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There may be some important unintended consequences if states do not go beyond the "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) requirement of the No Child Left Behind Act. Analyses of data from states in which accountability systems in place have been based on the percentage of students reaching a certain proficiency level suggest that many educators have responded to the pressures of raising the percent proficient by choosing to focus their instruction on students closest to meeting the proficiency standards. In the long run, such a strategy may be a detriment to meeting AYP in future grades. Students at the lower end of the achievement spectrum may fall further behind; higher achieving students who experience suppressed growth will profile closer to the proficient/nonproficient cut point. This is but one of the many reasons states should go beyond AYP to set a growth standard with a value-added assessment system. The paper outlines test data requirements for a robust value-added assessment system and statistical criteria for such a system. (SLD)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Accountability, Achievement Gains, Educational Change, Educational Legislation, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Legislation, State Programs

Autor: Sanders, William L.


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