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AYP Ratings Delayed Until State Receives Decision on NCLB Waiver Request

Federal accountability ratings known as Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), required as part of the No Child Left Behind Act, are normally released days after state accountability ratings. This year state ratings will be released on August 8, but it is unknown when AYP ratings will be announced.

In February, Education Commissioner Michael Williams submitted a waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education seeking permission to allow Texas to use its own accountability system to satisfy the requirements of AYP. The Texas Education Agency remains in negotiations with the Department of Education and, to date, no decisions about the waiver request have been announced.

In addition, the USDE did not provide a timeline for a final decision on the state's request, so it is not known when school districts can expect to receive information on this year’s AYP requirements.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan testified before Congress that the number of schools not meeting the goals under AYP could double to over 80 percent this year.

Last year in Texas more than 70 percent of all public school districts failed to meet AYP, which required 87 percent of students to pass the state’s reading/English language arts test and 83 percent to pass the math test. Unless the state’s waiver is granted, this year 93 percent of students must pass the state reading/English language arts exam and 92 percent must pass the math test for schools and districts to meet AYP.

"This law is fundamentally broken and we need to fix it this year. We need a common-sense law that strikes the right balance between accountability and flexibility—and the basic problem is that NCLB got it backwards," Duncan said.

Officials have acknowledged that the federal requirements to reach 100 percent proficiency by 2014 is an unrealistic expectation and have already granted 39 states and the District of Columbia a waiver. Texas, however, will remain subject to these standards unless the state’s waiver request is granted.

TASA will continue to keep you informed as more information becomes available.

NCLB waivers sought by TEA include:

  • Waiver of the federal Accountability Performance Targets/Standards Setting Procedures to allow TEA to replace the current Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) calculations and performance targets with the state's robust accountability rating system.

  • Waiver to create a single system of interventions based on accountability results.

  • Waiver to allow school districts to implement school-wide interventions in any of its support, focus, or priority schools, even if those schools do not have a poverty percentage of 40 percent or more.