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Federal Accountability

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as NoChild Left Behind (NCLB) since 2001, requires states to set annual measurable objectives (AMOs) for increasing student achievement in reading and mathematics and closing achievement gaps among student groups.  The State Board of Education under its June 29, 2012, NCLB flexibility waiver established AMOs for reducing proficiency gaps between students in Virginia's lowest-performing and highest-performing schools.  In 2014, the State Board of Education requested and was granted an extension to the flexibility waiver.  The AMOs represent the minimum percentage of students within each subgroup that must pass SOL assessments in reading and mathematics in order to reduce the gap between students sufficiently within six years.  These objectives replace the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets schools were previously required to meet.

Separate AMOs have been established for student subgroups, including Proficiency Gap Groups comprised of students who historically have had difficulty meeting the State's achievement standards:

  • Proficiency Gap Group 1--Students with Disabilities, Limited English Proficient students, and Economically Disadvantaged students, regardless of race and ethnicity (unduplicated)
  • Proficiency Gap Group 2--African-American students, not of Hispanic origin, including those also counted in Proficiency Gap Group 1
  • Proficiency Gap Group 3--Hispanic students, of one or more races, including those also counted in Proficiency Gap Group 1

A school or division may meet the content area AMO in three ways: (1) by meeting the subject area benchmark in the most recent academic year, (2) by a three-year average of achievement in the subject area, or (3) by meeting safe harbor--having a 10 percent reduction in the subgroup's failure rate.

The State also reports the division and high school Federal Graduation Index (FGI).  The graduation indicator is met if 80 percent or more students graduate--in each subgroup or proficiency gap group--in four, five, or six years with a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma. 

ESEA requires 95 percent of all students and within each subgroup to participate in State Reading and Mathematics testing at the state, division, and school levels.  If less than 95 percent of the students in a subgroup or proficiency gap group are tested in a subject, that subgroup or proficiency gap group  is considered to not have met the AMO, regardless of the pass rate in the subject. 

In order to be considered for Federal Accountability, a subgroup or proficiency gap group in a school or division must include at least 30 students.  If a subgroup or proficiency group has fewer than 10 students, the pass rate is not reported. 

Federal Accountability Benchmarks

Federal Accountability--Reading

Federal Accountability--Math

Federal Accountability--Graduation