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No Child Left Behind (page 2)

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Selected Quick Facts: The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act  of 2001

Accountability for Results

  • Creation of state assessments to measure what children know and learn
  • Annual report cards on school performance allowing parents to know about the quality of the children's schools, the qualifications of teachers, and progress in key subjects
  • Statewide performance reports disaggregated according to race, gender, and other relevant criteria to assess closing of the achievement gap

Expanding Options for Parents

  • Parents with children in failing schools allowed to transfer child to a better-performing public or charter school
  • Title I funds available for supplemental educational programs (e.g., tutoring, after-school services, summer school) for children in failing schools
  • Expanded federal support for charter schools

Strengthening Teacher Quality

  • A highly qualified teacher in ever public school classroom by 2005

How Do We Determine AYP?

A major component of NCLB is ensuring that states meet clearly defined goals for teaching all students to predetermined standards. Adequate yearly progress(AYP) involves setting specific benchmarks for the percentage of students who demonstrate proficiency on tests of language arts and math. How is this done? According to the Education Trust (2004), AYP for individual schools is determined through the following five-step process:

  • States determine what students should know and be able to do. Each state adopts or designs standardized tests of language arts and math and then sets proficiency scores for students in grades three through eight.
  • A starting point is calculated. Because NCLB recognizes that proficiency for all students will take time, states are to set baseline levels of performance in reading and math that are the greater of the following two calculations: the percentage of students proficient in the lowest-performing group of students in the state or the percentage proficient at the 20th percentile of student enrollment in the state.
  • Specific targets of yearly progress are set for all groups of students. Using the baseline data, yearly targets reflecting the goals of increasing proficiency rates are set for all groups of students. Targeted increases must be in equal increments, culminating in 100% in 2014.
  • Measure the performance of students and schools. There are two ways to determine if a school has met its yearly AYP. Regular AYP is achieved if the school as a whole and the subgroups within the school meet or exceed the specific targets described in Step 3. However, if the school doesn't meet these goals, it is still possible for a school to meet AYP by making significant year-to-year progress. "Safe Harbor" AYP allows a school to meet standards if the percent of students who are not proficient decreases by 10% from the previous year.
  • Steps are taken to help students in schools not making AYP. If, after two years, a school does not make AYP, parents are given the opportunity to transfer students to a higher-performing school. If the school fails in the next year, tutoring and supplemental educational services are available to students. After four years of failing to meet AYP, the school has a choice of corrective actions, including replacement of staff, new curricula, and the imposition of an extended school year. If this doesn't work, the school is required to develop and implement an alternative governance plan.
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