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Adequate Yearly Progress

Adequate yearly progress, or AYP, is a key provision of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. AYP refers to the growth needed in the proportion of students who achieve state standards of academic proficiency. A state's definition of AYP primarily is based on the state's academic assessments. The definition of AYP must also include graduation rates for high schools and an additional indicator for middle and elementary schools. The AYP also will be based on separate reading-language arts and math achievement objectives.

The new definition of AYP is diagnostic in nature and intended to highlight where schools need improvement and should focus their resources.

States may calculate AYP for a school using up to three consecutive years of data, but if a state chooses to average data over two or three years, it must still determine whether a school or district made AYP each year. For a school to make AYP, each subgroup and the school overall must make AYP, and the school must test at least 95 percent of students, including 95 percent of each subgroup. Schools must report all results by subgroup, but if the number of students in a group won't produce statistically reliable results, the state need not identify the school as not making AYP based on the subgroup results.

Schools that receive federal Title I funds to improve learning among disadvantaged children and fail to make AYP for two years in a row are considered in need of improvement and face a range of consequences.



  • No Educator Left Behind: Whose Standards?
  • No Educator Left Behind: Improvement


    U.S. Department of EducationAdequate Yearly Progress
    Information from the U.S. Department of Education on issues relating to adequate yearly progress, including calculating participation rates and strategies for making AYP.

    ECS: No Child Left BehindAdequate Yearly Progress
    The Education Commission of the States offers this database on adequate yearly progress.

    Georgia Department of Education: Adequate Yearly ProgressThe Basics.
    A description of adequate yearly progress and how Georgia is addressing the requirement.

    Article by Ellen R. Delisio
    Education World®
    Copyright © 2005 Education World