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No Educator Left Behind:
State Accountability, AYP

No Educator Left Behind is a series providing answers from the U.S. Department of Education to questions about the federal No Child Left Behind Act and how it will affect educators. If you have a question about No Child Left Behind, send an e-mail to Ellen Delisio, and we will submit your question to the Department of Education.


How is it possible for a school to be rated highly under a pre-existing state accountability system, yet fail to meet AYP under NCLB?


Most state accountability systems that existed prior to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act looked at student achievement in the aggregate. This allowed the high scores of some students to mask the fact that many poor and minority students were being left behind. Achievement gaps between disadvantaged students and their peers were hidden from the view of parents and taxpayers.

Now that NCLB requires student assessment results to be disaggregated by subgroups, it is easier for parents and teachers to identify achievement gaps, and schools can better target their resources in order to assist underperforming subgroups.

Read previous questions and answers in our No Educator Left Behind archive.