Adequate Yearly Progress

Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, is a measurement defined by the United States federal No Child Left Behind Act that allows the U.S. Department of Education to determine how every public school and school district in the country is performing academically. AYP has been identified as one of the sources of controversy surrounding George W. Bush administration's Elementary and Secondary Education Act. [New York State Department of Education. (nd) [ The George W. Bush Years: NCLB - Adequate Yearly Progress.] "States' Impact on Federal Education Policy."] Private schools do not have to make AYP. [(nd) [ "No Educator Left Behind: Private Schools".] Education World. Retrieved 7/5/07.] [(2003) [ "Adequate Yearly Progress: North Layton Junior High Results."] Davis School District, Utah. Retrieved 7/5/07.]


The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Sec. 1111 (b)(F), requires that "each state shall establish a timeline for adequate yearly progress. The timeline shall ensure that not later than 12 years after the 2001-2002 school year, all students in each group described in subparagraph (C)(v) will meet or exceed the State's standards." These timelines are developed by state education agencies working under guidance from the federal government.

According to the Department of Education, AYP is a diagnostic tool that determines how schools need to improve and where financial resources should be allocated. Former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige wrote, "The statute gives States and local educational agencies significant flexibility in how they direct resources and tailor interventions to the needs of individual schools identified for improvement... schools are held accountable for the achievement of all students, not just average student performance." [Paige, R. (2002) [ "Key Policy Letters Signed by the Education Secretary or Deputy Secretary,"] U.S. Department of Education. 7/25/02. Retrieved 6/31/07.]

The No Child Left Behind Act makes provisions for schools that do not demonstrate adequate yearly progress. Those that do not meet AYP for two years in a row are identified as "schools in need of improvement" and are subject to immediate interventions by the State Education Agency in their state. First steps include technical assistance and then, according to the Department of Education, "more serious corrective actions" occur if the school fails to make Adequate Yearly Progress. [(nd) [ "The Facts About...Making Gains Every Year".] U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved 6/31/07.]



All kindergarten through twelfth grade schools are required to demonstrate AYP in the areas of reading/language arts, mathematics, and either graduation rates, for high schools and districts, or attendance rates for elementary and middle/junior high schools.(nd) [ Annual Yearly Progress] . Texas State Education Agency. Retrieved 6/29/07.] Currently, schools are allowed to appeal their AYP findings to their State Education Agency and/or the U.S. Department of Education, if applicable. Appeals have been made in account of standardized test results and data collected by testing companies such as Educational Testing Service. [(2006) [ 2005-2006 Accountability Progress Reporting.] California Department of Education. Retrieved 6/29/07.]


The NCLB Act requires states use standardized assessments in order to measure AYP. These assessments allow State Education Agencies to develop target starting goals for AYP. After those are developed, states must increase student achievement in gradual increments in order for 100 percent of the students to become proficient on state assessments by the 2013-14 school year. [(nd) [,1607,7-140-22709_22875---,00.html "Adequate Yearly Progress."] Michigan Department of Education. Retrieved 6/29/07.] The Illinois Department of Education reports, "The NCLB Act is very prescriptive with regard to how this is to be done – very little flexibility is afforded to states. The same process was used to establish starting points for reading and math." Using assessment data from 2002, the U.S. Department of Education determined what specific percentages of students each state is required to make proficient in each subject area. Special considerations were made for students with limited English proficiency and individuals with disabilities. Once those percentages were determined, each State Department of Education is required to ensure the standards are the same for each public school, each district, and each subgroup of students, irrespective of differences. [(nd) [ Frequently asked questions about AYP.] Illinois State Board of Education. Retrieved 6/29/07.]

uccessful progress

Adequate Yearly Progress requires that every public school completes three requirements annually. Requirements for the percentage of growth is determined on a state-by-state basis. [Popham, W.J. (2004) "Chapter 2: Annual Yearly Progress (AYP): Little letters, big impact," "America's "Failing" Schools: How Parents and Teachers Can Cope with No Child Left Behind". Routledge. p. 22.] In Illinois those requirements include:
# At least 95 percent of all students are tested for reading and mathematics;
# At least 95 percent of all students meet the minimum annual target for meeting or exceeding standards for reading and mathematics, and;
# At least 95 percent of all students meet the minimum annual target for attendance rate for elementary and middle schools or graduation rate for high schools. [(nd) [ Frequently asked questions about AYP.] Illinois State Board of Education. Retrieved 6/29/07.]

