Final Rules for Retooled ESEA

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Below are highlights of other significant changes that the final regulations for the "No Child Left Behind" Act of 2001 made to the draft rules published in August.

Accountability Supplemental Services and Choice
= Clarifies that subgroups too small to be “statistically reliable” at the school level must be included in calculations of adequate yearly progress at the district level (if the subgroups reach the threshold). Setting the minimum number of students needed per subgroup is the responsibility of each state, but the U.S. secretary of education must approve those definitions. The Department of Education plans to issue nonregulatory guidance for choosing such minimum numbers, as well as methods for handling small schools and districts. = Removes language in the draft rules that would have prohibited states from requiring supplemental-service providers to demonstrate that their instructional strategies are based on “scientifically based research.”
= Clarifies that a school in “restructuring” under the law, which requires a major reorganization of school governance, must continue to provide supplemental educational services and education choice options for students, until the school has made adequate progress for two consecutive years. = Clarifies that a district is required to spend an amount equal to 20 percent of its Title I, Part A, allocation on choice-related transportation and supplemental education services, unless a lesser amount is needed to meet parental demands. Districts cannot count “administrative” costs toward that requirement.
= Clarifies that states can establish separate AYP starting points by “grade span,” such as grades 3-5 or 9-12, but cannot establish separate starting points for different subgroups. = Clarifies that, if a district identifies a school for improvement after the school year starts, the district must count that school year as a “full school year” for purposes of subjecting the school to additional improvement measures. Measures such as choice and supplemental services cannot be delayed until the next year.
The final rules are available online at

Vol. 22, Issue 14, Page 27

Published in Print: December 4, 2002, as Final Rules for Retooled ESEA
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