State Education Indicators with a Focus on Title I: 2003-04 (2007)
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Report Objectives and Design

State Education Indicators With a Focus on Title I 2003-04 is the ninth in a series of reports designed to provide (1) consistent, reliable indicators to allow analysis of trends for each state over time, (2) high quality, comparable state data, and (3) indicator formats designed for use by a diverse audience. Since its inception, the report has provided two-page state profiles that report the same indicators for each state. This 2003-04 report reflects the second year of the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. A full explanation of the indicators and trends included can be found below.

Title I, Part A

Title I, Part A, is the largest single grant program of the U.S. Department of Education, authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). For over 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 over 15 million students in nearly all school districts and nearly half of all public schools.

NCLB Accountability Requirements

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), which reauthorized the ESEA, requires states to develop an accountability system for all students. As part of their accountability system, states must test students in grades 3-8 and once in grades 10-12 in reading (or language arts) and mathematics by 2005-06, although in 2003-04 states were only required to test students once in grades 3-5, 6-9 and 10-12. Beginning in 2007-08, states will be required to test students in science once in grades 3-5, once in grades 6-9, and once in grades 10-12. States must also track student progress on an "other academic indicator." NCLB requires states to use graduation rates as the additional indicator in high schools but allows states to select an other measure for elementary and middle schools. Results on assessments and other academic indicators are reported to parents and the public for all students in a school by student subgroups, race or ethnicity, poverty, gender, and migrant status.

States must set annual targets for school and district performance that lead all students to proficiency on state reading and mathematics assessments by the 2013-14 school year. Schools and districts that do not make adequate yearly progress (AYP) towards this goal for two consecutive years are identified as needing improvement and are subject to increasing levels of interventions designed to improve performance and increase options for students and parents.

After two consecutive years of missing AYP, schools are required to notify parents that in most cases they may choose to enroll their child in another public school in the district, thereby exercising their right to public school choice under NCLB. If an identified school misses AYP for a third year, the district is required to provide supplemental educational services to students from low-income families in the school, which may include tutoring or other after-school academic programming provided by public or private organizations or firms.

After a fourth year of missing AYP, a school is subject to corrective action, where the district implements at least one statutorily required strategy to improve student learning, such as introducing new curricula or replacing staff. After a fifth year of missing AYP, schools begin planning for restructuring and after a sixth year they implement their restructuring plan, which may include replacing all or most of the staff, reopening the school as a charter school or other major reforms. If at any point a school under review makes AYP for two consecutive years, it exits improvement status and is no longer subject to these consequences. The school, however, must continue to demonstrate progress and consistently meet annual performance targets or it will reenter the first stage of improvement after missing AYP for two consecutive years.

It is important to note that the law allows states to establish the rules that determine if schools make AYP: the state designs its statewide assessment system, defines proficiency levels for students, and designates the other academic indicator for schools and districts. Assessments and accountability systems are not necessarily comparable state-to-state.

Guide to State Indicator Profiles

The state profiles in this report contain key indicators for K-12 public education. They focus on the status of each indicator as of the 2003-04 school year, and many indicators also include data for a baseline year for the purpose of analyzing trends over time. The sources section at the end of the publication provides more detailed information and explanations for the indicators. The indicators in each state profile are organized into seven categories.

Districts and Schools

The indicators in this category provide a statewide picture of characteristics of the public K-12 school system as of 2003-04, including the number of districts, public schools, and charter schools in the state. A comparison number from 1993-94 is provided to give a picture of how the state’s school systems have changed over time, and to reflect change since the 1994 ESEA reauthorization. These data are from the Common Core of Data (CCD), collected from state departments of education by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).


Four financial data elements are included in this report: total current expenditures, including instructional, noninstructional, and support; per-pupil expenditures; sources of funding; and Title I, Part A, allocation. These figures provide a picture of school finances for each state, demonstrating how funding is distributed, as well as the relationship between federal funding allocations and state and local resources. Data are collected from CCD surveys through NCES and the Budget Office of the U. S. Department of Education. 1993-94 data have been adjusted to reflect inflation for 2003-04.


An important aspect of the accountability system requirements under NCLB is the disaggregation of student achievement results by student subgroup. This section of the profile reports 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 showing counts of public schools by the percentage of students eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program (i.e., students from low-income families) is useful for reviewing the disaggregated student achievement results reported on the second page of each profile. Data on students in each state are collected from several sources, including NCES, program offices within the U. S. Department of Education, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).


This section provides information about educators, including the number of teachers and non-teaching staff in each state from data collected by NCES through the CCD. A third data element, the percentage of teachers with a major in the main subject taught, grades 7-12, is reported from results of the Schools and Staffing Survey, a periodic sample survey of teachers and schools conducted by NCES.

The final figure in this section, percentage of core courses taught by highly qualified teachers, 2003-04, was reported by states through the Consolidated State Performance Report. In 2003-04, NCLB required that all newly hired teachers in assignments supported with Title I, Part A, funds be "highly qualified," and by 2005-06 all teachers teaching in core academic subjects had to be "highly qualified." NCLB provides a framework by which states label teachers as “highly qualified.” Since the law requires each state to create its own rubric for evaluating experienced teachers, these indicators are not comparable across states.


Three measures of student outcomes are reported in the national and state profiles: the high school "event" dropout rate; the averaged freshman graduation rate, a calculation of high school graduation rates; and the college-going rate.

