GLOVERSVILLE - By the end of the school year, the Gloversville Enlarged School District no longer will be designated as "in need of improvement" under the federal No Child Left Behind standards.
After the state, along with seven others last week, was granted a waiver, the state has come up with new designations and new standards state officials say will provide schools with more realistic goals centered around college and career readiness.
The Gloversville district does not yet know its new designation.
New designations, according to the state Education Department's website, include "priority," "focus" and "reward."
The new reward schools are the highest achieving in the state, or schools making the most progress.
The state estimates about 5 percent of the schools in the state will be identified as priority schools, and about 10 percent will be designated focus schools.
This accounts for "about half as many as there were districts and schools in need of improvement," said Gloversville Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Frank Pickus. "So they cut that significantly."
No Child Left Behind Act, actually called the Elementary & Secondary School Act, requires all students be proficient on state exams by 2014. This past year, a record number of schools in the state were added to an improvement list.
"The terms we have gotten to know and love - school in need of improvement and district in need of improvement - are now a thing of the past," Pickus said. "They are going to have a new way of calculating adequate yearly progress."
While the new calculations for adequate yearly progress are stringent, they will not be key in determining a school district's accountability status.
"The waiver lets New York move away from NCLB requirements that were unproductive or unrealistic," state Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. said in a news release.
Credit will be given for students who show growth on the elementary and middle school levels, according to the state Education Department. At the high school level, full credit for adequate progress only will be granted to schools and districts when a student passes a regents exam with a 75 or higher on English exams and an 80 or higher on math exams. Students who score between 55 and 64 on a regents exam no longer earn partial credit toward yearly progress benchmarks.
Schools designated as priority have the lowest language arts and math state test results, are not showing progress, or have graduation rates below 60 percent for the last several years.
Priority schools will need to implement a school reform model by 2014-15 that uses the federal requirements for school turnaround.
"I'm not sure where we're going to fit in," Pickus said. "That's supposed to be released at the end of the month."