GLOSSARY OF TERMS - ACCOUNTABILITY DATA

Overview of Accountability Data in New York State Report Cards

Accountability data in the New York State Report Cards includes participation rates, performance data (Performance Indices), and graduation rates. Performance Indices (PIs) and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) determinations are used to assist in identifying districts and schools as Reward, Focus, and Priority under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver. District/school identifications are available on our ESEA Accountability Designations page. Explanations of how data are used to make identification are available on our Accountability Designation Materials page. For more information, contact the Office of Accountability.

Performance Indices (PIs) and Unweighted Combined PIs are used to determine if a district or school is Priority or Focus. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for accountability groups (all students, racial/ethnic groups, students with disabilities, english language learner students, and economically disadvantaged students) and PIs for accountability groups and non-AYP groups (non-racial/ethnic groups, general-education students, English proficient students, not economically disadvantaged students, male and female students, and migrant and non-migrant students) are used to determine if a district or school is Reward or a school requires a Local Assistance Plan. For more information, see the ESEA Flexibility Waiver.

Adequate Yearly Progress
In accordance with federal and State laws, the New York State Education Department must determine and report on the performance of students in the following areas:

  1. Elementary/middle-level (grades 3-8) English Language Arts (ELA)
  2. Elementary/middle-level (grades 3-8) Mathematics
  3. Elementary/middle-level (grades 4 and 8) Science
  4. Secondary-level (grades 9-12) ELA
  5. Secondary-level (grades 9-12) Mathematics
  6. Graduation Rate

This performance is determined by identifying whether or not a district or school made "Adequate Yearly Progress" (AYP). AYP indicates satisfactory progress by a district or a school toward the goal of proficiency for all students. In ELA, mathematics, and science, AYP is determined by comparing the percentage of students tested and the performance of tested students against defined standards. In graduation rate, AYP is determined by comparing the percentage of students graduating against defined standards.

Standards for English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science

Participation: In ELA and mathematics, 95% of students in each accountability group with 40 or more members must be tested to meet the participation criterion. In science, 80% must be tested.

Performance: In ELA and mathematics, a calculated measure of performance called the "Performance Index" (PI) for each accountability group with 30 or more members must equal or exceed a preset objective called an "Effective Annual Measurable Objective" (EAMO) or a safety net objective called a "Safe Harbor Target." In science, the criterion for performance is the same but the safety net is referred to as a "Progress Target."

Districts and schools must meet both the participation and performance criteria for all groups with sufficient numbers to make AYP.

Standards for Graduation Rate

Districts and schools with secondary-level grades are also held to certain standards for the percentage of students who graduated. To make AYP in graduation rate, every accountability group with 30 or more members must make AYP. For a group to make AYP, the graduation rate of the 4-year graduation-rate total cohort or the 5-year graduation-rate total cohort must equal or exceed the Graduation-Rate Standard of 80% or the group's Progress Target. A cohort is a group of students who entered grade 9 anywhere in a particular school year. Graduation rates for these cohorts are then determined 4 and 5 years after the students first enter grade 9.

For more information on how AYP and PIs are determined, see Understanding Accountability in New York State.

Basic Educational Data System (BEDS) Day is typically the first Wednesday in October of the school year.

A cohort consists of all students who first entered grade 9 anywhere between July 1 and June 30 of a particular year or, in the case of ungraded students with disabilities, reached their seventeenth birthday during that year (i.e., the 2008 cohort consists of students who entered grade 9 and ungraded students with disabilities who reached their seventeenth birthday between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009). A more detailed definition of cohort is available in the SIRS Manual.

Accountability Cohort: Results for students in the Accountability Cohort are captured as of June 30th four years after they first enter grade 9.

Graduation-Rate Total Cohort: Results for students in the four-year graduation-rate total cohort are captured as of August 31 four years after they first enter grade 9. Results for students in the five-year graduation-rate total cohort are captured as of August 31 five years after they first enter grade 9.