The high school dropout rate is based on the CCD "event rate" that reports the annual percent of students in grades 9-12 that drop out of school. This measure may underestimate the actual number of students that drop out of high school, because it indicates only the percent of students that dropped out of high school within a single year and not the cumulative dropout rate for each student cohort over a lifetime.

An alternate estimate of student attrition, the averaged freshman graduation rate, is reported for comparison purposes. The indicator is a new calculation from NCES. It uses aggregate student enrollment data to estimate the size of an incoming freshman class and aggregate counts of the number of regular diplomas awarded four years later. While the averaged freshman graduation rate is the best measure of the graduation rate that is currently available, it has several flaws that affect its accuracy and reliability. The calculation for each state is based on local definitions of what constitutes a high school diploma, which vary considerably. For example, this definition may or may not include students graduating with a GED or other alternative credential. The graduation rate also does not take into account student mobility across districts or states, or into or out of private schools, nor does it include students who repeated a grade in high school or those who graduated early. Another outcome provided is the college-going rate, which measures the percent of high school graduates in a state enrolled in any postsecondary education institution in the fall of the following school year, as reported by NCES.

Finally, this section also includes test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading and mathematics, which are comparable across states. Prior to the passage of NCLB, state participation in NAEP was voluntary and reading and mathematics tests were given in four-year cycles. Under NCLB, each state is now required to participate in each two-year cycle of the NAEP, starting with 2002 for reading and 2003 for mathematics. The NAEP for these subjects is administered to a representative sample of students in each state (approximately 2,000 students), producing state-level scores for grades 4 and 8 reading and mathematics. Data for 1994 (reading) and 1996 (mathematics) NAEP are provided in order to show trends, as these years are closest to the 1993-94 baseline used for the remainder of the report.

Statewide Accountability Information

The first column on the second page of each state profile provides a snapshot of state accountability systems for the 2003-04 school year, the second year of NCLB implementation. Accountability information is presented for each state, including the name of the state’s accountability system, the assessments used, the subjects included for state-level accountability determinations, and the performance levels used to report student achievement.

This section provides information on accountability goals for one grade in elementary, middle, and high school (the same as the assessment data reported in the second column of the second page of each profile) in reading or language arts (or the state’s equivalent) and mathematics. The annual measurable objective (AMO) target provides an indication of how many students in each student group must perform at or above the state-defined proficient level for 2003-04 in order to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) on the state’s trajectory toward 100 percent proficiency by 2013-14. The starting point of the trajectory for most states was 2001-02, and the target for 2003-04 is also displayed. The latter number is useful for reviewing the achievement information presented in the second column on the second page.

Accountability results are based on school and district performance against three criteria: disaggregated student assessment results, student participation on state assessments, and performance on the other indicator selected by the state. Any consequences are applied in the following school year. The middle part of this column provides information on school and district performance, including the number that made AYP, the number identified for improvement (due to missing AYP two or more years in a row), and the number that exited school improvement status (after making AYP two years in a row). It is important to note that since it takes two years for schools to exit their improvement status, a school could be counted in the "Made AYP" section and one of the levels of school improvement. Further, schools that “Exited improvement status” are also counted in the "Made AYP" totals in this section.

Each state chooses its own assessment, sets its own learning standards, and determines the level of proficiency expected of its students. As a result, adequate yearly progress (AYP) results, as well as annual measurable objectives (AMOs) and targets are not comparable from state-to-state. Each state’s accountability plan under NCLB is reviewed by the U.S. Department of Education. States can annually submit requests for amendments to their accountability plans. Complete information on each state’s current accountability plan and decision letters regarding amendments can be viewed online at Summary information on all the state accountability plans and state report cards can be viewed at

Student Achievement 2003-04

The second column on page 2 of the profile includes state student assessment information—the name of the state assessment, the subject assessed, and disaggregated results for one grade in elementary, middle, and high school are provided in this section. Due to limited space, the profile does not include all disaggregated scores and grades assessed, though this information is located on the Web site associated with this publication. (See page ii for the address.) However, NCLB does require the assessment of all students in grades 3-8 and once in grades 10-12 in reading or language arts and mathematics by 2005-06. For accountability purposes these assessment results are reported in state-defined performance levels by the following categories: all students and students disaggregated by economic disadvantage, limited English proficiency, disability, migratory status, gender, and race or ethnicity. (While reporting by migrant status and gender is required by NCLB, these two indicators are not used in determining AYP.) In the 2003-04 school year, all states reported in all of these accountability reporting categories, according to the guidelines of NCLB.

To illustrate recent academic trends, two charts are provided, showing a three-year trend, where available, for the percentage of students achieving at the state’s proficient level or above in reading and mathematics for one grade each in elementary, middle school, and high school. The online version of this report features all grades and subjects reported by the state to the U. S. Department of Education in the annual Consolidated State Performance Report.

Nationwide Data

In addition to providing individual state profiles, this report also includes three tables that provide national summary information. Table 1 on page 2 provides a summary of state assessments, the number of levels for which student achievement is reported, and the number of years consistent data is available. Table 2 on page 4 provides a summary of student performance in elementary and middle schools at the proficient level or higher by state. Table 3 on page 6 provides a summary of student achievement trends for elementary reading or language arts and middle grades mathematics from 1995-96 through 2003-04 for states that have used consistent tests, standards, and performance levels. Finally, Table 4 on page 8 provides a table of links to state reports where disaggregated state reporting data are located.

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Last Modified: 08/31/2007