I was originally
enacted in 1965 as the cornerstone of President Lyndon
Johnson's "War on Poverty." As stated in Section 201 of the Elementary
and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) signed by Johnson on April
9, 1965, "In recognition of the special educational needs of low-income
families and the impact that concentrations of low-income families have
on the ability of local educational agencies to support adequate educational
programs, the Congress hereby declares it to be the policy of the United
States to provide financial assistance."
Child Left Behind Act, signed into law by President George W.
Bush on January 8, 2002, considerably restructured many parts of the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), including Title I, from
its last reauthorization in 1994, to support a high degree of accountability
desired by President Bush.
The emphasis on
this legislation is that states must adopt high academic content standards
in mathematics and reading/language arts, with science to be added in
all states developed content standards in at least reading and math
by 1997, specifying what all students are expected to know and be able
to do, the goal is to leave no child behind by strengthening those standards.
standards are to be applied to all schools, but sanctions will only
be applied to Title I schools and districts which fail to meet the standards.
To assess the meeting of those standards, the Act requires annual testing
for grades 3-8 starting in 2005-06, in math and reading, and by 2007-08,
science as well. States must define adequate
yearly progress (AYP) in a way that applies to all students,
and will be measured primarily by the required state assessments. Benchmarks
for ensuring the rigor of state standards and assessments will be provided
by states' biennial participation in the National Assessment of Educational
Progress (NAEP). Title I's focus is on helping disadvantaged students
meet the same high standards expected of all children.
accountability, the Act redesigned the ESEA programs to emphasize three
other pillars of reform: utilize practices that have been shown to work
through scientific research, give states and districts additional local
control and flexibility, and give parents expanded options, i.e. school
choice or supplemental services.
main goal of the No Child Left Behind Act is for every student to meet
state academic achievement standards, the Act also has established these
five core performance goals:
* All students will reach high standards, at a minimum attaining proficiency
or better in reading/language arts and mathematics by 2013-14.
All limited Limited English Proficient students will become proficient
in English and reach high academic standards, at a minimum attaining
proficiency or better in reading/language arts and mathematics.
By 2005-06, all students will be taught by highly qualified teachers.
All students will be educated in learning environments that are safe,
drug free, and conducive to learning.
All students will graduate from high school.
These goals are
repeated throughout the Act, exemplifying that many of these goals are
not just specific to Title I, but also to Title II, III, IV and V.
to measure whether students are meeting the performance standards, states
must institute a system which includes high quality assessments that
have been aligned with state content standards. Title I, as a result,
will use the same assessments that are used in the state for all children.
For Massachusetts, that is the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment
Under the reauthorized
ESEA, states may suspend administration, but not the development of
the annual tests for grades 3-8 for one year for each year that federal
appropriations for assessment development falls below set levels ($370
million for fiscal 2002, rising by $10 million each year until 2005,
when the trigger reaches $400 million for assessment development).
state accountability requirements were established with the latest
reauthorization, defining adequate yearly progress
within subgroups (economically disadvantaged, disabled, LEP students,
and students from major racial and ethnic groups) so that it results
in continuous improvement. Each state must create a timeline that plans
to get ALL students to the "proficient"
level within 12 years. Within the timeline, annual measurable objectives
must be set separately for each subject, and the first increase must
occur within two years. Subsequent increases must take place every
that do not meet such increases after failing to make AYP for two consecutive
years are designated as "needing improvement." After being
designated, the school must:
an improvement plan within the first three months of being designated
and receive technical assistance
dedicate ten percent of Title I funding to professional development
notify parents of school improvement status
make public school choice available within the district to low-performing
students, with the district paying for transportation.
the school fails to meet AYP for a third consecutive year, the school
is required to:
and provide supplemental educational services to low-performing students,
including private tutoring.
