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Educational Services » Title I and Program Improvement

Title I and Program Improvement



Lets states develop accountability systems: The bill ends the federal test-based accountability system of No Child Left Behind, restoring to states the responsibility for determining how to use federally required tests for accountability purposes. States must include these tests in their accountability systems, but will be able to determine the weight of those tests in their systems. States will also be required to include graduation rates, one measure of postsecondary education or workforce readiness, and English proficiency for English learners. States will also be permitted to include other measures of student and school performance in their accountability systems in order to provide teachers, parents, and other stakeholders with a more accurate determination of school performance.


Maintains important information for parents, teachers, and communities: The bill maintains the federally required two tests in reading and math per child per year in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school, as well as science tests given three times between grades 3 and 12. These important measures of student achievement ensure that parents know how their children are performing and help teachers support students who are struggling to meet standards. States will be given additional flexibility to pilot innovative assessment systems in school districts across the state.


Helps states improve low-performing schools: The bill includes federal grants to states and school districts to help improve low performing schools that are identified by the state accountability systems. School districts will be responsible for designing evidence-based interventions for low performing schools, with technical assistance from the states, and the federal government is prohibited from mandating, prescribing, or defining the specific steps school districts and states must take to improve those schools. The bill does require that states monitor interventions implemented by school districts and take steps to further assist school districts if interventions are not effective.


Strengthens state and local control: The bill recognizes that states, working with school districts, teachers, and others, have the responsibility for creating accountability systems to ensure all students are learning and prepared for success. These accountability systems will be entirely state-designed but must meet federal parameters, including ensuring all students and subgroups of students are included in the accountability system, disaggregating student achievement data, and establishing challenging academic standards for all students. The federal government is prohibited from determining or approving state standards. 



All Title I funded schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) that do not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) are identified for Program Improvement (PI) under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

This law requires LEAs to adopt grade-level standards, use the most effective methods and instructional strategies for teaching children, and assess their progress each year as mandated by the State. Assessment results are disaggregated by socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, disability, and limited English proficiency to ensure that no group is left behind. LEAs and schools that fail to make AYP toward statewide proficiency goals are subject to improvement and corrective action measures. Schools that did not make “adequate yearly progress (AYP)” on the STAR test for two consecutive years are identified as “Program Improvement” schools by the California Department of Education.


Once a school has been identified, the district is required by law to provide parents with several options to assist their students academically.  One of these options is called School Choice.


On March 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education approved California’s testing waiver for certain statutory and regulatory requirements of Title I, Part A of the ESEA. A one-year waiver was granted that allows flexibility in making AYP determinations for schools and local educational agencies participating in the Smarter Balanced assessment field test.


CDE will not produce a 2014 AYP report for elementary and middle schools and elementary and unified school districts. Therefore, the PI status for elementary and middle schools and unified school districts will not change. Elementary and middle schools and unified school districts will not enter or exit PI. However, these schools and districts will continue to implement the PI requirements associated with their current PI status.


CA Department of Education: Program Improvement


Contains descriptions of regulations and terminology, status determinations, requirements and resources available to schools determined to be in Program Improvement.


The information below is provided so that members of the Lowell community may be best informed regarding Program Improvement regulation and compliance within the Lowell Joint School District.

School Accountability Progress Reporting - (APR)

El Portal Elementary School

Jordan Elementary School



Parent Involvement is defined as the participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities, including ensuring that:

  • parents play an integral role in assisting their child's learning;
  • parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child's education;
  • parents are full partners in their child's education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child; and
  • other activities are carried out, such as those described in section 1118 of the ESEA. 


All districts are required to notify parents of all children in all Title I schools that they have the right to request and receive timely information on the professional qualifications of their children's classroom teachers.  Specifically, districts must report, when requested, the following:

  • Whether the teacher has met state qualifying and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher is teaching;
  • Whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status;
  • The baccalaureate degree major of the teacher and any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, including the field of discipline of the certification or degree; and
  • Whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.


The individual school sites will notify all parents of Title I through school newsletters and web sites.



What is Title I?

It is the largest federal assistance program for our nation's schools.  The program serves millions of children in elementary and secondary schools each year.


Who does Title I Serve?

Title I serves children in eligible schools, ages 5-17, that are identified most in need of educational help to meet the standards.


How does Title I work?

The federal government provides funding to the states each year for Title I.  The State Educational Agencies (SEA) send the money to the school districts based on the number of low-income families.  The local school district identifies eligible schools and provides Title I resources.


What do Title I programs offer?

Although Title Programs vary from district to district, in general, schoolwide programs:

  • Plan for comprehensive, long-term improvement;
  • Serve all students with highly qualified teachers and paraprofessionals;
  • Provide continuous learning for staff, parents, and the community;
  • Use research-based practices to develop and implement enriched instruction for all students;
  • Use inclusive approaches to strengthen the school’s organizational structure;
  • Consolidate resources to achieve program goals; and
  • Engage in continuous self-assessment and improvement.