NCLB Spells Trouble for Some Schools, But Not Others

January 06, 2009 1 min read

Thanks to my colleagues on our in-house research team, we know a lot more about the AYP status of schools and districts in the 2007-08 school year. Here are three pieces of data that stand out from the story I wrote and that appeared online before my holiday break:

1.) More than a third of schools failed to make AYP in the 2007-08 school year, up by 7 percentage points from the previous year. 2.) Eighteen percent of schools are in school improvement, meaning they've missed AYP for one or more years. That's a jump of just 2 percentage points. 3.) Four percent of schools are in the fifth year or later in the restructuring process. That's double number of the previous year.

If you look at the first point, you might surmise that the percentage of schools not making AYP will continue to rise in coming years.

But the second point suggests something else: Many schools that enter the AYP process are escaping it. Chad Aldeman suggests “safe harbor” is giving them an escape hatch. That may be true, but our research team didn’t collect data on whether schools are making AYP based by meeting their annual measurable objective or safe harbor goals. (For more about why Charlie Barone believes safe harbor will save schools from the goal of universal proficiency, see here.)

And the third point suggests that the most troubled schools are having a hard time meeting their AYP goals—with or without safe harbor. Alexander Russo isn’t troubled by those numbers in rather complimentary post.

For more, you can read the story I wrote based on the data. It comes with three state-by-state tables with data.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.