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ERIC Number: EJ759560
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep-21
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
AYP Rules Miss Many in Special Education: More Students Left out of Accountability Ratings
Olson, Lynn
Education Week, v25 n4 p1, 24-25 Sep 2005
More special education students are being excluded from federal accountability provisions, driving up the number of public schools able to make adequate yearly progress and raising questions about the pledge to "leave no child behind." To make adequate progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, public schools and districts need to meet annual targets for the percent of students scoring at least at the proficient level on state tests. That goes both for their student populations as a whole and for certain subgroups, including students who are poor, speak limited English, are members of racial or ethnic minorities, or have disabilities. But a yet-to-be-published analysis, based on test score data in five states, found that more than 80 percent of schools that made AYP under the federal law in 2003 or 2004 did so without having to meet standards of proficiency for their special education students as a separate subgroup. And one of the biggest reasons, according to the study by the Dover, N.H.-based Center for Assessment, is the threshold sizes states are setting before a subgroup counts in calculating AYP. Furthermore, the study by the assessment center, a nonprofit group that works with states to improve testing and accountability systems, used actual state test data from five unnamed states and then modeled what the impact on schools' AYP status would be using different subgroup sizes. The study found that when the minimum subgroup size approached 60 students, almost 100 percent of schools in all five states were able to "pass" AYP without the performance of special education students being taken into account as a separate group. Most states report subgroup performance, including that of students with disabilities, once the number of students exceeds between 10 and 20.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001