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No Child Left BehindAdequate Yearly ProgressSelected Research & Readings (Additional Resources)
 
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 ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS
 
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Measuring Adequate Yearly Progress: What "Other" Indicators Count Besides Reading and Math? PDF - NCLB calls for one "other" academic indicator to count toward the calculation of AYP. At the high school level that indicator was the graduation rate. At the elementary and middle school levels, states could select any additional measure. This ECS StateNote hopes to deepen that understanding by raising awareness of each state’s "other" academic indicator and its accompanying target. (Dinah Frey, Education Commission of the States, October 2010)...

NCLB: Implications for Early Learning PDF - The goal of this brief is twofold: (1) to inform early learning educators and policymakers better about specific NCLB components, and (2) to begin to discern what implications – both positive and negative – NCLB holds for the early learning field. It includes sections on adequate yearly progress, highly qualified teachers, and reading and literacy. (Kristie Kauerz and Jessica McMaken, Education Commission of the States, June 2004)...

Accountability Systems: Ramifications of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 MS Word - The new Elementary and Secondary Education Act requires states to demonstrate that students are making academic progress as evidenced by annual gains in test scores. States have some flexibility in defining adequate yearly progress (AYP), but their definitions must be based on academic indicators, be technically rigorous and apply to school, district and state levels of progress. These ambitious goals will present significant challenges to states as they attempt to implement the new accountability requirements. (Robert L. Linn, Eva L. Baker, Damian W. Betebenner, Education Commission of the States, May 2002)...

Accountability Incentives: Do Schools Practice Educational Triage? - Increasingly frequent journalistic accounts report that schools are responding to NCLB by engaging in what has come to be known as “educational triage.” Although these accounts rely almost entirely on anecdotal evidence, the prospect is of real concern. To search for evidence of educational triage, the author analyzed three years of test-score and other data on 300,000 students in public schools in a western state. (Matthew Springer, Education Next, Winter 2008)...

Failing or Succeeding Schools: How Can We Tell? - This report summarizes how the United States arrived at the state and federal accountability systems now in use. The report argues that "slip-sliding into our current accountability requirements has resulted in a system so flawed that it fails in its basic job of identifying which schools are ineffective and which are effective." Not only does this fall short of the intentions of state and federal laws, but it leads to misidentifications with huge consequences for schools, teachers and students. The author offers an alternative approach. (Paul E. Barton, American Federation of Teachers, October 2006) ...

No Child Left Behind Act: Education Could Do More to Help States Better Define Graduation Rates and Improve Knowledge about Intervention Strategies - The No Child Left Behind Act requires states to use graduation rates to measure how well students are educated. To assess the accuracy of states' rates, this report examines: (1) the graduation rate definitions states use and how the U.S. department of education (DOE) helped states meet legal requirements, (2) the factors that affect the accuracy of the states' rates and the U.S. DOE of education's role in ensuring accurate data and (3) interventions with the potential to increase graduation rates and how the U.S. DOE enhanced and disseminated knowledge of intervention research. (U.S. Government Accountability Office, September 2005)...

Conflicting Demands of No Child Left Behind and State Systems: Mixed Messages about School Performance - The demands of individual state accountability systems and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) fail to align, causing schools that meet NCLB’s adequate yearly progress (AYP) in some cases to not make their own state accountability measures – and vice versa – sending mixed messages about the actual performance of the school. This paper argues that unless the current goal of 100% proficiency is not modified, NCLB turn into “No School Succeeding.” To avoid labeling all schools as failures, significant changes in NCLB accountability requirements are needed, perhaps the most important of which would be making the achievement goal more obtainable. Also discussed are the additional hurdles diverse schools face in making AYP compared to more homogenous schools. (Robert L. Linn, Education Policy Analysis Archives, June 2005)...

Okay to be Different? MS Word PDF - Differences in how states calculate adequate yearly progress (AYP) - mandated by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act - abound. NCLB requires the main indicators to be student performance on academic assessments, but the designated "other indicator" also contributes to determining AYP, and the indicator chosen varies across the states. For elementary and middle schools, most states have selected attendance as the other indicator, although states calculate attendance differently. This article presents examples of how attendance rates are calculated as well as examples of states not using attendance as the other measure. For high schools, NCLB requires states to use the graduation rate, and this article discusses the range of goals for graduation-rate targets across the states. (Kathy Christie, Phi Delta Kappan, February 2005. Reprinted with permission.)...

How Feasible is Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)? Simulations of School AYP "Uniform Averaging" and "Safe Harbor" under the No Child Left Behind Act - No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requires that schools make "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) towards the goal of having 100 percent of students become proficient by year 2013-14. Through simulation analyses of Maine and Kentucky school performance data collected during the 1990s, this study investigates how feasible schools would have met the AYP targets if the mandate had been applied in the past with "uniform averaging" (rolling averages) and "safe harbor" options that have potential to help reduce the number of schools needing improvement or corrective action. Contrary to some expectations, the applications of both options would do little to reduce the risk of massive school failure due to unreasonably high AYP targets for all student groups. Implications of the results for the NCLB school accountability system and possible ways to make the current AYP more feasible and fair are discussed. (Jaekyung Lee, Education Policy Analysis Archives, April 2004)...

No Child Left Behind: The Mathematics of Guaranteed Failure - The author examines the variables he believes render the attainment of NCLB's noble goals unrealistic. He explains the method of calculating district adequate yearly progress and projects consequences using Indiana in a hypothetical situation. He also finds that almost every school and district in the state would eventually be penalized for underperformance under NCLB. In conclusion, at best, NCLB will not better education or help low-performing students, and, at worst, will create obstacles to the school improvement systems and positive change already in progress in the states. The other articles in this issue of Educational Horizons also deal with NCLB. (Lowell C. Rose, Educational Horizons, Pi Lambda Theta, Winter 2004)...

Grading the Systems: The Guide to State Standards, Tests, and Accountability Policies - The authors examine how 30 states measure up to six criteria of a solid accountability system: (1) student knowledge and skills standards, (2) test content, (3) alignment between standards and tests, (4) rigor of the tests, (5) technical trustworthiness and opennness of the tests, and (6) accountability policies (both before and after implementation of policies required by the No Child Left Behind Act). The authors found that while standards were rated as 2.9 (on a 5-point scale) in the national average, test content, alignment to standards and trustworthiness and openness rated slightly higher on a national average. Accountability policies jumped a full point from before to after NCLB – to 3.7, but test rigor received the weakest national average rating, at 2.4. (Edited by Richard W. Cross, Theodor Rebarber and Justin Torres; Foreword by Chester E. Finn, Jr., AccountabilityWorks and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, January 2004)...

Individual Growth and School Success - The authors use assessment results for individual schools in Indiana to make the case that annual growth in student achievement, rather than absolute achievement alone, must be a consideration in determining school performance. They point out the limitations of the adequate yearly progress (AYP) model currently used as the accountability mechanism in No Child Left Behind, namely: (1) the strong correlation between “snapshot” analyses of student performance and student demographics; (2) the inability of AYP to measure the growth of students far below or far above standard; (3) the inability to prove that students moving to schools with higher test scores indeed receive a better education; and (4) the need to examine the results of high-performing schools to establish viable goals. A “hybrid model” is proposed as a more effective method of measuring school effectiveness. An executive summary also is available. (Free registration is required to view the full report.) (Martha S. McCall, G. Gage Kingsbury and Allan Olson, Northwest Evaluation Association, April 2004)...

Counting High School Graduates when Graduates Count: Measuring Graduation Rates under the High Stakes of NCLB - Schools are required to report high school graduation rates under the accountability provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). This report lays forth the underlying complexities of determining these rates, and weighs the advantages and limitations of four models for calculating graduation rates: the longitudinal graduation rate, the NCES high school completion rate, the Greene Method (Cohort Graduation Rates) and the cumulative promotion index (CPI). The authors do not "endorse or advise against using particular high school completion indicators." However, by using three of the different models to calculate estimated 1999-2000 graduation rates for states and the 100 largest school districts in America, they clearly show that the Greene and CPI methods yield varying graduation rates, while the researchers could not apply the NCES indicator in many states and districts due to a lack of calculable data. See this summary of the researchers' findings. (Christopher B. Swanson and Duncan Chaplin, The Urban Institute, February 2003)...

Assessing the Definition of "Adequate Yearly Progress" in the House and Senate Education Bills - Although this report was published in 2001, the observations gleaned from North Carolina and Texas assessment data are still germane. The authors warn that: (1) test scores are, by their nature, given to fluctuation; (2) nearly every school in North Carolina and Texas would not have made adequate yearly progress at least once between 1994-1999; and (3) racially diverse schools are at significantly greater risk of failing to meet adequate yearly progress. The researchers recommend ways policymakers can ensure the fairness of the proposed federal test-based accountability program. (Thomas J. Kane, Hoover Institution and UCLA; Douglas O. Staiger, Dartmouth College; and Jeffrey Geppert, National Bureau of Economic Research; July 15, 2001)...

Reliability of No Child Left Behind Accountability Designs - This paper reviews the requirements of No Child Left Behind accountability designs, examines the reliability of such designs, presents a series of issues for states to consider in the development of their designs, and provides recommendations for making valid and reliable judgments about schools in an NCLB environment. (Richard K. Hill and Charles A. DiPascale, The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, February 2003)...

Secretary of Education's Letter on Adequate Yearly Progress - Secretary of Education Rod Paige issued a letter on July 24, 2002, that clarifies the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act. The letter also describes the flexibility provided to states and districts under the AYP provision. (U.S. Department of Education, July 2002) ...

Rewarding Schools Based on Gains: It’s All in How You Calculate the Index and Set the Target - The authors identify three core elements of an accountability system: (1) the index or scale used to rate school performance for accountability purposes; (2) the target, or those index values that determine a school’s status or rating in the accountability system; and (3) positive or negative consequences, such as rewards or sanctions. This report uses multiyear data from California schools to model the effects of using different formulas to calculate school growth and eligibility for rewards. It concludes that small differences in formulas have considerable effects on how schools are rated and which are eligible for rewards. The report is available at no charge from RAND: toll free 1-877-584-8642 or P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138. (Brian Stecher and Jeremy Arkes, RAND, April 2001) ...


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