PromotionFINAL6

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Children First Promotion Policy Ensuring Student Success: 

Children First Promotion Policy Ensuring Student Success New York City Department of Education March 2004

Promotion without Achievement: Cheating Our Children: 

Promotion without Achievement: Cheating Our Children Many teachers approach promotion and retention decisions by assessing the achievement of students relative to other students in the class. Many teachers openly acknowledge that they promote students who are unprepared. Level 3 is considered grade level. In 2002-3 nearly 20,000 third grade students were performing at Level 1 on one or more Citywide tests. 15,000 of these students were promoted and 5,000 were retained. As a result, 75% of these students, who were one or two years behind, were promoted. For years, as teachers and our data tell us, vast numbers of students have been promoted through the system woefully unprepared. Level 1 Performance Grade Comparison* *Grade Comparison levels are estimated.

Promotion without Achievement: The Importance of Third Grade: 

Promotion without Achievement: The Importance of Third Grade Third grade is a critical transition point. While third graders are learning to read, fourth graders are reading to learn. Research consistently shows that if students are not reading by the third grade, chances are that they will never be able to read at the same level as their same-age peers and will only fall further and further behind across subjects. A fourth grader reading at a first or second grade level understands less than half of his or her printed curriculum. Seventy-four percent of children who are poor readers in the third grade remain poor readers in the ninth grade.1 Children who cannot read at grade level by third grade are at high risk for dropping out and for future academic, behavioral and social problems. In mathematics, if students don’t master fundamental skills they will not have the building blocks needed to perform higher level math in the fourth grade and beyond. As each year passes, the learning gap grows for students who cannot read or do math adequately. Today we have a window of opportunity to identify these students and direct needed resources, interventions and attention to them to stop the downward spiral. Children who are promoted regardless of achievement will likely never catch up, particularly after the third grade. 1 - D. J. Francis, S. E. Shaywitz, K. K. Stuebing, B. A. Shaywitz, and J. M. Fletcher, "Developmental Lag Versus Deficit Models of Reading Disability: A Longitudinal, Individual Growth Curves Analysis," Journal of Educational Psychology 88, no.1(1996).

Promotion without Achievement: The Importance of Third Grade: 

Promotion without Achievement: The Importance of Third Grade Two Cohorts of Third Grade Students Scoring at Level 1 on One or Both Citywide Tests 1999 Cohort (N = 25,851) 2000 Cohort (N = 24,366) For each of 1999 and 2000 there were approximately 25,000 third graders who performed at Level 1 on one or more Citywide tests. % Students at Level 1 on one or both Citywide Tests Level 1 on Both Tests Level 1 on ELA Only Level 1 on Math Only

Promotion without Achievement: The Importance of Third Grade: 

Promotion without Achievement: The Importance of Third Grade Promotion Rates of Third Grade Students Scoring Level 1 1999 Cohort = 25,851*; 2000 Cohort = 24,366** By 2003 more than 60% of the students that performed at Level 1 in third grade were promoted annually while 40% were retained one or more times. Promotion Rates * 6,906 students were not tested or discharged between 1999 and 2003 and are not included in the percentages. ** 5,046 students were not tested or discharged between 2000 and 2003 and are not included in the percentages. 1999 Cohort 2000 Cohort 1999 Cohort 2000 Cohort 1999 Cohort 2000 Cohort Students Retained Once Students Retained Twice Students Promoted Annually

Promotion without Achievement: The Importance of Third Grade: 

Promotion without Achievement: The Importance of Third Grade 1999 Cohort (Grade 7 in 2003)* N = 11,371 2000 Cohort (Grade 6 in 2003)* N = 12,391 * Grade 6 and Grade 7 performance examined in both cohorts to provide accurate comparisons. 81.7% 74.3% By 2003, 82% of the 1999 Cohort and 74% of the 2000 Cohort were still performing at Level 1 on one or both tests. Grade 6 and Grade 7 Performance of Promoted Students Scoring at Level 1 on One or Both Grade 3 Tests Levels 2 and Above Level 1 on Both Tests Level 1 on ELA Only Level 1 on Math Only Performance on Tests

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% Students’ Performance Levels 2 and Above Level 1 on Both Tests Level 1 on ELA Only Level 1 on Math Only Students Retained Once Students Promoted Each Year 2000 Cohort (Grade 5 in 2003) * N = 6,339 2000 Cohort (Grade 5 in 2002) * N = 14,382 1999 Cohort (Grade 6 in 2003) ** N = 6,686 1999 Cohort (Grade 6 in 2002) ** N = 13,019 * Grade 5 performance examined in both years to provide accurate comparisons. ** Grade 6 performance examined in both years to provide accurate comparisons. Promotion without Achievement: The Importance of Third Grade Performance of Two Cohorts of Promoted and Retained Students Who Scored in Level 1 on One or Both Tests in Grade 3 By grade five and by grade six, a larger percentage of students retained once had improved to Level 2 performance compared to students promoted every year. Students Retained Once Students Promoted Each Year

Promotion without Achievement: Ending the Cycle: 

Promotion without Achievement: Ending the Cycle In his 1999 Presidential Directive to the Secretary of Education, President Clinton explained: Students are often passed from grade to grade regardless of whether they have mastered required material and are academically prepared to do the work at the next level. This practice is called social promotion. For many students, the ultimate consequence is that they fall further and further behind, and leave school ill equipped for college and lacking the skills needed for employment. This situation is unacceptable for students, teachers, employers, and taxpayers. That is why I have repeatedly challenged states and school districts to end social promotions – to require students to meet rigorous academic standards at key transition points in their schooling, and to end the practice of promoting students without regard to how much they have learned. As every parent knows, students must earn promotion through effort and achievement, not simply by accumulating time in school.

