DC School Reform Now is educating, organizing and advocating to build support for public education strategies that prepare kids to become college and career ready.

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What is No Child Left Behind?

The Basics:
No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is a national law that was established in 2002. Its goal was for all students in grades 3-11 to perform on grade level in reading and math by 2014.

What it means for schools:
NCLB created new rules for schools receiving Title I money from the government. Under NCLB, Title I schools must:

  • Make AYP toward the 2014 goal
  • Make school improvements if they are not making AYP
  • Make sure that all their teachers are "highly qualified"

What it means for parents:
If your child’s school does not meet AYP for two years in a row, your child is entitled to free tutoring services and you have the right to move your child to another school that is performing better. You have the right to know how your child and school are performing.

What is AYP?

The Basics:
AYP stands for Adequate Yearly Progress. AYP is the system states use to measure each school’s progress toward the goal of all students performing on grade level by 2014.

What it means for schools:
When schools fail to meet AYP they go through 3 stages: School Improvement, Corrective Action, and Restructuring. If a school fails to meet AYP for more than 5 years, the state has a right to shut the school down.

What it means for parents:
Your child may be entitled to free tutoring services or a transfer to another school.

What is Title I?

The Basics:
Title I is a national government program that gives money to schools with a high number of low-income students.

What it means for schools:
Schools must use these funds only to help students who are failing to meet state standards. If more than 40% of a school’s students are from low-income families then the school may use the funds for school-wide programs.

What it means for parents:
If your child is failing to meet state standards for his or her grade level, they should have access to additional support under Title I. If you are unsure if your child is getting the support they need, ask your school’s principal how Title I funds are being used

What is a charter school?

The Basics:
Charter schools are public schools that do not have to follow all of the regulations that traditional public schools do. Charter schools must report to the state or local school board every 3-5 years and show that they have made academic gains with students in order to stay open.

What it means for schools:
Charter schools can choose their own curriculum, create their own discipline systems, and hire or fire teachers as they see fit. Some have certain requirements for admission, but many are open enrollment, just like traditional public schools.

What it means for parents:
Charter schools give parents who want to send their children to public schools more options. Just like any other public school, parents should research charter schools before enrolling their children to ensure that they will provide the excellent education their kids deserve.

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