Board Recommends Public School Choice Policies
For More Information
The Board also authorized that a proposed state policy on public school choice for students in unsafe or “persistently dangerous” schools be distributed for public comment before a final measure is adopted.
Under NCLB, low-performing public schools that have not made adequate yearly progress (AYP) for two or more consecutive years are required to offer families the option of sending their children to a higher-performing public school in the district. Starting in 2003-04, schools that have not made AYP for three or more years must also provide supplemental educational services to students.
Of the 893
school districts in
Students transferring to a higher-performing school must have access to the same classes and activities as those currently enrolled. If the new school is placed on improvement status, students have the option of transferring to yet another higher-performing school in the district.
Board recommends that each local school board establish and implement
a public school choice policy for schools on improvement status. It is
especially important and timely that the 65
Supplemental Educational Services
In addition to public school choice, schools that do not make AYP for three or more years must provide supplemental educational services (SES) to students. This provision will take affect with the 2003-04 school year. ISBE recommends that districts also adopt a policy on supplemental
educational services, which are defined as tutoring and other academic enrichment services offered in addition to instruction provided during the school day.
Supplemental educational services can be provided by a variety of community-based organizations with a demonstrated record of effectiveness in helping students to improve academic achievement. Once ISBE approves a list of SES providers during 2002-03, parents will be able to select the service and provider for their children, as applicable in 2003-04.
Public School Choice for Unsafe or “Persistently Dangerous” Schools
The State Board is also seeking input from local educators, parents and citizens on draft language to define a school as unsafe or “persistently dangerous” as federally required and thus qualify students for public school choice to a safer school.
Two conditions would allow students to transfer to a safer school. One is the individual option in which students who have been victims of a violent crime while in or on the grounds of the school they attend can transfer to a safe public elementary or secondary school in the district, including a public charter school.
The second public school choice option applies to all students who attend a school that is defined as unsafe or “persistently dangerous,” based on the proposed definition below.
ISBE is seeking public comment on the components and timeline of the proposed definition of an unsafe or “persistently dangerous” school as outlined below:
A “persistently dangerous” school must meet the following criteria for three consecutive years:
Comments on the proposed definition should be e-mailed to NCLB@isbe.net.