Attaining Achievement: New Promotion Policy: 

Attaining Achievement: New Promotion Policy Third grade students will be promoted if they achieve Level 2 or higher on both the English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Citywide Standardized Tests. Students will have two opportunities to take the test – April and August. Through an appeals process, all students who score at Level 1 by June in either ELA or Mathematics, or both, will be reviewed by their teachers using standard criteria. Based on these reviews, teachers can submit evidence of work at Level 2 or above and recommend promotion to Grade 4. Students who do not meet promotion criteria in June will be encouraged to attend the Summer Success Academy. Third Graders must achieve basic proficiency in English Language Arts and Mathematics before moving to the fourth grade. In addition to the Children First Initiatives already in place, we will provide intensive and individualized interventions and supports to retained students and other struggling students.

Attaining Achievement: New Promotion Policy: 

Attaining Achievement: New Promotion Policy

Attaining Achievement: New Promotion Policy – Special Education: 

Attaining Achievement: New Promotion Policy – Special Education For students with IEPs there is no change in promotion criteria this year. If the student’s IEP states standard criteria, for this year only, promotion will be determined using multiple criteria (designated performance standards, proficiency levels on State and City assessments and attainment of 90% attendance). If the student’s IEP states modified criteria, promotion will be determined based on the IEP specified modified criteria. Starting next year, students with IEPs will either be held to the standard criteria for promotion from third grade as indicated on the IEP, that is, performance at or above Level 2 on Citywide English Language Arts and Citywide Math examinations or be held to modified promotion criteria indicated on the IEP. Modified criteria may include the use of multiple criteria and or modification of the designated performance standards. During this spring’s annual review of IEPs, all second graders will have their promotion standard for third grade established on their new IEP. For students with IEPs in grades four through eight and high schools, there is no change. There is no change in promotion criteria this year for Special Education students, including grade 3.

Attaining Achievement: New Promotion Policy – English Language Learners: 

Attaining Achievement: New Promotion Policy – English Language Learners Students enrolled three years or more follow the general promotion standards unless they have an approved extension of services for year four or five Grade 3: Students enrolled three or more years in an English Language School System must perform at or above Level 2 on citywide ELA and mathematics assessments. Grades 4-8: Students enrolled 3 years or more in an English Language School System must perform at or above Level 2 on citywide or state ELA and mathematics assessments and/or, have student work that meets NYC Performance Standards in ELA and mathematics and/or 90% attendance. Grades 9-12: ELLs must meet the same promotion standards as English proficient students; passing state exams, accumulating credits and/or 90% attendance. Students enrolled for less than 2 years No change in policy for students in an English Language School System for less than 2 years. They are not held to promotion standards. Students enrolled more than 2 years and less than 3 years Grade 3: Promotion criteria in English language arts will be set on the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) after the NYSED releases progress targets. Grade 3: In mathematics ELLs must perform at /or above level 2 on the citywide mathematics assessment. Grades 4-8: Students enrolled less than 3 years must make satisfactory progress and/or perform at or above Level 2 on citywide or state mathematics assessments, and/or have student work that shows satisfactory progress in ESL development and/or meets NYC performance standards in Math (taught in the Native Language and/or using ESL methodologies) and/or 90% attendance. Grades 4-8: Promotion criteria in English language arts will be set on the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) after the NYSED releases progress targets. Grades 9-12: ELLs must meet the same promotion standards as English proficient students; passing state exams, accumulating credits and/or 90% attendance. - Promotion Policy for Students in ELSS for Three or More Years- - Promotion Policy for Students in ELSS for Less Than Three Years- New promotion criteria apply for third grade students who have been enrolled in an English Language School System for three or more years.

Children First Initiatives: Providing the Foundation to Make Achievement Possible: 

Children First Initiatives: Providing the Foundation to Make Achievement Possible Literacy and Math Coaches in each school to provide guidance on teaching practices and student diagnosis Consistent and extensive professional development for teachers and coaches to build skills in differentiated instruction, diagnosis and teaching strategies Core Curriculum to focus resources, provide tools and ensure system-wide consistency Focus on early Mathematics and English Language Arts through longer periods in these subjects Uniform Early Literacy Intervention to accompany core curriculum (Passport Voyager) Local Instructional Superintendents to coach and support Principals on instructional leadership, staff skill-building and allocation of resources to address student needs Interim Assessments and training to provide teachers with quick feedback regarding student skills and weaknesses and the tools to address them Parent Coordinators to ensure parental engagement, communication and collaboration Accountability throughout the System Many Children First Initiatives that are already underway are improving teaching and learning in every school for all children. This infrastructure will also enable us to address the needs of students who are at risk of being retained and will raise their achievement.

