EVALUATION OF PROGRAMS
Introduction
State Education Indicators with a Focus on Title I: 2001-02 (2005)
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Report Objectives and Design

State Education Indicators with a Focus on Title I 2001-02 is the seventh in a series of reports designed to provide: 1) consistent, reliable indicators to allow analysis of trends for each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico over time, 2) high data quality for comparability from state to state, and 3) accessible indicator formats for use by a variety of audiences. The report is based on two-page profiles that present the same indicators for each state.

Title I is the largest single grant program of the U.S. Department of Education, authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). For 40 years, it has provided funds to states, the District of Columbia, and the outlying territories for additional educational support for the neediest children. In 2004, the $14 billion program served more than 15 million students in nearly all school districts and nearly half of all public schools.

The 1994 reauthorization of ESEA required states to monitor the progress of schools in improving the achievement of low-income students through assessments, and also required alignment of student achievement tests with state standards for learning that apply to all students. States reported student achievement results by levels of proficiency for the 2001-02 school year for reading or language arts and mathematics at three grade levels: elementary school—grade 3, 4, or 5; middle school—grade 6, 7, 8, or 9; and high school—grade 10, 11, or 12. Each state determines its state test, how proficiency levels are set and defined, and at which grades students are tested.

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), which reauthorized ESEA in 2002, strengthens these requirements by requiring states to develop an integrated accountability system for all students, and added a requirement for testing of all students in grades 3-8 and one grade in the 10-12 grade span, in reading or language arts and mathematics by 2005-06. These data are reported by student group, with the aim of all students in each group attaining the state-defined level of proficiency by 2014. It is important to note that the data presented in this report reflect the year prior to the implementation of NCLB.

Guide to State Indicator Profiles

The state profiles in State Education Indicators with a Focus on Title I contain key measures of the quality of K-12 public education. They focus on the status of each indicator as of the 2001-02 school year, prior to the requirements of NCLB, and many indicators also include data for a baseline year to enable analysis of trends over time. The baseline year of 1993-94 was chosen in order to present data with comparable definitons, many of which changed with the 1994 reauthorization of ESEA. The sources section provides more detailed information and explanations for the indicators. The indicators in each state profile are organized in six categories:

School and Teacher Demographics

The indicators in this category provide a statewide picture of characteristics of the public K-12 school system, including schools, teachers and finances. The number of public schools and FTE (full-time equivalent) teachers are presented for 2001-02 and 1993-94, and percentage of grade 7-12 teachers with a major in the main subject taught is presented for 2000 and 1994, permitting comparisons across time. These data are from the Common Core of Data, collected from state departments of education by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and the Schools and Staffing Survey, a sample-based survey of teachers and schools, also conducted by NCES.

Student Demographics

An important aspect of the assessment system for Title I, reinforced by NCLB, is the disaggregation of student achievement results by student group. This section of the profile provides a picture of the student enrollment across grades, as well as trends in the student populations in each state, particularly characteristics of students by race or ethnicity, poverty, disability status, English language proficiency, and migrant status. The bar graph accompanying each two-page report that shows counts of public schools by percent of students eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program (i.e., students from lowincome families, when the data is available from the state) is useful for reviewing the disaggregated student achievement results reported on the second page of each profile.

Statewide Accountability Information

The information on state accountability systems was compiled from several sources: annual updates collected by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) with each state education agency, review of state Internet Web sites, and print reports. The information, collected during the winter of 2002, reflects the status of the state's system for the 2001-02 school year, prior to the large-scale accountability requirements of NCLB. The information provides comparable information on the status of state policies defining accountability systems and their relationship to Title I accountability. In summary:
  • Statewide Goal for Schools on Student Assessment: 42 states had established a goal, such as percentage of students in a school that will attain the state-defined proficient level on state student assessments in specific subjects, as of the 2001-02 school year.

  • Expected School Improvement on Assessment: 36 states had set a target for amount of improvement in student achievement scores for the school by a certain time period (e.g., annually), by the 2001-02 school year.

  • Title I AYP Target for Schools: 50 states and the District of Columbia had measures of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the 2001-02 school year, as required under Title I and later reinforced by NCLB. Schools that do not meet their AYP targets for two years are identified for improvement actions by the state. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia had an AYP target for Title I schools based on the statewide accountability system, and the report lists "same" for this indicator. If the target for Title I schools is different from non-Title I schools, the Title I target is described. (AYP measures for Title I schools were required under the 1994 ESEA reauthorization. The requirements of the 2001 reauthorization of ESEA, known as NCLB, which requires measures for all schools, are not captured in this report.)

Title I Schools

The report includes several specific indicators for the Title I programs. These include the number of Title I schools, which may be either "targeted assistance" programs for low-income children that channel funds for services provided directly to the neediest students or "schoolwide programs" for schools with high rates of low-income children that use Title I funds to support the learning of all students in the school. (Based on the 1994 ESEA legislation, schools with 50 percent or greater of the student population from low-income families are eligible to operate schoolwide programs; beginning with the 2002-03 school year, under NCLB, schools with greater than 40 percent poverty may do so.) Also reported are the number and percentage of each type of Title I schools meeting AYP goals and the number and percentage of each type of Title I schools identified for school improvement, which means the school missed the AYP goals for two or more years in a row. In addition, the report includes the Title I funding allocation per state.

National Assessment of Educational Progress

State-level results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which are comparable state by state, are reported in the lower right corner of the lefthand page of each state's profile. NAEP proficiency definitions are available in Appendix B.

