Karen Bechdol, Director of Curriculum and
1 Academy Park
Albany, NY 12207
What does NCLB mean for Albany parents?
The No Child Left Behind
(NCLB) Act of 2002 -- also known as the Elementary and Secondary School
Act, or ESEA -- is designed to
ensure all schools provide parents with a higher level of
accountability, choice and information.
President Obama in September 2011 announced a measure that gives states
flexibility in carrying out provisions of NCLB, and the federal
Department of Education has approved New York's plan for NCLB
flexibility. For the City School District of Albany, that means:
More flexibility in how we can spend federal
Expanded opportunities for learning time for
students, especially those not meeting state achievement standards;
No more Supplemental Education Services for
'Focus' district, 'Focus' and 'Priority'
Federal and state regulations require an annual evaluation of student
progress in English language arts and math in each district and each
school. The evaluation determines
both the district's and each school's status.
For the 2013-2014 school year, the City School District of Albany was identified as a "Focus" district. A
Focus district has one or more "Priority" schools, meaning
schools that do not meet the annual performance targets in English
Language Arts and mathematics.
District Priority schools are
Albany High School, William S. Hackett Middle School and Philip J.
Schuyler Achievement Academy. These schools are farthest away from
reaching academic performance targets.
All of the remaining schools will be designated as 'Focus'
schools, or schools that have not made their academic performance
targets, but are, in many cases, making significant progress in meeting
to download a letter from the superintendent
with more information about the district's accountability
status for 2013-14, including steps parents can take to help their
children and the district improve.
School choice options
One of the
provisions of NCLB is that schools designated as "in need of
improvement" must provide parents a
Under the new flexibility
initiative, this provision remains the same. Under State Education
Department guidelines, students who attend
Priority schools or
Focus schools within a
Focus district may apply for
transfer to a school that has met state academic goals.
Although the City School District of Albany has been identified
as a Focus district for 2013-2014, all the schools in our district have
been identified as either Focus or Priority Schools, so this is not a
viable option at this time.
For years now, the district has been
offering ALL parents a choice option through the Open Enrollment Policy.
This policy allows parents to choose another school outside of their
designated neighborhood-zoned school to send their children to if
space is available. Click here to download a chart indicating the number
of students who have participated in the school-choice option annually
Supplemental Education Services
Under NCLB, schools in need of improvement were required to provide
Supplemental Educational Services (SES), or more simply, tutoring
services to all eligible children.
to download a chart indicating the number of students who have
participated in the SES program annually since 2007-08.
As a result of the new ESEA flexibility waiver, the City
School District of Albany is no longer required to offer Supplemental
Educational Services. Schools
will, however, provide a tutoring program that will be more focused on
helping those students with the most need and will align more closely
with the curriculum being taught in the classroom staffed by district
teachers. More information on this
new tutoring program will be forthcoming from each individual school.
Click here to
download a letter from the superintendent
[with more information about this change to the SES
Another provision of NCLB is that schools were required to hire only
"highly qualified" teachers in Title I schools beginning the 2002-03
school year, and then in all schools in the 2005-06 school year. Under
the new flexibility initiative, this remains the same.
In addition, all parents who have children attending a school
receiving Title I funding are entitled to request information regarding
the professional qualifications of their children's teachers. Any parent
who wishes to know the qualifications of the staff providing services to
their children should call their child's school directly.
The first point of receiving an action on complaints will occur at the
building level through the building principal. The director of pupil
personnel and the Office of Central Registration also will receive and
act upon any complaints from parents, in coordination with school
The Office of Instruction includes the offices of the
two assistant superintendents for instruction and the director of curriculum and instruction. The Office of Instruction often becomes
involved in pupil personnel matters. The Office of Instruction has a
long-standing practice of advocating for parents and students, as well
as supporting staff in resolving complaints in the spirit of NCLB.
Complaints will be addressed in a timely manner. Parents who are not
satisfied with the decision rendered at the building level will be
offered opportunity within the same week to meet with the assistant
superintendents for education to explore alternatives or options that
will both satisfy the parent and, more importantly, positively influence
the education of the student.
Providing a quality education for all students so that the goal of
meeting the New York State Learning Standards in all subject areas and the
probability of earning a high school diploma are imminent has been, and
will continue to be, the benchmark by which the district is measured as
Parent compact and parent involvement policy
efforts must be made by school districts to involve parents in the
education of their children. Districts must strive to build capacity
of parents to help their children achieve high standards.
set out the respective responsibilities of the school staff, parents
and students in striving to raise student achievement and explain
how an effective home-school partnership will be developed at each
Click on the highlighted text to download the district's
parent compact and
Another NCLB regulation requires high schools to provide information
about senior students to the military, including names and addresses. If
parents do NOT want their children contacted by the military they must
"opt out" in writing. A letter is sent home at the beginning of each
school year letting parents know the provisions of this law.
information about opting out, please contact Albany High School at