Q. What is Academic Intervention?
A. Academic Intervention is one kind of intervention into a school system that can be ordered by the Alabama State Board of Education. In the case of Academic Intervention, it is a process by which the State Superintendent of Education appoints a qualified person or persons to run the day-to day operations of a school or school system that has failed to perform at acceptable levels and has failed to make required improvements in academic achievement of students as measured by the Stanford Achievement Test (Stanford-9).
Q. When does Academic Intervention occur?
A. Academic Intervention occurs when a school or school system falls into the Alert 3 category and the State Board of Education authorizes the State Superintendent of Education to intervene.
Q. How is the Stanford-9 used to determine Academic Status?
A. In 1996, the State Department of Education established three levels of classification for student achievement based on scores on the Stanford-9. Those levels of classification are:
1. Academic Clear: a school or school system is classified as Academic Clear if a majority of the students score at or above the 40th percentile.
2. Academic Caution: a school or school system is classified as Academic Caution if a majority of its students score between the 23rd to 39th percentiles, or a majority of the system's schools score in Academic Caution.
3. Academic Alert: a school or school system is classified as Academic Alert if a majority of its students score below the 23rd percentile, if the school system or school previously scored in Academic Caution but failed to meet the required improvement, or a majority of the system's schools score in Academic Alert.
There are three levels of Academic Alert status:
1. The first level is Academic Alert 1. If the required improvement does not occur after the first year, the result is Alert 2 status.
2. The second level is Alert 2. If a school or school system makes "any improvement" during its first year in Alert 2 status, it earns a second year of alert 2 status to complete is required improvement. If Stanford-9 scores show no improvement or worsen, the result is Alert 3 status.
3. The third level is Alert 3, which is the level at which intervention is recommended.
Using Stanford Achievement Test scores, schools and school systems are place on Academic Clear, Academic Caution, or Academic Alert Status. Academic Status is determined based on a normal distribution of scores that are grouped in stanines. Stanines are statistical groupings that divide achievement into nine levels; the divisions are similar to a bell curve. Students scoring in stanine one have the lowest scores; students scoring in stanine nine have the highest scores.
A majority of student's scores (54 percent) falls in stanines four, five, and six. Those scores are considered average in comparison to other students from across the United States. Twenty-three percent of students' scores fall in stanines one, two, and three and are considered below average; 23 percent of students' scores fall in stanines seven, eight, and nine and are considered above average.
Each stanine is equivalent to a percentile rank:
- Stanine 1 is below the 4th percentile.
- Stanine 2 is the 4th through 10th percentile.
- Stanine 3 is the 11th through 22nd percentile.
- Stanine 4 is the 23rd through 39th percentile.
- Stanine 5 is the 40th through 59th percentiles.
- Stanine 6 is the 60th through the 76th percentiles.
- Stanine 7 is the 77th through the 88th percentiles.
- Stanine 8 is the 89th through the 95th percentiles.
- Stanine 9 is above the 95th percentile.
Q. What assistance is provided during Academic Intervention?
A. The State Department of Education will provide additional resources in the form of extra personnel, academic assistance and targeted administrative assistance designed to help make improvements in the overall school environment and especially in instruction. A Chief Administrative Officer will be appointed to oversee the daily operations of the school and will report directly to the State Superintendent of Education. A Chief Academic Officer will be assigned to oversee instruction and curriculum. Additionally, highly qualified teachers called "Special Services Teachers" will be available to assist Alert 3 schools. Additional financial resources provided to the schools will be targeted for staff development, instructional needs and other needs identified by the Chief Administrative and Chief Academic Officers.
Q. Does Academic Intervention mean the State Department of Education will operate schools on Alert 3 status?
A. Yes. The Education Accountability Law of 1995 granted authority to the State Board of Education for the intervention process. The State Department of Education will be responsible for the operation of all Alert 3 schools for which the State Board of Education authorized Academic Intervention.
Q. How long will schools that fall under Academic Intervention be operated by the State Department of Education?
A. Intervention will last until steady academic progress is maintained. Technically, a school could be under state intervention for only one year provided enough improvement in academic achievement is made to warrant removal. Annual Stanford Achievement Test scores will indicate if sufficient improvements are made and, consequently, whether a school may be considered for removal from intervention.
Q. What makes the State Board of Education consider Academic Intervention?
A. The 1995 Education Accountability Law authorized creation of a process whereby schools would be given three years to operate and to make improvements prior to being considered for intervention. The schools subject to intervention have been monitored since the law went into effect. Where insufficient or no academic progress is made, the State Board of Education is authorized to intervene.
Q. What happens in schools when the State Board of Education orders Academic Intervention?
A. In schools where intervention is required, the management of those schools either will be replaced by the State Superintendent of Education or supplemented. The extent of the management changes will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The intervention teams will include a Chief Administrative Officer and a Chief Academic Officer. Special Services Teachers may also be provided. These are exemplary educators who will provide intervention assistance.
Q. How can a school be removed from Academic Intervention?
A. The 1995 Education Accountability Law states the management of a school or local board of education occasioned by state intervention based on student achievement or financial instability shall continue until such time as either conditions improve to an acceptable level. The local board of education may petition the State Board of Education for release from state intervention by showing acceptable improvement in achievement or financial stability or other just cause for such release. The State Board of Education shall have final determination on the matter of release from intervention.
Q. What timeline will be used for implementing Academic Interventions that may be required for the 2000-2001 school year?
A. The State Board of Education will make the results of the 2000 Stanford Achievement Test known on Thursday, June 22. After that announcement, it will be known if any Alert 2 schools failed to make the required improvements. It is likely that the State Board of Education would consider recommendations by the State Superintendent regarding intervention at its July meeting. Intervention teams would be assigned by the end of July to make preparations for the 2000-2001 school year/