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Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)

AYP was initially established as the accountability measure for Title I schools and districts in the 1994 reauthorization of the ESEA of 1965. At that time each state was required to develop its own formula based on state assessments. The reauthorization of Title I in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 made significant changes in the AYP requirements in order to create a more consistent approach to AYP across all states. This also required changing the focus of the results of AYP. States began working more closely with schools identified for improvement and offering additional educational options to their students.


What was AYP?

Each objective and the methods used to determine if each objective had been met are described below.

AYP Objectives

Graduation or Attendance — Elementary and middle schools must have an attendance rate of at least 85% or show growth over the prior year. High schools that graduate students must have graduation rates of at least 85% or show an increase of at least 2% over the prior year.

Test Participation — 95% of all students enrolled in the tested grade(s) during the testing window must participate in the Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS), which includes the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations (WKCE) and the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities (WAA-SwD). The test participation objective is met using the current year’s participation rate or a two-year average.

Reading — A school or district must achieve a proficiency index of 87%.

Mathematics — A school or district must achieve a proficiency index of 79%.


The Test Participation, Reading, and Mathematics objectives above apply to all students in the tested grades and to subgroups of sufficient size. The subgroups include five major ethnic groups, students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and economically disadvantaged students.

AYP calculations were based on WSAS reading and mathematics achievement levels as compared to Wisconsin's annual measurable objectives (AMO). These annual measurable objectives were based on actual achievement levels of Wisconsin students in the 2001-02 school year. While they increase over time, the same annual measurable objectives apply to all districts, schools, and student groups in the Wisconsin public school system. The goal of NCLB was that all students are proficient in Reading and Mathematics by 2013-14.

Annual Measurable Objectives for Reading and Mathematics


Required Proficiency Index Rate

Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO)





Starting Point










Intermediate Goal
(Begin new 3-8 tests)










Intermediate Goal










Intermediate Goal





How was AYP calculated?

A proficiency index was calculated by assigning one point for each full academic year (FAY) student who scored in the Proficient or Advanced categories on the WSAS plus one-half point for each student scoring in the Basic category. The total points were divided by the total number of FAY students tested to calculate the proficiency index.

In Reading and Mathematics, a confidence interval may have been applied to the AYP calculation. A confidence interval increased consistency of accountability decisions similar to the margin of error associated with an opinion poll.

The Reading and Mathematics objectives also included Safe Harbor provisions for those missing the annual AYP objective. Safe Harbor allowed a school or district to demonstrate growth by showing a 10% reduction in the percent of students scoring below proficient (in the Basic/Minimal range) and reaching the criteria for another academic indicator: graduation, attendance or science. When there was a decrease in the non-proficient percentage, a confidence interval was also applied to Safe Harbor calculations.

How were AYP decisions used?

State and federal laws required the publication of school and district performance reports, and the identification of schools and districts that do not make AYP. Schools that missed the same AYP objective for two consecutive years were identified for improvement, and must begin a school improvement process that includes writing a school improvement plan. In addition, the school was required to offer parents the opportunity to send their child to another higher-performing school in the district. District AYP determinations were based on the aggregate of all students at each grade span: elementary, middle, and high school. Districts that missed the same objective at all three grade spans for two consecutive years were identified as in need of improvement. Schools and districts identified for improvement face federal sanctions if they received Title I funds.

How was AYP reported?

Summary AYP reports were available for each Wisconsin school and district as well as examples and technical details.

Schools Identified for Improvement (SIFI) in Wisconsin Districts - View the number and percentage of schools in each district that are identified for school improvement under section 1116(c) and how long the schools have been so identified by years of testing 2002-032003-042004-052005-062006-072007-082008-092009-102010-11.

District and school AYP reports, Annual Review of School/District Performance are available electronically on the Online Reporting System (ORS). The district assessment coordinators have passwords to access this site.

Only districts/schools that are in one or more of the following four categories will be notified in writing of their preliminary AYP status:

  • Missed AYP in the current year
  • Are identified for improvement at the school or district
  • Missed AYP in a prior school year and have now met AYP in all areas, or
  • Were identified for improvement previously and are now in satisfactory status.

Wisconsin School Performance Report (SPR) - Wisconsin Student Assessment System - View proficiency summary reports for any school or district you choose. Subjects covered by the Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) include reading and mathematics at grade three through eight and ten, and language arts, science, and social studies at grades four, eight, and ten. On-line proficiency summary reports are provided in table format by gender, race, and other student groups.

State and Local Report Card Requirements Under the No Child Left Behind Act

Using WINSS to Meet Report Card Requirements - District and school statewide test results, attendance, teacher quality data, graduation rates, and much more can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction WINSS Webpages.

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) - Press Releases


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