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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Jon Zlock
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release : October 21, 2005

DOE Identifies 63 NCLB “Districts in Need of Improvement”

Fifty-four New Jersey school districts and nine charter schools have been designated as “Districts in Need of Improvement” (DINI) based on their students’ 2005 test results as calculated under a formula established by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), state Department of Education officials announced today.

A list of the 63 districts and charter schools is attached.  

The US Education Department required that New Jersey change the formula by which the districts’ DINI results were calculated in 2004.

This year, districts were judged solely on whether the aggregated test scores of the students tested in each grade in all schools within the district attained the necessary proficiency levels to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two consecutive years in both language arts literacy and mathematics.

When calculating the 2004 results, New Jersey officials applied two additional statistical criteria to the formula. 

NCLB calculations are made under the same formula as school AYP, so applying additional criteria was not appropriate,” said acting Commissioner of Education Lucille E. Davy.  “While the US Education Department did not require us to recalculate the 2004 designations, they did require us to apply the single-criteria formula to the 2005 calculations.”

The designations announced today are based on preliminary calculations and do not contain the results of the Alternative Proficiency Assessments (APAs) given to special education students.  NCLB requires that districts be notified about DINI designations before the start of the school year and APA results will not be available until later in the fall.

Districts received notification of their status on August 30.  The deadline for the resolution of appeals was October 20.  When the APA results become available, the data will be recalculated.  If necessary, a revised DINI list will be issued.

DOE is currently providing technical assistance and training to the DINI-designated districts in order to help them address the NCLB sanctions.

Administrators were required to notify all parents that the district has been designated as being in need of improvement.  Districts that receive federal Title I funding are required to develop and implement district improvement plans and allocate ten percent of their federal money to professional development for teachers. 

Twenty-one districts and charter schools were designated as DINI for the second year in a row.  If these districts do not make AYP in 2006, NCLB mandates that more severe sanctions be imposed.

These could include the loss of federal funds and requirements that the district institute and implement a new curriculum, or replace administrators or teachers deemed relevant to the inability of the district to make progress.   
In addition, individual schools could be removed from the district, receivers or trustees could be appointed to administer its affairs, and parents could be offered the choice of sending their children to schools in other districts.  The district itself could also be restructured or abolished.


For more information, please contact the Department of Education Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.