Adequate Yearly Progress

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Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is the term used in No Child Left Behind to refer to the minimum improvement required of each school and district over the course of one year. It is measured at the school and district levels by:

  • measuring growth in the percentage of students scoring proficient or above in reading and mathematics
  • assessing improvement on the "other academic indicator"
  • testing at least 95% of enrolled students and student subpopulations of sufficient size[1]

Below is a more detailed description of the 3 measurements for Adequate Yearly Progress listed above. These descriptions were copied from the 2007 No Child Left Behind Briefing Packet provided by the Kentucky Department of Education.

Growth in the Percentage of Students Scoring Proficient or Above in Reading and Math

All schools in a grade level have the same Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO). The objectives are expressed as the percent of students at proficient or above, computed separately in reading and in mathematics. The federal goal is for all schools and subpopulations (i.e., race/ethnicity, limited English proficient, free/reduced lunch and students with disabilities) of sufficient size to score at proficient or above by 2014 in both reading and mathematics. For 2007, calculations of AMOs are based on the most recent student performance data. Confidence intervals are based on the same years of data as AMOs.

Improvement on the "Other Academic Indicator"

Besides increasing the percentages of students scoring at proficient or above in reading and mathematics, NCLB requires the use of an “other academic indicator” in determining a school or district’s AYP. In summary, for schools or districts that contain elementary, middle and high school levels, both the CATS accountability classification and graduation rate are used for the other academic indicator. For elementary and middle schools, meeting the requirement for the other academic indicator is defined as a:

  • school classification of Progressing or Meets Goal, OR
  • if in the Assistance category, growth in the accountability index at or above the statewide average for the specific grade-level configuration

NCLB improvement on graduation rate means a graduation rate that:

  • is equal to or greater than the corresponding annual goal, OR
  • exceeds that of the prior year

Testing at Least 95% of Enrolled Students

To meet AYP, the school/district as a whole and each subpopulation of sufficient size must have at least a 95% participation rate. This calculation will be done for reading and mathematics combined. The Participation Rate criterion is 10 students per grade and 60 students overall in grades where NCLB assessments are required. This criterion for calculating Participation Rate was intended to address those situations where students cannot be tested for reasons beyond the control of the school or student, e.g., an unanticipated absence or medical emergency. The criterion was given final approval by the Kentucky Board of Education in December 2003. In addition, recent federal guidance allows Participation Rate to be computed for the current year or as an average over two or three years, whichever results in a 95% Participation Rate.

How Do Schools Not Meet AYP?

There are several ways that a school or school district can fail to make Adequate Yearly Progress:

  • By not meeting the AMO in reading for all students and every subpopulation of sufficient size.
  • Not meeting the AMO in mathematics for all students and every subpopulation of sufficient size.
  • By not improving the "Other Academic Indicator". For elementary and middle school levels, the school/district did not meet the required accountability classification of Progressing (any category) or Meets Goal, or if in Assistance, did not demonstrate growth in the accountability index at or above the state average for the specific grade-level configuration. At the high school level, the school/district did not meet the graduation rate annual goal or improve graduation rate.


  1. 2007 No Child Left Behind Briefing Packet