No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was signed into law in 2001 by Congress and has resulted in changes in education on federal, state and local levels. Click here to read the US Department of Education's overview of NCLB. Below are some key areas which have been impacted by NCLB:
Annual assessments: annual assessment in reading and math in grades 3-8 and one grade in high school and annual assessment in science within three grade spans K-12. In order to develop an assessment blueprint for the state of Vermont worked with New Hampshire and Rhode Island to develop Grade Expectations for all content areas. The three states collaborated to use these Grade Expectations to develop the New England common Assessment Program (NECAP.)
Accountability System: Vermont was required to revise their accountability system to match the requirements of NCLB. The accountability system reports a number (school-wide and SU wide) which represent student achievement school-wide and the school and Supervisory Union's progress toward the NCLB goal of all students meeting the standard by 2014. Additionally NCLB requires that student achievement is reported out in 5 subgroups: 1) all students 2) free & reduced lunch/not free & reduced lunch, 3) English Language Learners (ELL), 4) disabled students and 5) five ethnic groups. A school or an SU which does not meet the target number, set by the Vermont Department of Education, or is not showing adequate yearly progress (AYP) in any one of the subgroups listed above will be identified, or receive a checkmark. Two years with a checkmark and a school or SU will be identified as a 'failing school'. For further information please see the following links:
"Highly Qualified Teachers": NCLB requires increased accountability in the area of teacher licensure and teaching assignments, defining the term "Highly Qualified Teacher" as a teacher who is both licensed in the area of teaching assignment and has proven strength in the content area.
Paraprofessional Qualifications: NCLB requires that para-educators in Title I schools must have earned a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent. Para-educators in Title I schools hired after January, 2002 must have completed at least two years of study at an institution of higher education OR obtained at minimum an associate’s degree OR “meet a rigorous standard of quality” as demonstrated by performance on a state or local academic assessment. There are a few exceptions to this requirement. Para-educators working as translators with students of limited English proficiency or those working only with parental involvement activities do not have to meet the NCLB requirements.
Children and Families who are Homeless: The McKinney –Vento Homeless Assistance Actwas amended by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. It addresses the problems that homeless children and youth have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. The McKinney-Vento Act requires that homeless children and youth have equal access to the same education, including a public preschool education, as other children and youth. School districts are required to review and revise policies and practices that may present a barrier to enrollment, attendance or success in school for homeless children and youth. Each Local Education Agency (LEA), in our case that is CSSU, must have a person designated as the Homeless Liaison to work with homeless families to ensure access to education.