San Diego Schools Embrace the No Child Left Behind Program
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program is a federal law that governs elementary and secondary education and is funded by Federal Title I. Under the NCLB, school boards must ensure that their high poverty schools meet the educational needs of low-achieving students. The goal is to close the achievement gap between the high and low-performing students. San Diego Schools are committed to delivering strong standards-based education with programs that are designed to improve student achievement in the gateway skills of reading, writing and mathematics. Along with this commitment, they have embraced the NCLB program, which benefits the San Diego schools and its students as follows: • San Diego schools must provide greater accountability for results, which means an even better school district with higher scholastic achievement from its students; • The district gains greater flexibility for spending federal money, allowing them to decide where the money best serves to improve student achievement; • Parents have more options over their children, allowing them to choose a non-participating school over a NCLB school; and • San Diego schools gain an increased emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work. Of the 202 San Diego schools, 138 are eligible for the NCLB program.
Schools are selected for the program if they have not made adequate annual progress for two or more consecutive years and serve students from high-poverty backgrounds. Annual state-required student achievement targets measure the progress of each of the 138 San Diego schools. There are currently 37 schools participating in the NCLB five-year program and designated as Program Improvement schools. The following seven schools are in their first year of the program — Clairemont High, Creative, Performing and Media Arts Middle; Knox; Pershing Middle; Rosa Parks Elementary; Wangenheim Middle; and Washington. In their second year are ALBA, Bayview Terrace, Correia Middle, Dana (5-6), Emerson/Bandini, Encanto, Garfield High, Logan, Madison, Montgomery Middle, Muir (K-12), and Twain.
The third-year San Diego schools are Garfield, Marston Middle, and Pacific Beach Middle. Baker, Bell Middle, Clark Middle, Farb Middle, Hoover High, Kroc Middle, Morse High, O’Farrell Charter, Roosevelt Middle, Taft Middle, and Tubman Village Charter are in their fourth year. Four San Diego schools are in their fifth year. They are Balboa, Gompers Secondary, Memorial Charter, and Wilson Middle. Those schools highlighted above met their adequate yearly progress targets in 2005, showing remarkable improvement in student achievement. During all years of the program, parents may choose to send their children to a designated non-participating school and receive transportation at San Diego schools expense. During years two through five, free tutoring is provided to eligible students after school, based on academic need. Parents select from a state-approved list of service providers. In year three of the program, the district will intervene, making additional options and services available. The district develops plans for restructuring the San Diego schools that are in year four of the program.
The plans include major reorganizations and fundamental reforms that affect the staffing and administration of the schools. Any school still in the program in year five is restructured, according to the plan developed for the school in year four. San Diego schools provide parents of children attending Program Improvement schools with information on a variety of education-related issues. Additionally, parents may request information on the professional qualifications of teachers and paraprofessionals associated with their children. Parents are asked to partner in their children’s education by participating in school events, volunteering on school administrative committees, volunteering in the classroom, and providing home support to further enable their children to learn. San Diego schools serve nearly 136,000 students. The district is the second largest in California. They are committed to improving student achievement through modernized facilities and resources, enhanced classroom learning through challenging and proven teaching methods, and involving the community in the educational process. The NCLB is just one of the many programs instituted by the San Diego schools to serve and benefit the students educational needs.
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