OVERVIEW
Preliminary Overview of Programs and Changes Included in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Archived Information

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Rural Education Initiative
(Title VI, Part B)

Overview

Retains the current Rural Education Achievement Program (renamed Small, Rural School Achievement), which provides additional formula funds and flexibility in the use of certain Federal funds to small rural districts. Creates a new program to provide additional funds to rural districts that: (1) are ineligible to participate in the Small, Rural School Achievement program; and (2) serve concentrations of poor students. Appropriations are to be divided equally between the two programs.


       •  Small, Rural School Achievement Program
         

    (Same as the Rural Education Achievement Program authorized in 2001 appropriations act)

    Changes from Current Law

    • Increased Flexibility - Provides participating LEAs with additional flexibility by authorizing them to consolidate their allocations under the Teacher Quality, Innovative Programs (formerly Title VI), Safe and Drug-Free Schools, and Educational Technology programs. Currently, districts are authorized to consolidate funds under the Eisenhower Professional Development, Innovative Education Program Strategies (current Title VI), and Safe and Drug-Free Schools programs.

      Allows LEAs to use their consolidated funds to carry out activities authorized under the Title I, Teacher Quality State Grants (Title II-A), Educational Technology State Grants (Title II-D), Language Acquisition State Grants (Title III), Innovative Program State Grants (Title V-A), and Safe and Drug-Free Schools State Grants (Title IV-A). Under antecedent legislation, LEAs may use consolidated funds to carry out activities authorized under the Title I, Eisenhower Professional Development, Safe and Drug-Free Schools, and Technology Literacy Challenge Fund programs.

    • Expanded Eligibility - Makes eligible LEAs that: (1) (a) have an average daily attendance of fewer than 600 students; or (b) serve only schools located in counties with a population density of fewer than 10 persons per square mile; and (2) (a) serve only schools with an NCES local code of 7 (rural) or 8 (rural near an urban area); or (b) the Secretary determines are located in an area defined as rural by a governmental agency of the State. Currently, only LEAs that: (1) have an average daily attendance of fewer than 600 students; and (2) serve only schools with an NCES local code of 7 or 8 are eligible.

    Accountability

    • Local - Requires a participating LEA to administer an assessment that is consistent with the Title I requirements.

    • State - Requires States to: (1) determine, after the third year that an LEA participates, whether the LEA met the State's definition of adequate yearly progress; (2) permit LEAs that met the definition of adequate yearly progress to continue to participate; and (3) permit an LEA that did not meet the definition of adequate yearly progress to continue to participate only if it agrees to use its consolidated funds for Title I school improvement activities.

    • Federal - No specific accountability provisions.

    Allocations

    • Federal to LEA - Formula to LEAs in an amount equal to: (1) $20,000 plus $50 for each student in average daily attendance above 50 students in schools served by the LEA, except that no LEA may receive more than $60,000; (2) minus the amount the LEA received the previous year under the Teacher Quality, Innovative Programs, Safe and Drug-Free Schools, and Educational Technology programs.

    Set-Asides

    • Federal - None.

    • Local - None.


       •  Rural and Low-Income School Program (New)
         

    Program Description

    • Eligible LEAs - Makes eligible an LEA that: (1) serves only schools with an NCES locale code of 6 (small town),7 (rural), or 8 (rural near an urban area); and (2) has a child-poverty rate of at least 20 percent.

    • Specially Qualified Agencies - Authorizes eligible LEAs in States that choose not to participate in the program to apply directly to the Secretary for assistance.

    • Applications - Requires each State or specially qualified agency to establish, at a minimum, specific educational goals and objectives related to: (1) increased student achievement; (2) decreased student dropout rates; or (3) other factors that the SEA or specially qualified agency may choose to measure.

    • Uses of Funds - Authorizes LEAs to use program funds for: (1) teacher recruitment and retention; (2) professional development; (3) educational technology; (4) parental involvement activities; (5) activities authorized under Safe and Drug-Free Schools; (6) activities authorized under Part A of Title I; and (7) activities authorized under Title III.

    Accountability

    • Local - Requires a participating LEA to administer an assessment that is consistent with the Title I requirements. In addition, specially qualified agencies must provide the Secretary with an annual report on: (1) how the LEA used the funds; and (2) progress toward the goals and objectives included in its application for funds.

    • State - Requires States to: (1) determine, after the third year that an LEA participates, whether the LEA met the State's definition of adequate yearly progress; (2) permit LEAs that met the definition of adequate yearly progress to continue to participate; and (3) permit an LEA that did not meet the definition of adequate yearly progress to continue to participate only if it agrees to use its consolidated funds for school improvement activities. In addition, participating States must provide the Secretary with an annual report on: (1) the method used by the SEA to allocate funds to eligible LEAs; (2) how LEAs and schools used the funds; and (3) progress toward the goals and objectives included in the State's application for funds.

