Choosing a School and No Child Left Behind
Parent Tip: Know Your Options Under the No Child Left Behind Act for Children in Public Schools That Are "In Need of Improvement"
Parents of children in public schools designated as "in need of improvement" can choose another public school or supplemental educational services such as tutoring.
If your child's public school receives federal Title I funds, it must let you know how well the students in the school are learning. The school district must contact you if the school does not meet the academic standards set by the state for two consecutive years. You can find out how well your school is doing by looking at the school's report card.
If your child's school has been identified by the state as in need of improvement, the school district must give you the choice of keeping your child in that school or sending him or her to another public school.
If your child attends a school that has needed improvement for more than a year, your school district is required to give you a list of organizations and institutions that provide tutoring or extra help outside of the regular school day. This extra help is called "supplemental educational services". If your child is eligible for this help, and your income is low, the school district may pay for these extra services. Such services may include before- and afterschool tutoring in reading, other language arts, or math.
If you have not heard from your public school about whether the school is 'in need of improvement' and whether your child qualifies to receive supplemental educational services, contact the school or the school district and ask for the person/s in charge of choice and supplemental services programs. You can also go to your state department of education's Web site for a list of schools in need of improvement and approved supplemental educational services providers. If you have difficulty finding these lists, call the U.S. Department of Education at 1-888-814-6252 for help in reaching your state contact, or go to the U.S. Department of Education's Web site at http://www.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/nclb/sea.html for a list of contacts in your state.
Keep These 4 Steps in Mind:
Parent Tip: Check the School District's Report Card for Public Schools
No Child Left Behind requires school districts that receive federal funds to provide a report card on how its schools and the school district are doing. For individual schools, the report card will include whether the school has been identified for school improvement and how its students performed on state tests compared to other students in the school district and the state.
For the district, the report includes the combined test scores of the students at all the district's schools.
Public school report cards should include:
Students' scores on state tests, broken out by student subgroups;
How many students performed at the 'basic,' 'proficient,' and 'advanced' levels on the tests;
Numbers and names of schools that need to improve in the district;
Qualifications of teachers; and
Percentage of students who were not tested.
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Education.
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