No Child Left Behind: Adequate Yearly Progress

No Child Left Behind Fact Sheet 2: Adequate YearlyProgress (AYP)

No Child Left Behind requires that public schools meet adequate yearly progress in reading, math, and science by 2007-2008. In New Jersey, AYP is measured by reading, math (and eventually science) tests, elementary attendance rates, and graduation rates. Beginning in 2002-03, schools must administer tests in each of three grade spans: grades 3-5, grades 6-9, and grades 10-12 in all schools. By 2005-06, tests must be administered annually in grades 3 through 8 and once in grades 10-12. Beginning in the 2007-08, science achievement must also be tested. In their accountability reports, schools must provide the results of these measures for the entire school as well as disaggregated information for certain subgroups of the school’s population: racial/ethnic, income, limited English proficiency, students with disabilities.

There are two requirements for a school to achieve AYP:

  • At least 95% of students in each subgroup enrolled at the school must be tested.
  • Each school and subgroup of students must meet the state’s annual measurable objectives.

Preliminary starting points (and incremental progress) have been determined to be as follows in New Jersey:

Grade 2003 2005 2008 2011 2014
Language Arts 4 68 75 82 91 100
8 58 66 76 87 100
11 73 79 85 92 100
Math 4 53 62 73 85 100
8 39 49 62 79 100
11 55 64 74 86 100

If any sub-group misses the participation or proficiency rate, the school will be identified as a low-performing school (this is a warning year, so sanctions will not apply)


  • If a school does not show AYP for two consecutive years, it will be found in need of improvement and will receive technical assistance from the district. At this point, it must offer students the option to transfer to a better public school within the district.
  • If a school does not show AYP for three consecutive years, in addition to offering the option to transfer, the school must offer supplemental educational services.
  • If the school does not improve after four consecutive years, the district will implement corrective actions, including the possible removal of staff and implementation of a new curriculum (the option to transfer and supplemental services are still required).
  • If the school does not improve after five consecutive years, it will be identified for restructuring. This could include state takeover, significant changes in leadership, or conversion to a charter school (the option to transfer and supplemental services are still required).

Important Notes and Exceptions:

  • If there are less than 20 students in a sub-group, their results are not counted in the school’s accountability reports.
  • If students have been at the school for less than one year, their results are not counted in the school’s accountability reports.
  • Safe Harbor: If students in a subgroup fail to meet the proficiency requirement, the school can still make AYP if the percentage of students not meeting AYP in that specific subgroup decreased by at least 10 percent from the previous school year.
  • Students with disabilities who are moved from their neighborhood school to receive services at other schools will be included in their home school’s accountability process.
  • Students with disabilities must be assessed with accommodations or an Alternative Proficiency Assessment (APA)

Important Information about Private Schools and AYP:

Private schools, including private schools with Title I students, are not required to participate in a state’s annual academic assessments under No Child Left Behind. If a private school has students who receive Title I services, the local education agency (LEA) must consult with private school officials about how the LEA will annually assess the Title I participants and how the LEA will use the results of this assessment to improve Title I services.

This fact sheet was created with information from the New Jersey Department of Education’s presentation, Framework for Accountability for New Jersey Districts and Schools. Available: