AYP stands for "Adequate Yearly Progress," and it is one of the key elements of the No Child Left Behind Act. One of the goals of No Child Left Behind is to ensure that all children are "proficient" according to state standards. To achieve this goal, all public schools must make adequate progress each year towards proficiency and meet AYP target goals.
AYP goals vary according to state, but they all aim towards 100% proficiency. Typically, states begin by only requiring about 20% proficiency the first year, increasing the requirements each subsequent year.
Proficiency is determined through the use of standardized testing in math, reading, and science. 95% of all students must participate in the testing. Regular testing is required for math and reading every year during grades 3-8 and once during grades 10-12, as well as once per period for science during grades 3-5, grades 6-9, and grades 10-12. The results of such tests may be broken up into categories of: children with disabilities, children with limited English proficiency, children who are racial minorities, and children from low-income families. Those categories must have greater than 30 students in them in order to make sure that the schools are meeting the needs of all students.
In addition to test scores alone, AYP is also based on other factors such as:
- Class attendance rates
- Graduation rates
The No Child Left Behind Act creates a variety of consequences for schools that repeatedly fail to meet AYP standards. These consequences include:
- Identifying a school as "needing improvement"
- Requiring a school to offer students the opportunity to transfer to another school within the district if the school has failed to meet AYP standards for 2 consecutive years
- Requiring schools that have failed to meet AYP standards for 3 years in a row to offer "supplemental services" such as tutoring for students
- Requiring schools that have failed to meet AYP standards for 5 years to take "tough corrective action" such as replacing teachers or extending the school year
If you have questions about AYP, or if you are concerned that your child’s school is not meeting AYP standards, you may want to contact a government lawyer. A lawyer will be able to clarify the No Child Left Behind Act and how it relates to AYP standards, as well as inform you of your rights and the rights of your child to an adequate education.