NJDOE News
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    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

    Richard Vespucci
    Jon Zlock

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For Release: October 15, 2004


New Jersey AYP Re-Aggregation Update:
Sanctions Status Changes for 151 Schools

A second analysis of the final 2003 and preliminary 2004 data used to calculate New Jersey schools’ Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status under the federal No Child Left Behind Act has resulted in changes in the 2004-05 school year "Schools In Need of Improvement" status and "Early Warning" status of 151 schools, Department of Education officials announced today.

The secondary analysis involved a change in the manner in which the data were aggregated for yearly status rather than adjustments to test scores. As a result, the correct number of New Jersey schools not making AYP in 2004 is 597. The DOE initially announced on September 29, that 621 schools did not make AYP. That number, however, reflected schools that administered more than one test and were mistakenly counted twice.

For 85 of the 151 schools that were subject to a yearly status change, the adjustment will have little, if any, impact for Title I schools, either in terms of expenditures for tutoring or other supplemental educational services, the offer of in-district choice to parents or other penalties or sanctions, officials said.

However, 66 of the 151 schools initially listed in "Early Warning" status in the DOE’s September announcement are now placed in "School Choice" status. Any of these schools that receive Title I funding must offer parents in-district choice in another school in the district that did achieve AYP. If choice is not available in the district, the school would expand its offering of supplemental educational services.

Isaac Bryant, assistant commissioner for the Department of Education’s Division of Student Services, said the mislabeling of the 151 schools stemmed from programming errors involving the inadvertent exclusion of 2003 AYP math status for some schools, and the resultant miscalculations in determining the actual sanction levels for the affected schools.

He said the matter was further complicated by the fact that under the NCLB guidelines, schools must achieve AYP for two years in a row in order to be removed from the "Early Warning" or "In Need of Improvement" lists. On the other hand, schools that do not achieve AYP in the same content area two years in a row advance to more stringent levels of sanctions.

"To put it simply, in the case of most of these 151 schools, the 2003 AYP calculations were correct and the 2004 AYP calculations were correct, but when we melded them together to determine the schools’ yearly status, we did not do that final calculation correctly," Assistant Commissioner Bryant said. "That meant that the status of these 151 schools was inaccurate on the lists we released in September."

Bryant said the department had received several calls from school and district officials who had calculated their own status and found results different from those reported by DOE on September 29. "We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused and we are issuing this correction so that the districts and the department are working off of the same page," he said. "We know now what went wrong and we have taken the right steps to make sure this does not happen in the future."

He noted that as a result of the re-aggregation of the 2003-2004 AYP data for yearly school status, 520 of New Jersey’s 2,398 schools (21.7% of the schools) have been designated as "Schools In Need of Improvement" under the federal NCLB.

Current yearly status results are based on year-to-year comparisons of schools’ AYP status, which is determined using data from the HSPA (High School Proficiency Assessment) administered to 11th grade students, GEPA (Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment) and NJASK4 (New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge), administered to 4th graders. The tests are administered in the spring.

In order to achieve AYP, a school’s students must meet both the proficiency targets and a 95 percent participation rate in math and language arts for each of ten subgroups, which include

the total school population, students with disabilities, limited English proficiency (LEP) students, economically disadvantaged students and white, Hispanic, African American, Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Native American students.

If a school misses achieving AYP in any one of the 40 indicators for the first time, it is placed on the "Early Warning" list, which is a category developed by New Jersey DOE and not included in the federal NCLB law. A school’s appearance on this list gives school officials advance notice about the importance of improving their performance in the following year.

Following the data re-calculation, there are 109 schools on New Jersey’s "Early Warning" list. An additional 315 schools which achieved AYP in 2004 but did not make it in 2003 are in "Early Warning Hold" status. No sanctions are imposed on these schools.

If a school does not achieve AYP in the same content area for two consecutive years, it is deemed to be a "School in Need of Improvement." Schools that receive Title I federal funding face various levels of sanctions.

Under the second analysis of the data, 103 schools did not achieve AYP four years in a row and are now in "Corrective Action" status. Any of these schools that receive federal Title I funding must allot 20 percent of their Title I funds for parental options, such as in-district school choice, if feasible, or supplemental educational services; complete a school improvement plan and undergo a comprehensive review by DOE; and undertake one of several other federal corrective action options.

Sixty-four schools remain in the third level of AYP sanctions, "Supplemental Educational Services". If they receive Title I funding, they are required to offer parents in-district choice if feasible, and supplemental educational services, such as tutoring, using the 20 percent Title I reserve; and complete a school improvement plan. However, 46 of these schools at this level made AYP in 2004 and are therefore in "Supplemental Services Hold" status.

The re-aggregation of the data shows that 353 schools did not achieve AYP two years in a row in the same content area and are now in "School Choice" status. Any of these schools that receive Title I funding must reserve 20 percent of these funds and offer parents intra-district school choice, in another school in the district which did achieve AYP, and complete a school improvement plan. If choice is not available in the district, the school would offer supplemental educational services, such as tutoring.

Here is a summary of the yearly status changes based on the recent re-aggregation of the data:

  • The results of New York Avenue Elementary School and the former Indiana Avenue Elementary School in Atlantic City are now combined, which resulted in the school now being placed in "Corrective Action" status for this school year.

  • Two schools, Bridgewater-Raritan High School and Sussex County Technical High School, previously were labeled as being in "Choice" status when they were actually on the "Early Warning" list. These schools are not required to take any action.

  • Nine schools currently in "Choice" status previously were labeled as being in "Supplemental Educational Services" status. In their current status, Title I schools are required to offer in-district choice, if feasible, or tutoring, and file a school improvement plan.

  • Sixteen schools currently in "Supplemental Educational Services" status previously were labeled as being in "Corrective Action" status. In this status, Title I schools are still required to offer in-district choice, if feasible, and supplemental educational service, and to prepare a school improvement plan.

  • One school, K-8 Whitney E. Houston Academy in East Orange, was previously labeled as being in "Corrective Action" status. In actuality, the school made AYP in 2003 and 2004 on the NJASK4 test and would normally be removed from the sanctions list. However, while the school made AYP in 2004 on the GEPA test, it did not make AYP on GEPA in 2003 and is thus on the "Early Warning" list in a "Hold" status.

  • Under the re-aggregation, 52 schools made AYP in 2004 and did not make AYP for 2003. These schools remain on the "Early Warning" list under "Hold" status. No sanctions are imposed on these schools, and if they make AYP in 2005, they will be removed from the list.

  • Three high schools – Hawthorne High School, Somerset County Vocational-Technical High School and Hackettstown High School – were previously labeled as being on the "Early Warning" list. In actuality, the schools all made AYP in both 2003 and 2004 and are not on any status list.

  • One school, K-8 Rafael de J. Cordero Elementary School No. 37 in Jersey City, labeled as being on the "Early Warning" list, made AYP on NJASK 4 in 2003 and 2004 and on GEPA in 2004. However, since the school did not make AYP on GEPA in 2003, it remains on the "Early Warning" list in "Hold" status.

  • Sixty-six schools, referenced above, were placed on the "Early Warning" list after the original calculation of the data. However, since they did not make AYP in either 2003 or 2004, they have been moved into "Choice" status. Title I schools must reserve 20 percent of their Title I funds, offer parents in-district choice, if feasible, or supplemental educational services. They must also file a school improvement plan.

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