What We Are Doing Now: Phase I – Supports for Third Graders in Place Since Fall 2003 : 

What We Are Doing Now: Phase I – Supports for Third Graders in Place Since Fall 2003 Early identification of specific needs through ECLAS-2, Interim Assessments Provision of intervention services based on areas of need Most schools offer a range of Academic Intervention Services for third grade students who have not been meeting standards Percentage of Elementary Schools Offering Intervention Services for Third Grade Students* * Sample size equals 601 schools. Type of Intervention Service

What We Are Doing Now: Phase I – Focus on Students Whose Promotion is in Doubt: 

What We Are Doing Now: Phase I – Focus on Students Whose Promotion is in Doubt Coaches and Cluster teachers are working extensively with third grade students and teachers. Existing third grade professional development blocks are focusing on literacy and math intervention. Teachers are working with students to develop test taking strategies and build familiarity, confidence and stamina. Parents are being engaged through teacher conferences, materials and workshops. Additional resources are being invested to expand these services. In January, parents were notified, in their native languages, if their child’s performance in school and assessment results indicated that they may not achieve promotion standards. Most of these students are receiving small group instruction and extended time services. Number of Third Grade Students Whose Promotion is in Doubt Receiving Services Third Grade Intervention Services in Surveyed Schools* * Survey responses from 601 schools; 31,709 third grade Promotion-In-Doubt letters Citywide.

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* Current programs include, for Literacy: Great Leaps, Soar to Success, New Heights, Read 180, Kaplan, Leap Frog; and for Math: Great Leaps, Larsen’s Math, Math Blasters, Mighty Math and Princeton Review. ** A total of 16,978 third graders are enrolled in Voyager Passport with early indications of promising results. Almost 30% (29.6%) of these students did not receive Promotion-in-Doubt letters. What We Are Doing Now: Phase I – Focus on Students Whose Promotion is in Doubt Based on students’ needs, schools are using a variety of programs in their small group instruction for third grade students who are not meeting standards. The most common intervention is Voyager Passport, which is triggered by ECLAS-2 results. Small Group Instruction for Third Grade Students Whose Promotion is in Doubt Number of Students in 601 Surveyed Schools

What We Will Do This Summer: Phase II – Summer Success Academy: 

What We Will Do This Summer: Phase II – Summer Success Academy Those third grade students who do not achieve Level 2 on both Citywide tests and incoming third grade students who would benefit from additional instruction will have the opportunity to attend the Summer Success Academy 2004.

Phase III – Third Grade Academic Year for Retained Students: 

Phase III – Third Grade Academic Year for Retained Students Some children will continue to need ongoing support in order to develop knowledge and skills to meet the third grade promotion standard. These children will receive the following supports to ensure improved achievement:

Phase III – Third Grade Academic Year for Retained Students: 

Phase III – Third Grade Academic Year for Retained Students Most schools currently have mechanisms in place to monitor the progress of students at risk. These mechanisms will be strengthened. Almost all schools monitor third grade students whose promotion is in doubt with a student work plan and folder. Overwhelmingly, schools have Intervention Teams monitoring and supporting third grade students whose promotion is in doubt. These support mechanisms will be strengthened and made consistent: Student Success Teams (SST) in each school will focus on students’ academic needs and will ensure that all students at risk are identified and receiving appropriate support. Structure of Team: Administrator, all cluster/specialist teachers, a guidance counselor and any assessment/evaluation specialists Responsibility of Team: Ensure that every student at risk has a work folder that includes Interim and Regional Monthly Assessment Results including Item Analysis, a Log of Interventions, Assessment Profile Chart to analyze effect of Identified Intervention, Evidence of Parent Involvement in the Intervention Process, Previous Report Cards and the IEP Plan where applicable. On-Going Support: Teams will review each child’s plan and progress and work with classroom teachers to modify student programs.

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Ongoing Support: Commitment to Long-Term Success After promotion from third grade, students will continue to be assessed and monitored by the Student Success Team. Interim Assessments will trigger intensive intervention when needed Those who have succeeded in programs with continuing stages will continue with those programs (e.g. Read 180) Students who do not demonstrate sufficient progress by August 2005 after extensive assessment, evaluation and intervention will be placed in a small transitional third/fourth grade class. They will receive: Intensive literacy and/or math, based on performance level and skill gap, with different materials than previous year Fourth grade curriculum for other subjects Full support of experts for specialized needs (e.g. speech) and guidance Evaluation for Special Education Services with placement, when appropriate Students whose performance accelerates faster than their grade, as demonstrated by results on City and State tests, will have the opportunity for promotion to recover their retained year. We are committed to the long-term success of these children.

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