California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II

Adequate yearly progress (AYP)

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, ESEA, (Outside Source) (also known as No Child Left Behind, NCLB) measures the academic success of a school or local educational agency (LEA) according to how well it meets common performance targets—reported in terms of adequate yearly progress (AYP). NCLB requires that all schools or LEAs of the same type must meet the same academic achievement levels statewide, and schools must make their AYP targets for all numerically significant subgroups.

Under federal requirements, the Academic Performance Index (API) is one of the indicators for AYP performance targets, but the use of the API differs in state and federal criteria. Under California requirements, a school must increase its API score by 5 percent of the difference between the school API and 800 or maintain a score of 800 or above. Under federal requirements, a middle school or local educational agency must have a minimum API of 590 or have at least one point growth in the schoolwide API in addition to numerous other federal AYP targets.

In the Spotlight

Robert A. Milikan Middle School, Los Angeles Unified School District, a 2005 California Schools to Watch™-Taking Center Stage Model School
In spite of serving a diverse student population (2,098 students; 42.16 percent in poverty, 18 percent English learners, and five statistically significant student subgroups for accountability purposes: African-American, Asian, Filipino, Hispanic or Latino, and Pacific Islander), Millikan Middle made AYP in all 29 of its targets in the 2005-06 school year. The school supported rigorous academic course work with a fine arts program and with extensive use of technology, field trips, and project-based learning. In addition, the school supported healthy adolescent development through the following strategies:

  1. Team collaboration used in an Intervention Pyramid to identify at-risk students and provided focused support in helping those students achieve proficiency in grade-level content standards.
  2. Special-interest groups (for example, Impact, Innocence, peer mediation teams, the Rainbow Council, and others) provided social–emotional support and assisted students in developing their own identity and resolving disputes and disagreements through discussion.
  3. There were collaborative working relationships between special education and regular education students and teachers to ensure inclusion is equitable and successful.
  4. Student voice and accomplishment were valued and recognized through a variety of activities sponsored by Millikan’s student leadership organization.


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The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind) yearly benchmark accountability system

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