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Ensuring Equity in ESSA: The Role of N-Size in Subgroup Accountability

Note: Our report, “Ensuring Equity in ESSA: The Role of N-Size in Subgroup Accountability,” is no longer current and does not reflect state n-sizes implemented under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). For information about the n-sizes included in state ESSA plans approved by the U.S. Department of Education, see the following, more recent All4Ed publications:

December 7, 2018

Publication | Accountability and Support, Data, Every Student Succeeds Act

N-Size in ESSA State Plans

All4Ed’s analysis of the minimum number of students in a school, or n-size, states chose for their school accountability systems and report cards under ESSA.
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December 7, 2018

Publication | Accountability and Support, Data, Every Student Succeeds Act

Ensuring Every Student Matters What Is N-Size and Why Is It Important?

How do states set the minimum number of students needed to form a subgroup and what does that mean for monitoring outcomes of historically underserved students?
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June 21, 2017

Publication | Accountability and Support, Every Student Succeeds Act

ESSA in the States: How Good is Your State’s Education Plan?

All4Ed’s ESSA Equity Dashboards use a red-yellow-green light–system to rate each state’s ESSA plan on several indicators, including long-term goals, accountability indicators, and school ratings.
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Ensuring Equity in ESSA: The Role of N-Size in Subgroup Accountability

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States are responsible for setting the minimum number of students needed to form a student subgroup for federal reporting and school accountability purposes. This required student subgroup size is commonly referred to as the state-set “n-size.”

This report recommends states set their n-size as low as possible (ten or fewer students) to maximize the number of student subgroups created. This will ensure states identify student subgroups with low academic performance and/or low high school graduation rates and provide targeted interventions to support the schools those students attend. Specifically, states should not require a subgroup to include more than ten students in order to include that subgroup for reporting and accountability purposes. You can also download a fact sheet on n-size and why it matters.

In addition, All4Ed more than thirty civil rights, disability, and data-focused organizations sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Education to decrease its proposed n-size threshold from thirty to ten in the final ESSA accountability regulations.

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