In the seven-year life of NCLB, the Center on Education Policy has been digging up numbers that are fueling debates about the law. Just last week, the Bush administration relied on the Washington-based think tank’s research to justify getting rid of the “hold harmless” on Title I grants so that states can put additional money into school restructuring.
The center also is the source of the survey data saying 44 percent of districts have decreased the amount of time given to social studies, the arts, and other subjects so they can emphasize reading and mathematics. That has set off a debate (which I summarized here) that seems as if it might go on forever (read eduwonkette’s and eduwonk’s latest salvos).
Now CEP is out with the third annual report on the school restructuring process in California. Here are a few quick numbers you may see cited in weeks to come.
In 2006-07, 11 percent of California's schools were either in the planning or implementation stages of restructuring. But the number schools in restructuring is rising quickly, up 45 percent from 2005-06.
Few schools are increasing achievement fast enough to exit the restructuring process. In the 2006-07 school year, 5 percent of the 701 schools in restructuring increased their performance by enough to exit the category. That figure is up from 3 percent the year before. But still, success is infrequent.
Sixty percent of restructuring schools are urban; 35 percent are suburban; and 5 percent are rural. Of the all the groups, the number of suburban schools entering restructuring is rising faster than the others.
The center concludes that restructuring efforts need to be more aggressive than they currently are and that federal and state officials need to provide more specific advice and more money than they currently do.
BONUS FIGURE: To make annual yearly progress, a California school must have 35 percent of its students score proficient in reading and 37 percent in mathematics. The percentages are lower in high schools (33 percent in reading and 32 in math). That makes it a steep climb to 100 percent proficiency by the 2013-14 school year.
A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.