By the fourth
consecutive year of failing to reach AYP, the school must be identified
for corrective action, along with continuing to do the remedial actions
required of all schools "needing improvement." Additional
actions would include:
replace relevant school staff and appoint an outside expert
create new curriculum for all core content areas, and extend
the school day or year
those measures fail to get the school to meet AYP for a fifth consecutive
year, the district must continue supplemental services and public school
choice, along with restructuring the school in one of the following
reopening the school as a charter school
replace all or most of the relevant school staff, including the
contract with private management
have the state take the school over
or other major restructuring.
can also be identified as needing improvement. If the district fails
to make AYP under the state's standard for districts for two consecutive
years, they must:
plans parallel to those for schools
spend ten percent of their school improvement funds for professional
If a district fails
after two years of technical assistance, the state must follow with
one of the following:
defer program funds
reduce administrative funds
implement a new curriculum
remove district staff
remove certain schools from the district's jurisdiction
appoint an outside manager
restructure or abolish the district
or allow students the option of transferring to a school in another
district that is not designated for improvement.
If a district makes
AYP for two consecutive years during the time it has been designated
as "in need of improvement," it will be removed from that
States must implement
a program to recognize schools that have "significantly closed
the achievement gap" between subgroups, or have exceeded AYP benchmarks
for a minimum of two consecutive years. In a year when a state's
Title I funding increases, it may utilize up to five percent of that
increase for the recognition program.
can be placed on states that fail to comply with deadlines agreed to
in the 1994 ESEA, including extended deadlines created through waivers
and compliance agreements. Those states may lose 25 percent of available
funding for administration and state-level activities each year.
which significantly close the achievement gap or have exceeded AYP benchmarks,
each state must establish an award program, which may include financial
awards for schools and/or individual teachers.
Within four years,
states must ensure that all of its teachers are qualified to teach in
the subject area the teacher is teaching in, with states being allowed
to require its teachers to pass subject tests or major in their field
in college. All Title I teachers hired as of September 2002 must be
either certified or licensed by a state and demonstrate a high level
of competence in the subjects they teach. By 2005-06, every public school
teacher must qualify under the same standard. Paraprofessionals hired
after the law's signing on January 8, 2002 are required to have completed
two years of college, obtained a minimum of an associate's degree, or
demonstrate on a "formal" assessment their knowledge of and
ability to instruct in reading, writing and math. Existing paraprofessionals
are required to meet the requirements within four years. Paraprofessionals
involved with translation or parental involvement activities, though,
are exempt from these requirements.
detailed standards were also established in the Act for professional
development, requiring that it must be provided for teachers, principals
and administrators. Professional development must be aligned to state
standards and should be on-going, sustained and based on scientifically-based
research. Schools in need of improvement must set aside ten percent
of their Title I funds for professional development, aimed directly
at addressing the problem(s) that led to identification for improvement.
Teachers and educators
in general also received liability protection in the reauthorized
ESEA, with language designed to protect educators from legal liability
actions considered reasonable in an effort to maintain order, discipline
and related to providing educational services. This is intended to
educators from lawsuit abuse, but does not apply in situations related
to violent crime, sexual offenses, violations of federal or state
rights law; or drug or alchohol use.
Funding for Title I has been significantly changed through the recent
reauthorization of the ESEA. For the last few years, Senators have been
able to guarantee the same level of funding as in the previous year,
even if the poverty rate decreased in their state, through the "hold
harmless" provision. Similar language is in this reauthorization,
but districts are only guaranteed 85 to 95 percent (depending on a district's
poverty rate) of the previous year's Title I allocation. While basic
and concentration grants do fund a large portion of Title l programs,
additional targeted grants have gained importance, as more funding is
being aimed at the poorest states and districts, in an attempt to help
those greatest in need of assistance.
and "Early Reading First" were two literacy programs established
in the reauthorized ESEA. The objective of Reading First is to help
K-3 students to read at or above grade level, while through Early Reading
funding is concentrated on three- to five-year-old children in areas
with high numbers who are not reading at grade level. Reading First
was authorized for $900 million in 2002, while Early Reading First,
was approved for $75 million this year. Both are competitive grant
Title I, as the cornerstone of the revised ESEA, is intended to ensure
that all children, whatever their backgrounds and whatever schools they
attend, can acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in
the 21st century. No child should be left behind.
For more information
on the "No Child Left Behind" Act, and the reauthorization
of the ESEA, check out the Web sites listed below: