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READY Accountability Annual Performance Standards

Policy TitleREADY Accountability Annual Performance Standards
Policy CategoryAccountability Model (ACCT)
Policy IDACCT-021
Policy Date2017-12-07
Previous Policy Dates01/06/2005, 04/05/2007, 09/11/2008, 05/06/2009, 10/01/2009, 04/01/2010, 09/01/2011, 03/07/2013, 06/04/2015, 08/06/2015, 04/07/2016, 05/05/2016, 12/01/2016, 05/04/2017
Statutory ReferenceEvery Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), G.S. 115C-105.35

Formerly GCS-C-021


This rule establishes the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) procedures for providing annual performance standards under the READY accountability model. This rule shall apply to all public schools that are involved in the state assessment program, including charter schools and regional schools.

  1. Standards - In executing its duty under G.S. §115C-105.35, the State Board of Education (SBE) shall use growth standards and performance standards to establish annual performance goals for each school.
    1. Growth is defined as meeting or exceeding anticipated achievement as determined by previous achievement on state assessments.
      1. School growth for the current school year shall be calculated using all students’ previous school years and current school year scores on all regular (i.e., first administration) of end-of-grade reading, mathematics, and/or science assessments and /or all end-of-course assessments.
      2. The growth standard calculation shall include students in membership (i.e., enrolled in the school) for a full academic year.  
        1. For schools/courses on a traditional schedule, membership for the full academic year is defined as 140 days at the time of testing.
        2. For schools/courses on a block schedule, membership for the full academic year is defined as 70 days at the time of testing.
    2. Performance standards are reported as a composite score, which is the number of proficient scores on all tests for the current year divided by the number of all scores on all tests for the current year.
    3. School Performance Grades are reported as specified in G.S. §115C-83.15. Schools that earn an “A” designation and do not have significant achievement and/or graduation gaps will be designated as an “A+ng” school.
  2. Tested Students - All eligible students in membership (i.e., enrolled in a school) at grades 3 through 8 and 10 and in high school courses in which an end-of-course assessment is administered shall participate in the state assessment program adopted by the SBE.
    1. Effective 2017–18 and beyond, all eligible students in membership at grade 8 enrolled for credit in NC Math 1 shall take the end-of-course assessment at the completion of the course. Schools shall exempt these students from being assessed on the grade 8 mathematics end-of-grade assessment. These students will take the NC Math 3 end-of-course assessment for federal accountability in high school.
    2. For the READY accountability model, a school that does not assess at least 95 percent of its expected test population will be deemed not to have met participation rate requirements and shall be subject to the following:
      1. Year 1 Not Meeting Participation Rate Requirements: Within 30 days after the accountability results are approved by the SBE, the school must send a letter (text provided by the NCDPI) to all parents informing them of the participation rate. The letter must include a plan of action for ensuring full participation for all subgroups specifically targeting those that did not have adequate participation.
      2. Year 2 Not Meeting Participation Rate Requirements: The school will be designated as a “consistently low-participating school” and will be required to create and implement an intensive intervention plan aligned with ensuring the participation rate for all subgroups reaches 95 percent. At the state level, these schools will receive appropriate support around the issue of participation rates.
      3. Year 3 Not Meeting Participation Rate Requirements: Any school that does not meet the 95% participation requirement for any subgroup for three consecutive years for end-of-grade tests, end-of-course tests, the ACT (only for the “all students subgroup”), and ACT WorkKeys will be identified as a Focus school. A letter to parents (text provided by the NCDPI) must be sent by the school indicating a third year of inadequate participation and providing a plan to ensure full participation for all subgroups. The school is required to include interventions to address participation rates in its School Improvement Plan.
    3. Students identified as English Learners (ELs) shall participate in the statewide testing program using either the standard test administration or the standard test administration with accommodations.
      1. Effective 2017–18 and beyond, ELs must participate in state assessments beginning with their first year in a U.S. school; however,
        1. For the first year, the requirement is for participation and for reporting (e.g., NC School Report Card), not the accountability model.
        2. For year two, ELs’ test scores will be included in the growth analysis for the accountability model.
        3. For year three and beyond, ELs’ test scores will be included in growth and the achievement indicator of the accountability model. 
    4. All students with disabilities who are included in membership, including those with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and those identified under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, shall participate in the state assessment program using one of the following assessments as appropriate and as determined by the student’s IEP or Section 504 Plan: 
      1. The standard test administration with or without accommodations, or
      2. An alternate assessment (as defined below in number 5) with or without accommodations, if eligible.
    5. Only students with significant cognitive disabilities may participate in a state-designated alternate assessment based on alternate academic achievement standards.
      1. These students shall be evaluated and included in the READY accountability performance composite.
      2. For READY accountability, the number of students that an LEA deems proficient based upon alternate academic achievement standards shall not exceed 1 percent of its total number of students.  This does not apply to student-level reports.
      3. If an LEA has greater than 1 percent of its students in these grades proficient based on alternate academic achievement standards, the LEA superintendent may apply to the state superintendent for an exception as prescribed in the Federal Register, April 9, 2007, Vol. 72 No. 67 RIN 1810-AA98. 
      4. If an LEA has exceeded and does not receive an exception to the 1 percent limit, the state shall reassign enough proficient student scores for students held to alternate academic achievement standards to non-proficient such that the LEA will fall within the 1 percent limitation according to procedures in the North Carolina Accountability Workbook Flexibility Addendum (as accepted by the United States Department of Education). This process shall be done using a statistically random process across schools in the LEA and shall apply to READY accountability but not to student-level reports.

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