A Guide to Education and No Child Left Behind
October 2004
Archived Information

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Terms To Know

Adequate Yearly Progress: Under No Child Left Behind, each state establishes a definition of "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) to use each year to determine the achievement of each school district and school. States are to identify for improvement any Title I school that does not meet the state's definition of adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years.

Participation Rate: In order to make "adequate yearly progress" (AYP), schools must demonstrate that at least 95 percent of all students participated in the state assessment at each grade. This requirement must be met for all students in a school and for subgroups of those students defined by race/ethnicity, poverty level, disability, and English language proficiency.

Disaggregation: To ensure that children who are performing poorly are not lost in averages of achievement results, each state must report the performance of various subgroups if the subgroup is large enough for statistical reliability as determined by the state.

Highly Qualified Teacher: To be deemed highly qualified, teachers must have: 1) a bachelor's degree, 2) full state certification or licensure, and 3) demonstrated competency in each subject they teach.

Demonstration of Competency: New elementary school teachers have to pass a state test on subject knowledge and teaching skills. Teachers in middle and high school must prove that they know the subjects they teach by passing a state test in their subjects, completing an academic major or coursework equivalent to a major in their subjects, or by receiving an advanced degree or advanced certification/credential. Experienced teachers may also prove competency through HOUSSE (see below).

High, Objective, Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE): NCLB allows states to develop an additional way for current teachers to demonstrate subject-matter competency and meet highly qualified teacher requirements. Proof may consist of a combination of teaching experience, professional development, and knowledge in the subject garnered over time in the profession.

We should think big thoughts and have high expectations. The American school system must become and remain the best in the world. We need all of our students to excel, not just some. The president wants to raise all schools to the highest levels of scholarship and motivation. The essential first step is the No Child Left Behind law, because it makes education more inclusive, fair, and successful.

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Last Modified: 03/08/2006