Public Law 221 is an initiative started by an act of the Indiana General Assembly in 1999 and later modified as a state-specific extension of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Under the provisions of this law, schools must make a “School Improvement Plan” which clearly states their designs for improving overall test scores in Grades 3-12. Based on their students’ performance, schools are placed in one of five categories, ranging from “Exemplary Progress” to “Academic Probation”.
Unlike ISTEP+, which only measures academic achievement, PL221 is designed as a dual track system. Schools can achieve “Exemplary Progress” by either performing at a high level or by making improvements. Meaning that poor performers who have made substantial improvements to their test scores are classed in the same group as high performers who have not see dramatic improvements.