Note: Our report, “Ensuring Equity in ESSA: The Role of N-Size in Subgroup Accountability,” is no longer current and does not reflect state n-sizes implemented under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).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:
Ensuring Every Student Matters What Is N-Size and Why Is It Important?
ESSA in the States: How Good is Your State’s Education Plan?
Ensuring Equity in ESSA: The Role of N-Size in Subgroup Accountability
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.