Contract for Excellence (C4E) Primer
What is a C4E?
A Contract for Excellence (C4E) is an agreement between an “identified district" (identified for reasons of not meeting NYS student performance standards) and the State Education Department (SED) on how that district will spend its annual increases in state aid. The C4E law predominately requires these districts to spend the bulk of their annual aid increases on “new” or expanding programs to address specific student performance issues.
Who must develop a Contract for Excellence?
Any school district or building that has been identified as needing improvement for reasons of low student achievement and/or not meeting state standards and whose state aid increases exceed a certain percentage level in a given year.
What programs or initiatives can C4E districts spend their restricted aid on?
Description of Contract for Excellence Allowable Programs and Activities
Increased Time on Task: Reflect programs designed to increase pupil instructional time. These activities include: longer school days and years; dedicated instructional blocks (a longer block of instruction in a core content area such as mathematics or English Language Arts); individualized tutoring; and the provision of student support services, which may include, but are not limited to, guidance, counseling, attendance, parent outreach, behavioral support, or instruction in study skills which are needed to support improved academic performance.
Class Size Reduction: Activities designed to reduce class sizes, such as the creation or construction of more classrooms and school buildings, the placement of more than one teacher in a classroom or methods to otherwise reduce the student to teacher ratio.
High School or Middle School Restructuring: Focuses on expanding challenging academic content and instructional opportunities to middle and high school grade students, while at the same time restructuring these schools, such as, but not limited to: changing grade spans (changing a grade 6-8 school to one spanning grades 5 to 8); creating grade nine academies; schools within schools; and/or different teams of teachers to deal with the different needs of students.
Teacher and Principal Quality Initiatives: Activities, which as the title suggests, aim to raise the quality of the teaching and instructional leader workforce in Contract schools, in order to ensure that teachers and principals are appropriately certified and that all teachers of core academic subjects are highly qualified. The allowable activities under this program option are: teacher recruitment and retention strategies; mentoring programs for new teachers (in the first two years of an assignment); incentive programs to encourage highly qualified teachers to work in low performing schools (provided that such programs shall not use funds for school-wide or district-wide salary enhancements or raises); and teacher and principal coaches.
Full-Day Kindergarten or Pre-Kindergarten: Those kindergarten and Pre-K instructional programs that are either
1) a full (as opposed to a half) day in length, for 5 and 4 year olds respectively, and which conform to the State student performance indicators; or 2) a full-day program which includes additional hours to meet the needs of children and families and community-based agencies (other caregivers). Pre-K allowable programs include those designed to increase the integration of students with disabilities.
Experimental Programs: Those interventions, other than the five listed above, which the district has some theoretical basis, research or evidence to suggest will improve student performance. Experimental programs must be accompanied by a detailed evaluation plan to be conducted by an institution of higher education or a research firm, as to the effectiveness of the experiment at raising achievement.
Contract for Exellence Reports: