The goal of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is to have every student achieve proficiency in reading, math and science by the year 2014. Every year, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) assesses the progress each school is making toward reaching this goal. The measurement used to determine whether schools are on track to meet this goal is Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). The AYP measurement is generated using the results of the annual Minnesota Comprehensive Achievement (MCAs) exams. For more information on the calculation, reference the No Questions Left Behind document. If you want to learn more about a specific district's or school's performance on AYP and other measurements, visit the Data Center link provided.
Schools that receive federal Title I funding based on the percentage of their students living in poverty are required to take certain steps when they do not make AYP. These schools are required to offer parents and students options aimed at improving their chances of receiving a quality education. These options include transferring to another school or receiving extra tutoring help. MDE also provides support to schools not making AYP so they can improve.
In 2011, Minnesota requested a waiver to NCLB that will have a major impact on the way schools are held accountable for their performance. If approved, Minnesota’s waiver request would replace the goal of universal proficiency by 2014 with the goal of reducing the achievement gap within six years. It would also eliminate the sanctions related to not making AYP and replace them with a new accountability and school improvement system that uses multiple measurements, including student growth, to identify low-performing schools that need state support as well as high-performing schools deserving recognition. If you want to learn more about Minnesota’s waiver request, visit the Federal Title Programs section under the School Support tab of the website.