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Each year under the federal education law No Child Left Behind (NCLB), all Wisconsin public schools and districts must meet the state’s four Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Objectives. Each objective and the methods used to determine if each objective has been met are described with updated information.

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 80% or show growth over the prior year.

Test Participation — 95% of all students enrolled in the tested grade(s) 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) and for English Language Learners (WAA-ELL). 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 67.5%.

Mathematics — A school or district must achieve a proficiency index of 47.5%.

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

The index score for Reading and Mathematics is calculated by assigning one point for each full academic year (FAY) student who scores Proficient or Advanced on the WSAS plus one-half point for each student scoring Basic. The total points are divided by the total number of FAY students tested for the index score.

In Reading and Mathematics, a confidence interval may be applied to the AYP decision. A confidence interval increases reliability similar to the margin of error associated with an opinion poll.

The Reading and Mathematics objectives also include Safe Harbor provisions for those missing the annual objective. Safe Harbor allows a school or district to demonstrate growth by showing a 10% reduction in the percent of students scoring Basic or Minimal and reaching the criteria for another academic indicator: graduation, attendance or science. A confidence interval is also applied to Safe Harbor calculations.

Schools that miss the same AYP objective for two consecutive years are identified for improvement. District AYP determinations are based on the aggregate of all students at each level, elementary, middle, and high school. Districts that miss the same objective at all three levels for two consecutive years are identified in need of improvement. Schools and districts identified for improvement face federal sanctions if they receive Title I funds. State and Federal laws require publication of school and district performance reports and identification of schools and districts that do not make AYP.

Summary AYP information is available on the web for each Wisconsin school and district as well as examples and technical details. Care should be taken when communicating test results and AYP calculations to protect student privacy.