In 1994, Congress reauthorized what had been known as Chapter 1. Now called Title I, the new law retains some of the vestiges of Chapter 1, but makes it easier for schools to pool their resources and address the needs of the entire student population rather than isolated students.
Chapter 1 (1965-94)
- Relied heavily on pullout programs in which students left their regular classrooms to work in small groups with a teacher or aide whose salary was paid by the federal program.
- Allowed only those schools with an impoverished student body of 75 percent or more to become schoolwide programs, enabling them to pool Chapter 1 money with other resources to create a plan to improve instruction for all children.
- Focused on remedial instruction, mostly in reading and mathematics.
- Used standardized tests to assess the progress of children in the program.
- Disregarded parent involvement.
Title I (1994-present)
- Encourages schools to improve disadvantaged students’ achievement by upgrading the curriculum offered to all students; discourages pullout programs.
- Expands eligibility for schoolwide programs to all schools with poverty rates of more than 50 percent.
- Forces a state to write reading and math standards for the Title I program that are equal to standards for all students in the state. Standards for other subjects are optional.
- Requires a state to write assessments that use “multiple up-to-date measures’’ of students’ progress toward meeting the goals set in the state’s standards.
- Obligates schools to write a school-parent compact explaining how both sides will work together to improve student achievement. School districts that receive $500,000 or more from the program must spend 1 percent of their grants on parent involvement.
A version of this article appeared in the April 23, 1997 edition of Education Week