The EAMO is the PI value that each accountability group of a given size within a district or school is expected to achieve to meet the performance criterion. The EAMO table is available on the New York State Accountability page under the header "Annual Measurable Objectives."

The graduate rate for the four-year graduation-rate total cohort is the percentage of cohort members who earned a local or Regents diploma by August 31 four years after entering grade 9.

The graduate rate for the five-year graduation-rate total cohort is the percentage of cohort members who earned a local or Regents diploma by August 31 five years after entering grade 9.

Students who were excused from testing for medical reasons in accordance with federal No Child Left Behind guidance are not included in elementary/middle-level calculations.

A PI is a value from 0 to 200 that is assigned to an accountability group, indicating how that group performed on a required State test (or approved alternative).

2012-13 and 2013-14 elementary/middle-level ELA/math: Student scores on the tests are converted to six performance levels: Level 1 On Track, Level 1 Not On Track, Level 2 On Track, Level 2 Not On Track, Level 3, and Level 4. A PI is calculated using the levels and the following equation: ([2(Count at Level 1 On Track) + Count at Level 2 Not On Track + 2(Count at Level 2 On Track) + 2(Count at Level 3) + 2(Count at Level 4)] ÷ [Count of Tested Students]) × 100

2011-12 and Prior and 2014-15 and 2015-16 elementary/middle-level ELA/math: Student scores on the tests are converted to four performance levels, from Level 1 to Level 4. A PI is calculated using the levels and the following equation: ([(Count at Level 2) + 2(Count at Level 3) + 2(Count at Level 4)] ÷ [Count of Tested Students]) × 100

Elementary/middle-level science: Student scores on the tests are converted to four performance levels, from Level 1 to Level 4. A PI is calculated using the levels and the following equation: ([(Count at Level 2) + 2(Count at Level 3) + 2(Count at Level 4)] ÷ [Count of Tested Students]) × 100

Secondary-level ELA/math: Student scores on the tests are converted to four performance levels, from Level 1 to Level 4. A PI is calculated using the levels and the following equation: ([(Count at Level 2) + 2(Count at Level 3) + 2(Count at Level 4)] ÷ [Count of Cohort Members]) × 100

Elementary/middle-level science: A Progress Target provides an alternate means to meet the performance criterion for accountability groups whose PIs are less than their EAMOs. The Progress Target is calculated by adding 1 point to the previous year's PI.

Four-year Graduation Rate: The Progress Target for the current four-year graduation-rate total cohort is a 10% gap reduction in the graduation rate of the previous year's four-year graduation-rate total cohort. The following equation is used to determine the current four-year graduation-rate total cohort progress target: [(80 - the graduation rate of the previous year's four-year graduation-rate total cohort) × 0.1] + the graduation rate of the previous year's four-year graduation-rate total cohort

Five-year Graduation Rate: The Progress Target for the current five-year graduation-rate total cohort is a 20% gap reduction in the graduation rate of the previous year's five-year graduation-rate total cohort. The following equation is used to determine the current five-year graduation-rate total cohort progress target: [(80 - the graduation rate of the previous year's five-year graduation-rate total cohort) × 0.2] + the graduation rate of the previous year's five-year graduation-rate total cohort.

Safe Harbor provides an alternate means to meet the performance criterion for accountability groups whose PIs are less than their EAMOs in elementary/middle- and secondary-level ELA and mathematics. The current year's Safe Harbor Target is calculated using the following formula: Previous Year's PI + (200 - the Previous Year's PI) × 0.10.

(Note: Due to modifications to the 2012-13 elementary/middle-level ELA and math assessments, 2012-13 Safe Harbor Targets for these measures were determined using alternate methods.)

The unweighted combined ELA and math Performance Index (PI) is the sum of the PIs for all measures for which the school/district has 30 or more students in the group divided by the number of measures for which the school/district has 30 or more students in the group. For example, EM ELA = 150, EM Math = 180, HS ELA = 140, HS Math = 160: (150 + 180 + 140 + 160) ÷ 4 = 157.5 = 158.