Policies Steering Supplemental Educational Services to Struggling Schools
Students in high poverty (Title I) schools that fail to make adequate yearly progress for three consecutive years under the No Child Left Behind Act become eligible for supplemental educational services. These services are comprised of additional academic instruction such as tutoring or remediation that is provided outside of the regular school day. A recent RAND Corporation study in nine urban school districts found that such tutoring programs had a positive and statistically significant impact on student achievement in reading and math. This stat of the week examines how many state accountability systems make supplemental educational services available to all low performing schools, regardless of their Title I status.
In the 2006-07 school year, according to data collected for Education Week's Quality Counts 2007 report, 18 states had a policy for providing supplemental educational services in non-Title I schools rated as failing or low-performing. Not all of these states necessarily implement these policies in the same way, however. Some, such as Alabama and Idaho , use language resembling the federal law, but make SES an option for all schools failing to make AYP, both Title I and
non-Title I alike. Other states have their own distinct approaches. For example, Arizona and Florida are among states that have policies for providing SES in all schools rated as low performing under their own state rating systems.
The RAND study regarding the use of SES in a sample of urban districts provides positive but preliminary results about the effects of an important NCLB provision. Other researchers may seek to corroborate these findings in additional Title I and non-Title I settings. If tutoring programs prove to be a successful strategy for improving student achievement, additional states may choose to include them in accountability measures for struggling schools regardless of their poverty status.