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Accountability Systems: Implications of Requirements of the No Child Left behind Act of 2001

Robert L. Linn, Eva L. Baker and Damian W. Betebenner
Educational Researcher
Vol. 31, No. 6 (Aug. - Sep., 2002), pp. 3-16
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3594432
Page Count: 14
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Accountability Systems: Implications of Requirements of the No Child Left behind Act of 2001
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Abstract

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 substantially increases the testing requirements for states and sets demanding accountability standards for schools, districts, and states with measurable adequate yearly progress (AYP) objectives for all students and subgroups of students defined by socioeconomic background, race-ethnicity, English language proficiency, and disability. However, states' content standards, the rigor of their tests, and the stringency of their performance standards vary greatly. Consequently, the percentage of students who score at the proficient level or higher on the state assessments varies radically from state to state. Some states have farther to go than others to meet the mandated target of 100% proficient within 12 years. These differences are illustrated and the implications for achieving AYP targets are discussed. Also addressed are possible uses of results from the biennial state-level administrations of the National Assessment of Educational Progress as a means of leveling the playing field. Factors contributing to the volatility of gains in achievement from year to year for individual schools are discussed.

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