Publications & Resources

Children Left Behind In AYP and Non-AYP Schools: Using Student Progress and the Distribution Of Student Gains to Validate AYP

Sep 2004

Kilchan Choi, Michael Seltzer, Joan Herman and Kyo Yamashiro

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB, 2002) establishes ambitious goals for increasing student learning and attaining equity in the distribution of student performance. Schools must assure that all students, including all significant subgroups, show adequate yearly progress toward the goal of 100% proficiency by the year 2014. In this paper, we wish to illustrate an alternative way of measuring AYP that both emphasizes individual student growth over time, and focuses on the distribution of student growth between performance subgroups. We do so through analyses of a longitudinal dataset from an urban school district in Washington. We also examine what these patterns tell us about schools that meet their AYP targets and those that do not. This alternative way of measuring AYP helps bring to light potentially important aspects of school performance that might be masked if we limit our focus to classifying schools based only on current AYP criteria. In particular, we are able to identify some schools meeting the Washington state criteria for AYP, for example, that have above average students making substantial progress but below average students making little to no progress. In contrast, other schools making AYP have below average students making adequate progress but above average students making little gains. These contrasts raise questions about the meaning of “adequate” progress and to whom the notion of progress is referring. We believe that closely examining the distribution of student progress may provide an important supplementary or alternative measure of AYP.

Choi, K., Seltzer, M., Herman, J., & Yamashiro, K. (2004). Children left behind in AYP and non-AYP schools: Using student progress and the distribution of student gains to validate AYP (CSE Report 637). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).