When the program began two-years ago participation was limited to nine states. The feds now say that the pilot states have shown it can be done without compromising the goals of the law.
This from the US Department of Education press release:
Secretary Spellings Invites Eligible States
to Submit Innovative Models
for Expanded Growth Model Pilot
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today announced that she is opening the growth model pilot to all eligible states saying, "our work on reauthorization has shown broad bipartisan support for growth models and now, many states have improved data systems so they can track individual student growth over time."
"A growth model is a way for states that are raising achievement and following the bright-line principles of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to strengthen accountability," Secretary Spellings said. "I believe that extending the growth model pilot for the 2007-2008 school year will promote two important goals. It will allow states another effective way of measuring adequate yearly progress (AYP) by measuring individual student growth over time, and it will continue to expand the flexibility available to states under No Child Left Behind."
The growth model pilot was established by Secretary Spellings in November 2005 and was included in the President's NCLB reauthorization blueprint earlier this year. Nine states currently have approved growth model proposals: North Carolina, Tennessee, Delaware, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Alaska and Arizona.
Any state that would like to take part should submit their growth model proposals to the U.S. Department of Education no later than February 1, 2008. A rigorous peer review process-similar to that used for the past two years-will ensure that the selection process is fair and transparent for all participating states. The Department will conduct an initial review of each proposal to ensure that the growth model meets the seven core principles and that the state is making progress in the required areas.
Ensure that all students are proficient by 2014 and set annual state goals to ensure that the achievement gap is closing for all groups of students identified in the law;
Set expectations for annual achievement based upon meeting grade-level proficiency, not based on student background or characteristics;
Hold schools accountable for student achievement in reading/language arts and mathematics separately;
Ensure that all students in tested grades are included in the assessment and accountability system, hold schools and districts accountable for the performance of each student subgroup, and include all schools and districts;
Include assessments that produce comparable results from grade to grade and year to year in grades three through eight and high school, in both reading/language arts and mathematics;
that have been operational for more than one year and have received Full Approval or Full Approval with Recommendations before the state determines AYP based on 2007-2008 assessment results Track student progress as part of the state data system;
and Include student participation rates and student achievement on a separate academic indicator in the state accountability system.
If there are any questions, the Department will contact the state by February 15 and ask for a response by March 14. Proposals that meet the requirements will be sent to a group of peer reviewers who will meet during the week of April 14-18. States that meet the qualifications to participate in the growth model pilot will be notified in May.