divisions report the progress and proficiency results for their LEP students on an annual basis as a result of their performance on state-approved ELP assessments and if applicable, a body of evidence. Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year, it is anticipated that the majority of school divisions will implement the state-approved ELP assessment, ACCESS for ELLs. Therefore, it is recommended that the targets for progress and proficiency each increase by 5 percent in keeping with the previously approved trajectory. Once data are analyzed from the implementation of the single statewide ELP assessment, targets for future years will be proposed.
Mark E. Emblidge, President
Board of Education
Adopted in the Minutes of the Virginia Board of Education
January 10, 2008