Frequently Asked Questions
(Adapted form the Colorado Department of Education Web site at www.cde.state.co.us )
This document is also available in PDF format
back to AYP Toolkit
1. What is AYP?
AYP stands for adequate yearly progress. It represents the annual academic performance targets in reading and math that the state, school districts, and schools must reach to be considered on track for 100 percent proficiency by school year 2013-14.
2. Who has to make AYP?
The state, school districts, schools and subgroups of 30 or more for two consecutive years within schools, school districts and the state must make AYP.
The subgroups required by NCLB are
· Racial/Ethnic: Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Native American, Asian/Pacific Islander
· Economically Disadvantaged (students on free or reduced lunch)
· Students with Disabilities (students with Individual Education Plans [IEPs])
· Limited English Proficient students
3. What happens if a Title I school or a school district doesn’t make AYP?
There are no sanctions after one year. However, Title I schools that fail to make AYP for two consecutive years will be placed on School Improvement. In year one of School Improvement, the school must develop an improvement plan and offer school choice. In year two, the school must offer supplemental services in addition to school choice. In year three, the school district must implement one or more corrective actions.
The state must place school districts that fail to make AYP for two consecutive years on Program Improvement. The state must work with the school district to develop an improvement plan that spells out the responsibilities of each. In addition, limits must be placed on how the school district may spend its NCLB funding. If the school district continues to fail to make AYP, the state must take at least one corrective action. In Colorado, the options may be limited to withholding NCLB funds.
4. How can schools and school districts be removed from Improvement status?
By reaching AYP targets for two consecutive years.
5. How does AYP relate to Title 1 schools already placed on improvement?
Under the former version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now enacted as NCLB, Title I schools were required to meet performance targets. If those targets were not met, a school was placed "on improvement" status.
When NCLB was passed, schools "on improvement" were put on hold in order to transition the entire system to the broader reaching NCLB requirements. For example, if a school was in its first year of improvement during the 2001-02 school year, it held its place as a "first year on improvement" school during the 2002-03 school year. No schools were added or taken off the school improvement list as a result of 2003 data.
Schools that were not identified for school improvement under the former system started the 2002-03 school year with a clean slate subject to the new NCLB AYP requirements.
Schools already "on improvement" under the old system will have to make AYP under the new NCLB system for two consecutive years to be taken off that status.
6. What do schools and school districts have to do in order to make AYP?
Schools and school districts must
1. Achieve a 95 percent participation rate in state assessments.
2. Reach targets for either proficiency or reduce non-proficiency.
3. Reach targets for one other indicator ¯ advanced level of performance for elementary and middle schools and graduation rate for high schools.
7. Do schools and school districts have to reach performance targets in both reading and math to make AYP?
Yes, all subgroups with 30 or more students in both 2002 and 2003 must meet the targets (except for the Economically Disadvantaged subgroup as no data was collected in 2001-2002 at the state level). Separate AYP determinations must be made in reading and math. If a school district or school does not reach performance targets in both reading and math for all subgroups, it has not made AYP. However, if the school or district can meet Safe Harbor requirements, discussed in Question 11, it can make AYP.
8. Do all subgroups of 30 or more students have to reach the performance targets in reading and math in order to make AYP?
Yes. However, the law contains a Safe Harbor provision that allows those groups that do not reach proficiency performance targets to make AYP by reducing non-proficiency. Safe Harbor is discussed in more detail in Q#10. All groups must either reach proficiency targets or non-proficiency targets for school districts and schools to make AYP.
9. How were the "starting points" and performance targets established?
The NCLB Act is very prescriptive with regard to how this is to be done – very little flexibility is afforded to states. The same process was used to establish starting points for reading and math.
Starting points were established using a formula based on past CSAP performance. Once the starting points were set, performance targets were established in three-year increments so that all students are proficient by 2013-2014.
10. What students are counted for the purpose of making AYP determinations?
(See Data Elements Table. This table was sent to all school districts and is posted on CDE’s Web site www.cde.state.co.us.)
For schools: Students continuously enrolled in the school for a full academic year for whom there is a CSAP, CSAP-A, or Lectura assessment available at that grade. For example, in a K-5 school, only students in grades 3, 4, and 5 would be counted and only grade 5 students would be counted in math. These students have also been referred to as the 12+ month students. Full academic year is defined as "continuously enrolled from one CSAP administration to the next CSAP administration.”
To account for students enrolled at the transitional grade in a school (e.g., 6th grade or 9th grade) who have not been continuously enrolled in the school since the last CSAP administration, continuously enrolled in the district for 12+ months will be the criterion.
For districts, a full academic year is defined as "continuously enrolled in the district from one CSAP administration to the next CSAP administration.”
Students who have not been continuously enrolled in a school for a full academic year are not included in the equation when determining AYP for that school except, as noted above, when that student is enrolled in the transitional grade of the school.
Students who have not been continuously enrolled in a district for a full academic year are not included in the denominator when determining AYP for that district.
11. What is the Safe Harbor provision?
The state, school districts, schools and each subgroup of 30 or more students for two consecutive years must reach the performance targets for increasing proficiency in reading and math to make AYP. However, there is an exception to that requirement. The state, school districts and schools may still make AYP if each group that fails to reach its proficiency performance targets reduces its percentage of non-proficient students by 10 percent of the previous year's percentage.
12. Must the state, and all school districts, schools and subgroups of 30 or more students for two consecutive years reach the performance targets set for the other indicator in order to make AYP?
Yes. NCLB does not provide for exceptions with regard to other indicators. (i.e. advanced level of performance for elementary and middle schools and graduation rate for high schools.)
For more questions and responses, visit the Colorado Department of Education Web site at www.cde.state.co.us and click on Adequate Yearly Progress, then FAQs.