New Rules -- and Labels -- for Schools
Under No Child Left Behind, all New Jersey schools were determined to have made or not made “adequate yearly progress” (AYP) targets among every subset of children. If they did not -- and last year about half of all schools did not -- the schools faced a range of sanctions as more years passed.
Under the new system, New Jersey schools will now be divided into five categories, each with their own consequences:
Priority Schools: The 5 percent lowest-performing schools in overall achievement, give or take some leeway for those showing progress.
Focus Schools: The next 10 percent of schools with the widest gaps in achievement between different subsets of students.
At Risk Schools: Another 5 percent of schools that are on the cusp of being Focus or Priority schools, where they failed to meet progress targets for two consecutive years.
Reward Schools: The schools in the top 10 percent of achievement overall or having the narrowest achievement gaps.