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ERIC Number: EJ763295
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Inadequate Yearly Progress: Unlocking the Secrets of NCLB
Hoxby, Caroline M.
Education Next, v5 n3 p46-51 Sum 2005
As almost everyone knows by now, the central aim of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law is to make every public-school student proficient in reading and math by the year 2014. It is a laudable goal, as the overwhelmingly bipartisan congressional support for the legislation in 2001 proved. The law's drafters even had the foresight to know that fixing the deficits in student proficiency would be accomplished within the allotted time only if "each State" established "a timeline for adequate yearly progress" (AYP) that would steadily close the gap between current levels of performance and the ideal proficiency level each state established. Accordingly, AYP toward proficiency on the part of every student became the heart and soul of NCLB. Unfortunately, however, four years into the life of the law--and fewer than 10 years from 2014--there are signs of an irregular heartbeat. Though NCLB is absolutely correct in insisting that schools make measurable improvements on the way to the 2014 goal, those responsible for implementing the legislation have yet to find the best way of giving concrete meaning to each of the key words: proficiency, adequate, progress, every, yearly. In this essay, the author suggests five relatively easy ways of giving operational meaning to these important terms that are designed to fill the worst potholes on the current road. They can be implemented without new legislation, are respectful of the autonomy of the states, and are fairly easy for schools to understand. Just as important, they will neither penalize schools unfairly nor dilute NCLB goals and objectives. (Contains 1 figure.)
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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