Federal Accountability

ESEA Flexibility Waiver – Acronyms and Glossary

Updated – June 2013

20 percent (20%) set-aside – The financial requirement in place for Priority and Focus Schools. These schools will be required to set aside the equivalent of 20 percent of their Title I allocation for state-approved activities connected to their improvement plans.

Achievement Gap Reduction – The financial gap reduction measurement assesses how well a school has done in promoting higher rates of growth among the seven lower-performing subgroups (Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Free/Reduced Price Lunch, Special Education, and English Learners) compared to the average growth rate of their counterparts statewide. Students of color are measured against the statewide average growth of white students, Free/Reduced Price Lunch students are measured against the statewide average growth of non-Free/Reduced Price Lunch students, Special Education students are measured against the average statewide growth of non-Special Education students, and English Learners are measured against the statewide average growth of non-English Learners.

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) – The original NCLB measurement used to identify schools for improvement activities. AYP is based on proficiency, participation, and attendance or graduation rates. The AYP proficiency goal is based on the 2014 goal of 100 percent proficiency. Under the waiver, that goal was replaced with a new goal of cutting the achievement gap in half within six years. Under the waiver, there are no sanctions attached to not making AYP.

AMAO – Annual Measurable Achievement Objective

AYP – Adequate Yearly Progress

Celebration Schools – The 10 percent of Title I schools with MMRs between the 60th and 86th of their grade classification group (elementary, middle school, high school, other) percentiles that submit successful applications explaining quantitative and qualitative factors that make the school effective. These schools are publicly recognized for their success. These schools are identified every year.

Cohort Graduation Rate – This method of calculating graduation rates looks at the percentage of ninth graders in a school that graduate within a four, five or six year period. This is a change from the former AYP graduation rate, which looked at the number of students who graduate and drop out in a one-year period. Minnesota started using the cohort graduation rate for AYP and MMR starting in the summer of 2012.

Continuous Improvement Schools – The bottom 25 percent of Title I schools in the state. These schools are identified based on being in the bottom 25 percent of their grade classification group (elementary, middle school, high school, other), and are required to write a school improvement plan. Ten percent of these plans are audited by MDE to ensure fidelity in the implementation of these plans. These schools are identified every year. While the bottom 25 percent of schools includes most Priority and Focus schools, Priority and Focus schools are not also designated as Continuous Improvement schools.

ESEA – Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Focus Ratings (FR) – Minnesota’s measurement for identifying Focus Schools. The FR is generated by combining the proficiency and growth of the seven subgroups for which there is an achievement gap (Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Free/Reduced Price Lunch, Special Education, and English Learners).

Focus Schools – The ten percent of Title I schools making the biggest contribution to the state’s achievement gap, and high schools with graduation rates of less than 60 percent. These schools are identified in one of two ways: the lowest FRs in their grade classification group (elementary, middle school, high school, other), or graduation rates of less than 60 percent. These schools work with their district to develop a school improvement plan that directly addresses poor performance either within a subgroup, or in graduation rates. These schools are identified once every three years.

FR – Focus Rating

FRPL – Free/Reduced Price Lunch

LEP – Limited English Proficiency

MDE – Minnesota Department of Education

MMR – Multiple Measurements Rating

Multiple Measurements Rating (MMR) – Minnesota’s measurement of school performance. The MMR measures proficiency, student growth, achievement gap reduction, and graduation rates. Schools earn points in each category. The percentage of possible points that a school earns is the school’s MMR.

NAEP – National Assessment of Educational Progress

NCLB – No Child Left Behind; the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) – The federal law that dictates how states must hold schools accountable through statewide assessments and mandated interventions. Minnesota received a waiver to certain provisions of NCLB in February 2012.

Priority Schools – The five percent most-persistently low-performing schools in the state. These schools are identified in one of two ways: status as a SIG School, or the lowest MMRs in their grade classification group (elementary, middle school, high school, other). These schools are required to collaborate with MDE and the Regional Centers of Excellence to develop a school turnaround plan based on the federal turnaround principles. These schools are identified once every three years.

Proficiency – The proficiency measurement in the MMR looks at a weighted percentage of subgroups that made AYP. Schools earn points based on the number and size of subgroups that meet their AYP targets.

Reward Schools – The highest-performing 15 percent of Title I schools in the state. These schools are identified based on being in the top 15 percent of their grade classification group (elementary, middle school, high school, other) in the MMR. These schools are publicly recognized for their good work. These schools are identified every year.

SES – Supplemental Educational Services; one NCLB requirement that was waived in Minnesota in 2012.

SIG – School Improvement Grant

SIG School – A school that is participating in the federal School Improvement Grant program. As a result of their identification, these schools are in the process of implementing one of four turnaround models mandated by the federal government. SIG Schools are also on the list of Priority schools.

SSOS – Statewide System of Support

Statewide System of Support (SSOS) – The resources that have been put in place to support schools and districts in their improvement activities. The Regional Centers of Excellence, located in three regions across the state, provide the technical assistance to Priority and Focus schools on developing and implementing improvement plans.

Student Growth – Individual student growth is a measurement of how a student scored relative to the expected score. The expectation of how a student will score is based on their previous year’s score. Schools receive a growth score based on the average growth scores of all their students.

Title I Schools – Schools that receive federal funding based on their level of poverty. Only schools that accept Title I funding are considered Title I schools. The identification of Priority, Focus, Continuous Improvement, Celebration Eligible and Reward schools under Minnesota’s waiver are only directed at Title I schools.

Turnaround Principles –These must be embedded in a Priority school’s turnaround plan. The principles consist of: strong leadership, effective teachers, redesigning the school day, strengthening instructional programming, utilizing data, improving the school environment, and community and family engagement.