Thursday, January 19, 2017

Implementation of Title I & Title II-A Program Initiatives

A new report on federal Title I and Title II-A programs finds that nearly every state had adopted college-and-career-ready content standards by 2013-14 and many incorporated more sophisticated items into state tests to assess higher-order thinking.

The Institute of Education Sciences released a new report today (Jan. 19) entitled Implementation of Title I and Title II-A Program Initiatives: Results from 2013-14. The report from the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) examines implementation of program initiatives promoted through Title I and Title II-A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) during the 2013-14 school year. Title I addresses the needs of students who are economically disadvantaged, and Title II-A provides support for educator improvement.

This report is based on surveys of all states and the District of Columbia as well as nationally representative samples of districts, schools, and teachers. It describes policies and practices in several core areas: content standards, assessments, accountability, and educator evaluation and support.

Major findings include:

•    Most states adopted and most principals and teachers reported implementing state content standards that focused on college- and career-readiness. All but one state had committed to having college- and career-ready standards in place by 2013–14. A majority of principals (67-69 percent, depending on subject) reported fully implementing state content standards, and most teachers reported receiving professional development relevant to state content standards (79 percent of teachers) and weekly use of aligned instructional activities (92 percent of teachers);

•    Many state assessments incorporated more sophisticated response formats to better assess students’ college- and career-readiness. In their reading/English language arts (ELA) summative assessments, many states (between 24 and 36, depending on grade level) reported using extended constructed-response formats, a type of response format intended to assess higher-order thinking skills. Nineteen states used this response format in math assessments;

•    States used ESEA flexibility to re-set their accountability goals and to target a narrower set of schools for additional support. Forty-three (43) states had received ESEA flexibility for the 2013-14 school year. The most common accountability goal adopted by states with ESEA flexibility (28 of the 43 states) was reducing by half the percentage of students and subgroups not proficient in 6 to 8 years. States with ESEA flexibility identified 5 percent of Title I schools as lowest performing and an additional 10 percent of Title I schools with substantial student achievement gaps, compared to non-flexibility states that reported identifying 43 percent of Title I schools as lowest performing;

•    Almost all states adopted new laws or regulations related to educator evaluation systems between 2009 and 2014, and most districts reported full or partial implementation in 2013–14. Only four states had not adopted new teacher evaluation laws or regulations by 2014, and a majority (59%) of districts reported fully implementing, piloting, or partially implementing a new teacher evaluation system. However, few districts (18 percent) reported using system measures of student achievement growth and classroom practice consistent with emerging research; and

•    Proficiency rates on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) slightly increased from 2005 to 2015, with the largest increases in 4th and 8th grades and smaller or no increases in 12th grade.

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