NEWS RELEASES 2011-12 :: JULY 18, 2011


Local school districts in North Carolina will release their schools' 2011 Preliminary Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) results this Thursday, July 21, as required by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The federal law requires local districts to release this data in time for parents to take advantage of opportunities for public school choice or tutoring options for their students if applicable.

The NC Department of Public Instruction provides a preliminary AYP website at to allow for quick access to each school district's AYP results.

Under the ESEA, all students in grades 3-8 and 10th grade must be proficient in reading and mathematics by the end of the 2013-14 school year. Performance is tracked by a variety of student groups, including the School as a Whole, White, Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, Two or More Races, Economically Disadvantaged, Limited English Proficient and Students with Disabilities. For a school to make AYP, proficiency targets must be met by each identified subgroup.

States are required to set their own annual student proficiency target goals. This year, North Carolina's target goals increased to move the state closer to the required 100 percent target for 2013-14. As a result, for a North Carolina public school to make AYP in 2010-11, 71.6 percent of students in each subgroup in grades 3-8 must be proficient in reading and 88.6 percent must be proficient in mathematics. For 10th graders, 69.3 percent of each subgroup must be proficient in reading and 84.2 percent must be proficient in mathematics.

In comparison, in 2009-10, the AYP targets for elementary and middle school (grades 3-8) were 43.2 percent in reading and 77.2 percent proficient in mathematics. For 10th graders (high schools), the targets were 38.5 percent proficient in reading and 68.4 percent proficient in mathematics.

With increasingly difficult targets to meet, it is likely that more schools will fall short of making Adequate Yearly Progress. "No Child Left Behind is designed so that schools that miss their AYP target with only one group of their students are considered to have missed the AYP target overall," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "This 'all or nothing' structure of the federal law guarantees that we will see an increasing number of schools missing the elusive Met AYP designation. I continue to believe that this method of labeling schools is unfair and unrealistic because there is no recognition for schools that are making significant progress and performing well with nearly all of their students."

Atkinson said she hopes this issue will be addressed when the ESEA is re-authorized by Congress.

Schools receiving federal Title I funds and not making AYP in a given subject area for two years in a row or more face a cascading sequence of consequences as a result. These consequences include having to offer tutoring services to eligible students, requirements for public school choice to students in identified schools and school restructuring.

Because the AYP preliminary release is a local release, no statewide comparative data are available. Statewide AYP analyses will be available when the North Carolina's ABCs of Public Education accountability results are presented at the State Board of Education's Aug. 4 Board meeting.

For more information on AYP, please visit

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.