(October 14, 2004) -- Nine LBUSD schools are not currently meeting federal "No Child Left Behind" academic standards.
The nine schools are: Butler (Mary) Elementary, Cleveland Elementary, Franklin Middle, Hamilton Middle, Jefferson Leadership Academies, Lindbergh Middle, Promise Academy, Stephens Middle and Washington Middle Schools.
Schools receiving federal "Title I" funds (mainly for low-income populations) that fail to meet academic targets for two consecutive years are placed in "program improvement" status. A Title I school goes into "program improvement" status if it doesn't make "Adequate Yearly Progress" for two consecutive years on the same indicator (English-language arts and mathematics, Academic Performance Index (API), or graduation rate.
Detailed LBUSD "No Child Left Behind" data, released by the CA Department of Education, can be viewed by clicking LBUSD No Child Left Behind Title I "Program Improvement Status.
[For a "school finder" web page letting you view school web sites, School Accountability Report Cards, test scores and other facts, click LBUSD school finder.]
A school can exit "program improvement" status once it makes Adequate Yearly Progress for two consecutive years...and several LBUSD schools (also listed below) have successfully done so.
As one of the provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind law, the nine LBUSD schools now in "program improvement" status must offer choice and transportation for students at these schools to attend another LBUSD school that isn't in "program improvement" status. (details below).
Franklin and Washington Middle Schools are in their fourth year of "program improvement" status...meaning LBUSD could effectively lose control over how these schools are run if they fail for a fifth year.
LBUSD spokesman Dick Van Der Laan told LBReport.com is taking measures to deal with all its "program improvement" status schools, with special focus on Franklin and Washington Middle Schools. Those measures include extra tutoring, extra academic support, enforcement of "best practices" on those campuses, an intensive English language curriculum (called "Language!") and math assistance for students...and teachers.
Mr. Van Der Laan noted that Franklin Middle School now also has a new principal, Dave Taylor, whose work at Tucker Elementary is credited with significant positive results at that campus.
Mr. Van Der Laan noted that LBUSD's rate of "performance improvement" schools is less than half that of such Title I schools statewide. While roughly 28% of CA's Title I schools fail to meet "No Child Left Behind" academic standards, the rate for LBUSD schools is closer to 13%.
LBUSD's lower rate of "performance improvement' schools comes despite its diverse and often low income student population among several federally designated demographic subgroups, Mr. Van Der Laan noted. If a school fails to meet "No Child Left Behind" standards for even one subgroup, the entire school is placed in "program improvement" status.
Mr. Van Der Laan said that while LBUSD is pleased it's performing at a better rate than other CA school districts, it will not be satisfied until all LBUSD schools meet the rigorous federal standards.
Over the past few years, several LBUSD schools have successfully exited the dreaded "program improvement" status by making Adequate Yearly Progress for two consecutive years. Those LBUSD campuses are Burroughs Elementary, Hughes Middle, King Elementary, Lee Elementary, Lincoln Elementary and Marshall Middle.
Last year, LBUSD was awarded the Broad Prize as the nation's best urban school district.
A CA Dept. of Education fact sheet notes that "Students enrolled in Program Improvement (PI) schools have the option to transfer to schools in the LEA [Local Educational Agency] that are not PI [Performance Improvement status], with paid transportation." It adds: