Preliminary Overview of Programs and Changes Included in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
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Title I Evaluations and Demonstrations
(Title I, Part E, Sections 1501-1503)


Retains major features of current law, including requirements for a National Assessment of Title I, an Independent Review Panel to advise on the conduct of the National Assessment, and a longitudinal evaluation of program effectiveness, as well as Secretarial discretion to conduct other evaluation studies of Title I programs. Also retains the Section 1502 Title I demonstrations authority.

Changes from Current Law:

  • Assessment Issues - Updates issues to be examined to increase emphasis on accountability systems-including assessments, State AYP definitions, and school improvement efforts. Other issues would include the impact of school choice and supplemental service options for students in underperforming schools. Both the national assessment and the longitudinal evaluation also must include cost-benefit analyses of Title I services.

  • Independent Review Panel - Adds more prescriptive requirements on the composition of the Panel. Also requires that the Panel ensure that the final report on the National Assessment of Title I reviewed by two independent experts in program evaluation.

  • National Longitudinal Study - Adds requirement that this study use a nationally representative sample of Title I schools. Adds more detailed requirements on the issues to be examined, including the effectiveness of comprehensive school reform models and the impact of school choice options under section 1116 on student achievement.

  • Study of Assessments - Adds new section 1503 requiring an independent study of assessments used for State accountability purposes and for making decisions about the promotion and graduation of students. Requires that the study be conducted over a period not to exceed 5 years; that the Department use a peer review process to select the contractor, with the reviewers appointed by the Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and Improvement; and that a contract be awarded to an entity capable of conducting independent, rigorous research. Requires that the study synthesize and analyze existing research that meets standards of quality and scientific rigor, and evaluate academic assessment and accountability systems in SEAs, LEAs, and schools. Specifies areas for study, including the effects of achievement on different groups of students. Requires an interim report after 3 years and a final report to Congress and the President. Permits the Secretary to reserve, for the study, up to 15 percent of funds (but not more than $1.5 million) from the amount appropriated for Part E.

Close Up Fellowships
(Title I, Part E, Section 1504)


Authorizes a non-competitive grant to the Close Up Foundation of Washington, D.C. to support fellowships to students from low-income families and their teachers to enable them to participate with other students and teachers in the Close Up program. Participants spend one week in Washington attending seminars on government and current events and meeting with leaders from the three branches of the Federal Government. (Also authorizes similar programs for "new Americans.")

Changes from Current Law

  • Student Participation - Adds new provisions designed to ensure the participation of students from rural, small town, and urban areas and the participation of students with migrant parents in the Program for Middle School and Secondary School Students and the Program for New Americans.

  • Teachers - Limits fellowships for teachers in the Program for Middle School and Secondary School Teachers to not more than one per year. Eliminates rule that only one teacher from each participating school can receive a fellowship each year.

  • New Americans - Replaces the Program for Recent Immigrants, Students of Migrant Parents and Older Americans with a Program for New Americans.

  • Accountability - Adds accountability provision that requires the Close Up Foundation to measure the "efficacy" of the program.

  • Program Name and Placement - Changes "Allen J. Ellender Fellowships" to "Close Up Fellowships" and moves the authorization from Programs of National Significance to within Title I-E ("National Assessment of Title I").


  • In consultation with the Secretary, the Close Up Foundation is required to measure the "efficacy" of its programs, including its ability to: 1) provide young people with an increased understanding of the Federal Government; 2) heighten a sense of civic responsibility among young people; and 3) enhance the skills of educators in teaching young people about civic responsibility, the Federal Government, and attaining citizenship competencies.

Comprehensive School Reform Program
(Title I, Part F)


Retains, without major changes, the current program to support the development, adoption, and implementation of comprehensive school reforms that are based on reliable research and effective practice and that will improve the academic achievement of children in participating schools.

Changes from Current Law

  • Authorization - Creates a separate authorization for the program in the ESEA (under Title I, new Part F). Previously, the program had no separate statutory authorization; it was created in the Department's fiscal year 1998 appropriations act and was implemented based on instructions included in the reports accompanying the Department's fiscal year 1998 and 1999 appropriations. Congress has appropriated funds for the program under Part E (Federal Evaluations, Demonstrations, and Transition Projects) of Title I and Part A (Fund for the Improvement of Education) of Title X.

  • Targeting - Limits awards to LEAs that receive funding under Part A of Title I. By comparison, the FY 2001 appropriations made 83 percent of the funding available for LEAs eligible to receive funds under Part A.

  • Additional Reform Component - In addition to the nine components required currently, adds two new components stipulating that grantees use program funds for comprehensive reforms that: (1) have been found (a) through scientifically based research to improve significantly the academic performance of participating students compared to non-participating students; or (b) show strong evidence that the model would significantly improve the performance of participating students; and (2) provide support for teachers, principals, administrators, and other school staff.

  • Quality Initiatives - Requires the Secretary to carry out "quality initiatives" consisting of: (1) a public-private effort to assist States, LEAs, and schools in making informed decisions in approving or selecting providers of comprehensive school reform; and (2) activities to (a) foster the development of comprehensive school reform models; and (b) provide effective capacity building for comprehensive school reform providers to expand their work to more schools, ensure quality, and promote financial stability.

  • Emphasis on Proven Strategies - Requires that grantees implement comprehensive reforms based on scientifically based research.


  • Federal - Requires national evaluation of, among other things, results achieved by schools after 3 years of implementing comprehensive school reforms and the effectiveness of comprehensive school reforms in schools with diverse characteristics.

  • State - Requires each State to conduct an annual evaluation of the effects of the reforms on student achievement and submit the report to the Secretary.

  • Local - Requires that schools adopt comprehensive reforms that are based on scientifically based research and effective practices and that include a plan for evaluating annually the implementation of the reforms and their effect on student achievement.

Allocation of Funds

  • Federal to State - Formula based on each State's prior-year share of Title I Basic Grants (Sec. 1124).

  • Within State - Competitive awards to LEAs that receive funds under Part A of Title I, with a priority for LEAs planning to use funds in schools in improvement or corrective action under Title I.


  • Federal - (1) Up to 1 percent for the BIA and Outlying Areas; (2) up to 1 percent for national evaluation activities; and (3) up to 3 percent for Quality Initiatives.

  • State - Up to 5 percent for administrative, evaluation, and technical assistance expenses.

Advanced Placement
(Title I, Part G)


Reauthorizes the Advanced Placement Incentive program (currently authorized by the Higher Education Amendments of 1998) as Part G of Title I of the ESEA. The purpose of the program is to increase the number of low-income students participating in Advanced Placement classes and taking Advanced Placement tests. States apply for grants to pay test fees of low-income students. Under the previous authorization, States in which no low-income student paid more than a nominal fee to take Advanced Placement tests could also use funds for other activities designed to increase the access of low-income students to Advanced Placement classes. The reauthorization replaced that formulation with two separate programs - one for test fees, the other for activities designed to increase access to Advanced Placement classes for low-income students.

Changes from Current Law

  • Separate Programs - Creates two separate programs: the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program authorizes grants to States to pay test fees for low-income students if they are enrolled in an Advanced Placement course; the Advanced Placement Incentive Program Grants authorizes three-year grants for activities such as teacher training and pre-advanced placement course development that are designed to expand access for low-income individuals to Advanced Placement classes. (These grants are no longer limited to States in which no low-income student pays more than a nominal fee to take Advanced Placement tests.)

  • Eligible Entity - Expands the definition of "eligible entity" for Advanced Placement Incentive Program Grants to include LEAs and national nonprofit educational entities with expertise in Advanced Placement services.


  • Participating States must submit an annual report to the Secretary on student participation in the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program.

  • The Secretary annually compiles State-reported data in a report to the Congress.


  • Allocations to States under the Test Fee program are based on the number of low-income students in the State in relation to the number of such students in all States.

  • Grants under the Incentive program are competitive.


  • None.

School Dropout Prevention
(Title I, Part H)


Authorizes $125 million for a new program to assist schools with high dropout rates to implement dropout prevention programs.

Program Description

  • Grants Authorized - At appropriations levels of $75 million or less, authorizes competitive awards to States or LEAs. At appropriations levels greater than $75 million but less than $250 million, authorizes competitive awards to States, with the States, in turn, making subgrants to eligible LEAs. At appropriation levels of $250 million or more, authorizes formula grants to States, with States, in turn, making subgrants to eligible LEAs.

  • Eligibility - To be eligible for a grant, an LEA must operate at least one school that: (1) serves students in grades 6 through 12; (2) receives funds under Part A of Title I; and (3) serves a student population of at least 50 percent from low-income households (or 50 percent coming from feeder schools with at least 50 percent of students from low-income households).

  • At appropriations levels of less than $75 million, funds can be used only to support dropout prevention programs in schools that: (1) serve students in grades 6 through 12; and (2) have annual dropout rates that are greater than the State average in (a) the school itself or (b) the schools that are "feeder schools."

  • Applications - Requires each State or LEA desiring assistance to submit an application that, among other things: (1) outlines the agency's strategy for (a) reducing its dropout rate, and (b) targeting schools with the highest dropout rates; (2) identifies the schools that have an annual school dropout rate above the State average; (3) describes the instructional strategies that will be implemented; and (4) describes how the activities conform with research knowledge about school dropout prevention and reentry. In addition, each LEA application must include an assurance that it is committed to providing ongoing support for schools for a period of 5 years.