    • Federal - Requires the Secretary to report biennially to Congress on: (1) the methods used by States to allocate funds to eligible LEAs; (2) how LEAs and schools used program funds; and (3) the progress made by States toward the goals and objectives included in their applications for funds.

    Allocations

    • Federal to State - Formula based on each State's share of students in average daily attendance in eligible districts.

    • Within State - Participating States have the option to allocate funds through: (1) a formula based on an LEA's share of the number of students in average daily attendance in eligible districts within the State; (2) a competitive process; or (3) an alternative formula that, to the satisfaction of the Secretary, more effectively targets funds to high-poverty districts. Requires the Secretary to make awards to specially qualified agencies through: (1) a formula based on an LEA's share of the number of students in average daily attendance in eligible districts within the State; or (2) a competitive process.

    Set-Asides

    • Federal - One-half of 1 percent each for the BIA and the Outlying Areas.

    • State - Up to 5 percent for administrative expenses.



National Assessment of Educational Progress
(National Education Statistics Act, Section 411)

Overview

Amends the legislation authorizing, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which provides high-quality data on the achievement of elementary and secondary school students in reading, mathematics, science, and other subjects. Also makes minor changes to the authority for the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB).

Changes from Current Law

  • State Assessments - Requires the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to conduct biennial State assessments in reading and mathematics in grades 4 and 8. Removes the prohibition on using Federal funds to pay for the administration of State assessments. Authorizes $72 million for fiscal year 2002 and such sums as necessary for 5 succeeding years for administering these assessments.

  • Reporting Subgroups - Prior legislation required separate reporting, where feasible, by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender. The new law adds disability and limited English proficiency.

  • Assessment Frequency - Prior law required national assessments at least every two years on students at ages 9, 13, and 17 and in grades 4, 8, and 12, and it permitted State assessments at grades 4, 8, and 12. The reauthorized Act mandates biennial national and State assessments in reading and mathematics at grades 4 and 8 and a national assessment in reading and mathematics at grade 12. To the extent that funds are available after conducting those assessments, NCES may conduct national assessments in other subject areas at grades 4, 8, and 12 and may conduct the long-term trend assessments of students at ages 9, 13, and 17. NCES also is permitted to conduct 12th grade State reading and mathematics assessments and State grades 4, 8, and 12 assessments in other subject areas.

  • Prohibitions - The new legislation specifically prohibits agents of the Federal Government from using NAEP to influence standards, assessments, curriculum, or instructional practices at the State and local level; from using NAEP to evaluate individual students or teachers; or provide rewards or sanctions for individual students, teachers, schools, or school districts. In addition, the statute specifies that nothing in the law shall be construed to prescribe the use of NAEP for student promotion or graduation purposes, and that NAEP should not affect home schools. Maintenance of a system of records containing personally identifiable information on students is prohibited. Assessments must not evaluate or assess personal or family beliefs or attitudes.

  • Access to Assessment Materials - Maintains the ability for NCES to ensure test integrity by not releasing cognitive test items that will be used in future assessments and continues to provide for public scrutiny of assessment materials in secure settings, but includes new provisions designed to ensure that the public is notified about access to assessment materials, requires that such access be provided within 45 days in a convenient setting, and establishes procedures for receiving, reviewing, and reporting complaints. Provides criminal penalties for unauthorized release of assessment instruments.

  • Voluntary Participation - Mandates that participation is voluntary for students and schools, as well as for local educational agencies. State participation continues to be voluntary other than in the reading and mathematics assessments in grades 4 and 8.

  • National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) - Gives NAGB final authority over all assessment items, not just cognitive items. Requires NAGB to ensure that all items used in NAEP are secular, neutral, and non-ideological. Specifies the types of technical experts with whom NAGB is to consult in the design of the assessments. Adds to NAGB duties the development of standards and procedures for interstate comparisons. Makes minor modifications to the composition of NAGB.

Accountability

  • Reviews of NAEP - Continues the requirement for NCES to provide for on-going review of NAEP assessments by professional organizations to ensure quality. Continues to require State NAEP to be considered "developmental" until such review determines that the assessment produces high-quality data. Adds a requirement for NAGB to provide for a review of any trial student achievement levels under development by representatives of a State educational agency or a chief State school officer.

Allocations

  • None.

Set-Asides

  • None.


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Last Modified: 01/19/2005