ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS (AYP): The minimum level of improvement that states, school districts and schools must achieve each year. A target is set by each state in its original No Child Left Behind accountability plan with the federal government. It is the measure used to determine whether or not a school is considered “needing improvement.”
ASSESSMENT: All of the many different ways (such as a written test, a portfolio of student work, an experiment or teacher observation) that measure a student’s skills or knowledge in a subject area. Assessment can be either formal (students know it’s a test) or informal (providing ongoing information to the teacher).
CRITERION-REFERENCE SCORING: When tests are scored by comparing students’ work with specific criteria or standards.
CURRICULUM: The subject matter a teacher presents to students.
“NEEDING IMPROVEMENT”: Schools that fail to make AYP for two consecutive years are labeled “needing improvement.” The first year, supplemental services are provided. The second year the school choice option (allowing school changes) kicks in.
PERFORMANCE-BASED ASSESSMENT: Assessment that requires students to perform hands-on tasks, such as writing an essay or conducting a science experiment. RUBRIC: A scoring guide for a test or other assessment task.
SCHOOL REFORM: A generic term encompassing all kinds of efforts under way to improve schools. Reform efforts focus on all aspects of schooling, ranging from how schools are governed to what curriculum is taught in the classroom.
SCHOOL REFORM TEAM (SRT): APS is organized into four School Reform Teams (SRTs) and a High School Office. Each SRT has an executive director, support staff and a representative from every department in the school system, all with the responsibility of meeting the needs of the schools in their cluster. This organizational structure provides faster service and greater accountability to the schools and to parents. The SRTs 1-4 are comprised of geographically aligned elementary and middle schools. The High School Office addresses the needs of the high schools, non-traditional schools, evening high school program and adult learning centers. Visit www.atlanta.k12.ga.us or refer to page 15 of this guidebook to identify your SRT.
STANDARDS: “Content” standards are subject-matter benchmarks designed to guide what students learn and when they should learn it.
STANDARDIZED TESTS: These are general achievement tests designed to measure how well a student has learned basic knowledge and skills taught in schools, in such areas as reading and mathematics. Popular standardized tests include the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills (CTBS), and the Stanford Achievement Test Series (SAT-8, SAT-9, etc. The number refers to which test it is in the series).
TITLE I: The first section of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act refers to programs aimed at America’s most disadvantaged students. It provides assistance to improve the education of children in high-poverty schools, enabling those children to meet state academic content and performance standards.
TITLE I SCHOOL: If the number of low-income students is above 40 percent, the schools may use Title I funds to create a schoolwide program to improve achievement, thereby serving all children in the school. If it is below 40 percent, the school must target its assistance to the lowest-achieving students.