The middle school my daughter will go to is failing AYP. How can I use NCLB to get her in a better school?
My daughter is currently in 5th grade, and is an excelling student at the top of her class. Her current elementary school has great performance on the AYP tests, and she is above the school average. Now due to a school redistricting change, they plan to send her to a Middle/High school that is failing AYP, and has for 3-4 years so far. The AYP tests are abysmal at best compared to other schools. 99% of her current school will go to a good performing Middle/High school by default, she is one of a handful of students that are getting shipped off to this failing school. The school board says they don't give boundary exceptions for this, so my question is can I use NCLB to make the county place my daughter in a non-failing school when she starts middle next year? If so, how can I go about doing this?
You have asked a very interesting and complex question. Here is the long and short of it- yes, you can request that NCLB-related factors of school performance be a consideration in your daughter's school attendance, BUT with a number of key constraints;
1) If the lower performing school is in the early years of subgroup achievement issues, students may NOT transfer due to the school's performance. But if this has been an ongoing and chronic issue then yes your child has the right to transfer.
2) If your child can transfer, then the question becomes one of where to go- your child cannot transfer to a school, for example, that is overcrowded.
So here is what I would do if I were you- I would ask to see the person in the school system central office who is in charge of Federal programs and specifically Title I schools, and then go in and find out if your daughter is legally eligible to transfer.
Your school district should also have "choice" schools as defined by NCLB. These schools have made AYP and therefore you can get a special transfer to move your child to one of the choice school.
When are children eligible for school choice?
Children are eligible for school choice when the Title I school they attend has not made adequate yearly progress in improving student achievement--- as defined by the state--for two consecutive years or longer and is therefore identified as needing improvement, corrective action or restructuring. Any child attending such a school must be offered the option of transferring to a public school in the district--including a public charter school--not identified for school improvement, unless such an option is prohibited by state law. No Child Left Behind requires that priority in providing school choice be given to the lowest achieving children from low-income families. As of the 2002-03 school year, school choice is available to students enrolled in schools that have been identified as needing improvement under the ESEA as the statute existed prior to the enactment of No Child Left Behind.
In addition, children are eligible for school choice when they attend any "persistently dangerous school," as defined by the individual state. Any child who has been the victim of a violent crime on the grounds of his or her school is also eligible for school choice.