Additionally, state education agencies must determine the yearly progress of districts, and identify districts in need of improvement. [(2002) "No Child Left Behind: A desktop reference."] DIANE Publishing. p. 17.] Some states, including Missouri, have lowered standards in order to assure the success of their schools and districts meeting AYP. [Clark, C. (2004) [ "State lowers test standard to meet federal guidelines,"] "Southeast Missourian" 9/15/04. Retrieved 6/30/07.]

Unsuccessful progress

Every state education agency is required to determine which schools do not meet AYP every year. However, a specific designation by the U.S. Department of Education called "Federal school improvement status" applies only to schools that receive Title I funds. State education agencies are required to determine what larger goals are required of every school as they fail to perform annually. [Case, A.G. (2004) "How to Get the Most Reform for Your Reform Money." Rowman & Littlefield. p. 55.]

In Illinois, Title I schools that do not meet AYP for two consecutive years are placed in "School Improvement Status" and must offer alternative school attendance opportunities to students within their schools. If these same schools do not make AYP for three consecutive years, they must offer both alternative school attendance opportunities and opportunities for students to increase their learning outside of school time. If those schools miss AYP for a fourth consecutive year, they are designated as being in "Corrective Action" and must choose among strategies outlined by NCLB. A fifth year of missing AYP results in a restructuring planning year when the school is shut down, and then a sixth year of missing AYP requires that the restructuring plan be implemented. [(nd) [ Frequently asked questions about AYP.] Illinois State Board of Education. Retrieved 6/29/07.]

The option of extending NCLB-required sanctions to non-Title I schools does exist; however, there is little current research indicating the implementation of this practice. [Education Commission of the States. (2004) [ "Indicator 2: Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)"] "Report to the Nation". Author. Retrieved 6/29/07.]

trategies for improving AYP

State Education Agencies across the United States have developed numerous strategies designed to improve AYP. For instance, steps taken by the Georgia Department of Education include new and more rigorous curriculum; the placement of "graduation specialists" in each high school across the state; comprehensive high school redesign focused on rigorous and relevant education, and; integrated technology throughout learning, including the Georgia Virtual School and a free online SAT prep course. [(2006) [ Almost 100 Schools Lose Needs Improvement Label".] Georgia Department of Education. Retrieved 6/29/07.]


Schools across the country are being forced to restructure according to standards dictated by the federal government, rather than local needs. A principal of one such school remarked, "Putting all of the neediest special education students in a few schools seems to create insoluble challenges under No Child Left Behind." Those determinations often come down to the performance of small numbers of students that do not reflect the progress of the whole school. [Marshall, T. (2007) [ "Two views on school grades: Federal reports show progress, but state grades slip at several schools based on FCAT."] "St. Petersburg Times." 6/30/07. Retrieved 6/30/07.]

Criticisms are being met with a series of innovations on the state level. In 2007, the top official of the Ohio Department of Education diagnosed that NCLB "paid no attention to whether students below proficient were making strides, or (those) above proficiency." That state is proposing a more subtle "growth model" that would allow schools to better demonstrate progress without jeopardizing past academic accomplishmentsSeeton, M.G. (2007) [ "State model may change assessment of student progress"] . 6/24/07. Retrieved 6/29/07.] .

The New York State Department of Education is among a group of state education agencies that have voiced support for AYP. [ [ No Child Left Behind] . "Federal Legislation and Educationin New York State 2005". New York State Education Agency. Retrieved 6/7/07.]

ee also

*Education in the United States


External links

* [ Resources on AYP] . Education Commission of the States.
* [ The ABCs of AYP] . Explanation of the NCLB accountability system from The Education Trust

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