Signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002, No Child Left Behind is a federal education law impacting students in grades K-12, mandating annual student testing, with guidelines for underperforming schools. The law requires states to train all teachers and assistants to be “highly qualified” and stipulates what must be included in accountability reports to parents. The goal for NCLB is for all public school students to be proficient in reading and math by 2014 and to make Adequate Yearly Progress.
Brush up on your ABC’s! Use this helpful glossary to guide you through education terms used in this guide, including the NCLB accountability standards and definitions.
ABCs of Public Education: North Carolina’s major school reform effort begun in 1996 as a result of state law. The ABCs focus on local school accountability, an emphasis on student mastery of basic skills, and as much local board and educator control as possible.
ABC Categories: A measure of a school’s growth and performance awarded to schools that attain growth standards. Schools falling below specified levels are designated as low performing, and may receive mandated assistance based on action by the State Board of Education.
• Hgh = High Growth schools attained their high-growth standard.
• Exp = Expected Growth attained their expected-growth standard, but not high growth.
• HE = Honor Schools of Excellence made at least expected growth, had at least 90 percent of their students’ scores at or above Achievement Level III, and made AYP.
• Exc = Schools of Excellence made at least expected growth and had at least 90 percent of their students’ scores at or above Achievement Level III but did not make AYP.
• Dst = Schools of Distinction made at least expected growth and had at least 80 percent of their students’ scores at or above Achievement Level III.
• Pro = Schools of Progress made at least expected growth and had at least 60 percent of their students’ scores at or above Achievement Level III.
• NR = No Recognition schools did not make their expected growth standards but have at least 60 percent of their students’ scores at or above Achievement Level III.
• Pri = Priority Schools have less than 60 percent of their students’ scores at or above Achievement Level III, irrespective of making their expected growth standards, and are not Low-Performing Schools.
• LP = Low-Performing Schools are those that failed to meet their expected growth standards and have less than 50 percent of their students’ scores at or above Achievement Level III.
Achievement Level I, II, III, IV: Refer to student achievement on North Carolina’ s end-of-grade and end-of-course assessments, reported by four achievement levels: Level I, insufficient mastery; Level II, inconsistent mastery; Level III; mastery; and Level IV; superior.
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): A series of performance targets that states, school districts and specific subgroups within their schools must achieve each year to meet requirements of NCLB.
End-of-Course (EOC) assessment: State-developed standardized tests used to assess high school students’ mastery of subject-related concepts as specified in the N.C. Standard Course of Study. Ten EOC tests are mandated: Algebra I, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry, Civics and Economics (Civics/Econ), English I, Geometry, Physical Science, Physics, and U.S. History.
End-of-Grade (EOG) assessment: State-developed standardized tests in reading and math designed to assess the competencies defined by the N.C. Standard Course of Study in grades 3-8.
Individualized Education Program (IEP): A written plan for a student with learning disabilities, created by teachers, parents or guardians, the school administrator, and other interested parties. The plan is tailored to the student’s specific needs and abilities, with goals for the student to reach.
International Baccalaureate (IB): A rigorous college preparation course of study that leads to examinations for highly motivated high school students. Students can earn college credit from many universities if their exam scores are high enough.
Performance Composite (Comp): The percentage of test scores in a school at or above Achievement Level III or grade level.