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October 23, 2003, Extra Credit
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October 23, 2003
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New Report Shows No Child Left Behind's Adequate Yearly Progress System Is Working

Earlier this month, The Education Trust released a report—"What New 'AYP' Information Tells Us About Schools, States, and Public Education"—describing how the No Child Left Behind adequate yearly progress system "is having positive effects by focusing attention on the goal of holding all schools within a state to the same standards of student achievement and bringing urgent attention to achievement gaps between different groups of students."

Following is the complete text of the authors' introduction and a link to the full report:

"This year, for the first time, every state is required to identify which schools have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). There are now consistent goals for student achievement that apply to all schools and all students within each state. The message is clear: schools and districts will no longer be considered successful unless they successfully teach all groups of students. Ask parents and voters, and they'll tell you that's just how they want it.

"The Education Trust has collected and analyzed much of the initial AYP data that has been released so far. What does this new AYP data tell us? It tells us that the AYP process that forms the heart of the accountability system is working. It is providing more——and more accurate——information about school and student performance than we've ever had before. It is identifying shockingly large achievement gaps in schools that were previously designated by their states as 'successful.' It is recognizing the good work of previously low-performing schools that have made significant progress in raising achievement for disadvantaged children. And it is demonstrating——once again——that demography is not destiny, that schools educating large numbers of low income and minority students are capable of not only meeting state standards for achievement, but of vastly exceeding them.

"In short, the AYP system is doing what it was meant to do: shining a bright light on the state of achievement in America, identifying schools that need improvement, and allowing us to take important steps toward closing achievement gaps and having all students proficient in reading and math over the coming decade."

The complete text of the report is available online.

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About Extra Credit
NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

If you would like the NCLB Extra Credit emailed to you, please send a request to Geoff Goodman at NoChildLeftBehindUpdate@ed.gov or call (202) 205-9191.

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Last Modified: 10/23/2003