Reading “No Child Left Behind” charts

The state Department of Education has released a series of tables showing schools and school districts in Connecticut that have failed to meet federal standards under the No Child Left Behind law. Because the law is complex, the charts themselves can be difficult to decipher. Here is a guide to some of the key entries on the charts:

  • In need of improvement: Schools that don’t meet federal standards for two years in a row are deemed to be in need of improvement.
  • Title I: Title I is a program aimed at helping troubled schools increase their performance. Schools receiving Title I funding that don’t make adequate progress for two or more years in a row can face steps such as a forced reorganization.
  • Subgroup academic achievement: A school or district can be cited if even one group of students – such as minority students, special education students, low-income children or children learning to speak English — fails to meet standards in reading or mathematics.
  • Years of improvement and hold: Schools or districts can be removed from the “needs improvement” list if they make adequate progress two years in a row.  The charts show the number of consecutive years a school has been on the list. However, some schools or districts that have made one year of progress can be placed on “hold” if they make a minimum level of progress even though they still fall short of the federal benchmarks. If those schools make similar gains next year, they will be removed from the list.