Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright is recommending that the Board of Education revise the annual measurable objectives for mathematics announced on July 24 for assessments taken during 2012-2013 through 2016-2017.
Board of Education Agenda Item September 27, 2012 – Superintendent of Public Instruction recommends revised Annual Measurable Objectives (PDF)
News Release August 29, 2012 – Board of Education to Revisit ESEA Objectives
In June, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education granted Virginia waivers from certain requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).
Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) for Identifying Low-Performing Schools
Virginia, under No Child Left Behind Act flexibility waivers granted by the US Department of Education, is establishing annual measurable objectives (AMOs) for reducing proficiency gaps between students in the commonwealth’s lowest-performing and highest-performing schools. These objectives in reading and mathematics will replace the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets schools were previously required to meet under the federal education law.
The AMOs represent the percentage of students within each subgroup in the lowest-performing schools that must pass Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in reading and mathematics in order to reduce – by half – the gaps separating these students from their peers in the highest-performing schools within six years. The federal accountability determination starting points for the 2012-2013 accountability year are based on the 2010-2011 reading assessments and the 2011-2012 mathematics assessments.
Revised AMOs for mathematics proposed for assessment years 2012-2013 through 2016-2017 culminate with all students and student subgroups achieving pass rates of at least 73 percent in the subject. The methodology sets ambitious but achievable goals that require greater rates of annual progress for subgroups that are further behind.
Priority, Focus & Reward Schools
VDOE also will report on low-performing schools identified as “priority” and “focus” schools and recognize high-performing Title I schools as “reward” schools.
Priority schools are identified based on overall student performance in reading and mathematics, including graduation rates in the case of high schools. Five percent of Virginia’s Title I schools (36) are identified as priority schools. Priority schools list (PDF)
Focus schools are identified based on the reading and mathematics performance of students in three “proficiency gap groups” comprising students who historically have had difficulty meeting the state’s achievement standards: Focus schools list (PDF)
- Proficiency Gap Group 1 – Students with disabilities, English language learners and economically disadvantaged students, regardless of race and ethnicity
- Proficiency Gap Group 2 – African-American students, not of Hispanic origin, including those also counted in Proficiency Gap Group 1
- Proficiency Gap Group 3 – Hispanic students, of one or more races, including those also counted in Proficiency Gap Group 1
Ten percent of Virginia’s Title I schools (72) are identified as focus schools.
Title I schools that are high achieving or demonstrate significant improvement are recognized as Reward Schools by earning recognition through the Virginia Index of Performance (TBD), Title I Distinguished School (News Release, January 17, 2013) and federal Blue Ribbon School (News Release, September 7, 2012) awards programs.
Virginia’s Reform Initiatives
As required by the U.S. Department of Education, Virginia’s ESEA flexibility application highlights the state’s efforts in three key educational reform areas:
- Virginia’s College & Career Readiness Initiative – VDOE has adopted and implemented revised content standards that establish college- and career-ready expectations in reading and mathematics. New and more rigorous assessments are being implemented to measure student achievement on these challenging standards.
- Virginia’s Accountability System – Under the provisions of the two-year flexibility waiver the Board of Education has set new annual measurable objectives (AMOs) for raising achievement in the commonwealth’s lowest-performing schools.
- Virginia’s Teacher & Principal Evaluation System – Under ESEA flexibility, school divisions must implement the performance and evaluation standards for teachers and principals approved last year by the Board of Education. The standards require that 40 percent of a teacher’s or principal’s evaluation be based on student academic progress.
Provisions under ESEA Flexibility
- School Choice and SES – The flexibility waived certain requirements to include offering public school choice in Title I schools identified for improvement and offering Supplemental Educational Services in Title I schools in Year 2 or beyond of school improvement.
- School Report Cards – VDOE has revised each schools report to include a prominent "dashboard" on each school's report card that clearly shows the progress of all students, proficiency gap groups, and each individual subgroup toward closing proficiency gaps in reading, mathematics, and graduation rates.
- School Improvement & Reform VDOE has developed a nationally-recognized comprehensive support system that focuses on building division-level capacity to support schools in need of interventions.
Communication from Superintendent of Public Instruction, Patricia I. Wright, on topics related to ESEA Flexibility. Communications include essential information related to the implementation of ESEA Flexibility provisions.