No Child Left Behind requires states and school districts to give parents easy-to-read, detailed report cards on schools and districts, telling them which ones are succeeding in closing the achievement gap and why. The following are excerpts from an article in yesterday's St. Petersburg Times highlighting how a school in Florida used data from their report card to know how to better target resources and help close the achievement gap:
"Principal Janet Dunleavy didn't cling to any illusions as she waited Tuesday for the release of this year's school report cards. Deltona Elementary had seen its student population balloon from around 825 on the first day of classes to nearly 1,000 by the state standardized testing date. Close to 30 percent of the students were enrolled in special education. Having failed to meet national standards for academic progress last year, Deltona stood to lose students through transfers to better-performing schools under the No Child Left Behind act.
"Then Dunleavy got the results. Deltona earned an A in the state A-Plus plan, up from last year's B, and it made adequate progress under federal guidelines. 'We really analyzed the data, and we really looked at exactly where the students were having problems. We tried to target them with resource teachers and more small-group instruction,' she said. 'We are very happy.'"
The complete text of this article is available online at http://www.sptimes.com/2004/06/16/ Hernando/Elementary_schools_fa.shtml.
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