  • Uses of Funds - Requires grantees to use funds to implement research-based, sustainable, and coordinated school dropout prevention and reentry programs. Identifies 10 allowable activities, including: professional development; reduction in pupil-teacher ratios; counseling and mentoring for at-risk students; and implementing comprehensive school reform models. Requires LEAs to provide technical assistance to any secondary school that receives program funds for two years and has not made progress toward lowering its dropout rate.

  • National Activities - Requires the Secretary to: (1) establish a national recognition program to identify schools that have been effective in reducing dropout rates; and (2) evaluate the effectiveness of activities funded under the program. Authorizes the Secretary to carry out activities to: (1) collect systematic data on the effectiveness of programs; (2) establish a national clearinghouse of information on effective school dropout and reentry prevention programs; (3) provide technical assistance to SEAs, LEAs, and schools to assist them to implement effective school dropout prevention programs; (4) establish an inter-agency working group to determine how Federal programs can help reduce school dropout rates; (5) support capacity building and design initiatives; and (6) support technical assistance entities that, prior to enactment of No Child Left Behind, provided training, materials, and technical assistance related to school dropout prevention to at least 100 elementary or secondary schools.


  • Federal - Requires the Secretary to evaluate the effectiveness of activities funded under the program.

  • State - Requires each State receiving assistance to report annually to the Department on the status of the implementation of activities and outcome data for students in schools receiving program funds.

  • Local - Requires LEAs receiving program funds to report on the status of the activities funded under the program and dropout data disaggregated by race and ethnicity for schools receiving program funds.


  • Federal - At appropriations levels of less than $75 million, authorizes competitive awards to States or LEAs. At appropriations levels between $75 million and $250 million, authorizes competitive awards to States. At appropriation levels of $250 million or more, authorizes formula grants based on each State's prior-year share under Title I, Part A.

  • Within State - Competitive awards to eligible LEAs.


  • Federal - Permits a reservation of up to 10 percent of the amount appropriated for national activities.

  • State - Up to 5 percent for administrative expenses and State-level activities. Limits the amount used for administrative expenses to 2 percent.

Title I General Provisions
(Title I, Part I)


Part I of Title I primarily concerns regulatory and administrative requirements, including deadlines for developing regulations implementing the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and a requirement that State rules and regulations related to Title I programs conform to the purposes of the NCLB Act. The regulatory deadlines in two sections seem inconsistent, with section 1901 requiring issuance of final regulations within one year of enactment and section 1908 requiring completion of regulations related to sections 1111 (State Plans) and 1116 (School Improvement) within six months of enactment. Specific provisions include the following:


  • Federal Regulations - Section 1901 requires a negotiated rulemaking process for, at a minimum, the standards and assessments provisions of the new law. Requires final regulations resulting from negotiated rulemaking to be issued within one year of enactment of the NCLB Act.

  • Agreements and Records - Section 1902 outlines the procedures to be followed if any proposed regulations do not conform to the agreements reached through negotiated rulemaking and requires the Secretary to keep "an accurate and reliable record" of those agreements.

  • State Administration - Section 1903 requires State rules, regulations, and policies related to Title I to conform to the purposes of Title I, to be minimal, and to be subject to review by a Committee of Practitioners that must be created by the State to help it carry out its responsibilities under Title I. (Same as current law.)

  • Local Educational Agency Spending Audits - Section 1904 requires annual GAO audits of at least 6 LEAs receiving Title I, Part A funds to examine "the extent to which funds have been expended for academic instruction in the core curriculum and activities unrelated to academic instruction in the core curriculum, such as the payment of janitorial, utility, and other maintenance services, the purchase and lease of vehicles, and the payment for travel and attendance costs at conferences." (Replaces Senate language prohibiting use of funds for non-instructional purposes.)

  • Prohibition Against Federal Mandates, Direction, or Control - Section 1905 prohibits the Federal Government from mandating a State's, LEA's, or school's "specific instructional content, academic achievement standards and assessments, curriculum, or program of instruction." (Same as current law)

  • Rule of Construction on Equalized Spending - Section 1906 states that nothing in Title I mandates equalized spending for a State, LEA, or school. (Same as current law)

  • State Report on Dropout Data - Section 1907 requires States to report annually to the Secretary on school dropout rates, disaggregated by race and ethnicity.

  • Regulations for Sections 1111 and 1116 - Section 1908 requires the Secretary to issue regulations for sections 1111 (State Plans) and 1116 (School Improvement) within six months of the enactment of the NCLB Act.

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Last Modified: 01/19/2005