Student Achievement

The name of the state assessment and the state definitions of proficient are included at the top of the right page of each state profile. State assessment aggregate scores were obtained from the State Consolidated Performance Report (Section B) submitted by states annually to the U.S. Department of Education. States reported student achievement results for the 2001-02 school year for reading or language arts and mathematics at three grade levels, as specified by Title I requirements prior to the program's reauthorization in the No Child Left Behind Act: elementary school—grade 3, 4, or 5; middle school—grade 6, 7, 8, or 9; and high school. grade 10, 11, or 12. Each state determines its state test, how proficiency levels are set and defined, and the grades at which students are tested. (Note: such practice has changed since the passage of NCLB, which requires states, by the 2005-06 school year, to assess all students in grades 3-8 and one grade in the 10-12 grade span in reading or language arts and mathematics.)

The state profiles in this report also provide disaggregated assessment results, when available, for schools with Title I programs, economically disadvantaged students, students with limited English proficiency, students with disabilities, and migratory students. The availability of results by other student groups is listed in the Availability of Student Achievement Results by Disaggregated Category table on pages 4-5. NCLB requires states to provide data disaggregated by these categories for accountability purposes, as well as by race or ethnicity and gender, beginning with the 2002-03 school year.

It is important to note that student achievement scores on the state assessments are not directly comparable state to state. Within a state, student results, e.g., percent meeting the state's "proficient" level, can be reasonably compared with the same state's performance in the prior year as long as the same test, standards, proficiency levels, and definitions of proficiency are in place. As such, the "student achievement trend" at the bottom of the second page of each profile shows a histogram with the percent of students that meet or exceed the state definition of "proficient." Histograms are displayed for six states with 1996-97 as their baseline year for analysis, and eight states with 1997-98 as their baseline year. Table 3 on page 6 provides a summary of student performance for all states for 2001-02, and Table 4 on pages 8-9 summarizes student achievement trends for elementary reading or language arts and middle grades mathematics from 1995-96 through 2001-02 for states with consistant tests, standards, proficiency levels, and definitions of proficiency.

In the bottom right corner of the second page of each profile are reported two measures of student outcomes from secondary schools: the high school dropout rate (based on annual percent of grade 9-12 students leaving school or "event" rate as reported by states to the U.S. Department of Education in the Common Core of Data) and the postsecondary enrollment rate (percent of high school graduates enrolled in any postsecondary education institution in the fall of the following school year, as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics).

Progress of State Standards and Assessments

This report tracks the progress of state Title I programs, and particularly the development and use of state standards and assessments in state accountability. A goal of the annual report is to chart the progress of states in developing state accountability systems based on state content standards and aligned state assessment programs.

The 1994 reauthorization of ESEA, which guided state accountability and reporting systems in the 2001-02 school year prior to the requirements of NCLB, required states to monitor the progress of schools in improving the achievement of low-income students and also required alignment of student achievement tests with state standards for learning that apply to all students. The individual state profiles and trends in assessment results in the State Education Indicators report are useful for initial determinations of educational improvements that may be related to Title I programs. The matrix in Table 1 on pages 2-3 displays key indicators of state progress in developing accountability systems for Title I.

Content Standards

As of spring 2002, 49 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had adopted and implemented statewide content standards meeting Title I requirements for K-12 education in the core academic subjects of English or language arts and mathematics, and 46 states and the District of Columbia had adopted and implemented statewide standards for science and social studies or history. NCLB requires that all states have content standards in mathematics and English or language arts by the 2002-03 school year. States are also required to develop science content standards by the 2005-06 school year.

State Assessment Results reported by Proficiency Levels

For the 2001-02 school year, 48 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico reported state assessment results using three or more proficiency levels that were defined by the state. Under NCLB, beginning with the 2002-03 school year, all states must report assessment results by at least three proficiency levels defined by the state. The matrix in Table 1 on pages 2-3 identifies the name of each assessment instrument and the number of proficiency levels reported for 2001-02.

State Achievement Results Disaggregated

A key feature of the 1994 reauthorization of ESEA was a provision that assessment results be disaggregated by categories of students, a requirement NCLB built upon to hold schools and districts accountable for the achievement of subgroups of students. The purpose of disaggregated results and reporting is to increase the possibility that educators, policymakers, and parents will analyze and improve the progress of learning through focusing on the students that are most in need of assistance. Under NCLB requirements, states were required by 2002-03 to disaggregate and report state assessment results by school and by students with families in poverty, student race or ethnicity, gender, and student status as disabled, limited English proficient, and migratory. For the 2001-02 school year, 47 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico reported assessment results using one or more disaggregated categories. Table 2 on pages 4-5 summarizes the availability of this disaggregated student assessment data.

Assessment Trends Analysis

As of 2001-02, 32 states had reported at least two years of assessment results using consistent assessments, levels, and grades, and 26 states reported three or more years of results that could be analyzed as trends. Table 4 on pages 8-9 provides a sample of student achievement trends for the period from 1996 to 2002.

Uses of State Indicators

This report comes at an important time for states, schools, and students. Standards and assessments are at the center of education reform in the states and are a central focus of the No Child Left Behind Act. Schools are using Title I funds to develop new approaches to education for low-income and at-risk students. An important goal of these efforts is to close the gap in educational opportunity and student learning between poor and wealthier students. For anyone tracking information about student achievement in the states, State Education Indicators with a Focus on Title I is a useful tool.


 
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Last Modified: 10/21/2005