Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) FAQ


Contact Information

Sean McInerney
(307) 777-8752
Sean.McInerney@wyo.gov

Index

Not Meeting AYP
1. What has to happen for a district to miss AYP?
2. How does a school miss AYP?
3. What subgroups are used when making AYP determinations?

AYP Participation
4. How many students need to be in a subgroup before AYP participation decisions are made?
5. Is participation broken down by subgroup?
6. Will a school/district be held accountable for participation in PAWS for a student who enters the school/district on fifteenth testing day of the official PAWS testing window?
7. Will a school/district be held accountable for participation in PAWS for a student who enters the school/district after the fifteenth testing day of the official PAWS testing window?

AYP Performance and Targets
8. What grades use the elementary school targets?
9. What grades use the middle school targets?
10. What grades use the high school targets?
11. If my school has grades with different targets, how is AYP determined in my school?
12. How many students need to be in a subgroup before AYP Performance decisions are made?
13. How are AYP decisions made when there are less than 6 students tested in a school?

Safe Harbor
14. What is safe harbor?
15. How is safe harbor calculated?
16. Does the school or district need to meet the additional indicator to be eligible for safe harbor?
17. Does the school or district need to meet the AYP participation rate to be eligible for safe harbor?
18. Does the school or district need to achieve higher performance levels in the current year than in the previous years?

Additional Indicators
19. What is the high school additional indicator?
20. What is the additional indicator at the elementary and middle school levels?
21. How is the additional indicator calculated for schools that serve grades with two different additional indicators?
22. Are the additional indicators broken down by subgroup?

School without Test Grades
23. How is AYP calculated for my school if I do not have any tested grades?

1 percent Alt Cap
24. What is the 1percent ALT cap?
25. Are schools held to the 1percent ALT cap?
26. How is the 1percent ALT cap calculated?

AYP and Science
27. Beginning in the 2007-2008 school year science will be tested through PAWS. Will it count towards AYP?

AYP and School and District Improvement
28. How does a district go into district improvement?
29. How does a school go into school improvement status?
30. How can a school/district be removed from school/district improvement status?

Banked Scores
31. If an 11th grade student takes PAWS during any of the early administrations, when do their scores count toward AYP?
32. How are banked PAWS scores used when calculating AYP?
33. Does a student in grades 3-8 have to take the PAWS again if they are retained in a grade?
34. Does a repeating 11th grade student need to retake PAWS?

Graduation Rate
35. How is the graduation rate calculated?
36. Does a student who gets their GED count against the graduation rate?

AYP Results and Notification
37. When are schools/districts notified about their AYP status?
38. How are schools/districts notified of their AYP status?
39. When will the public receive notification of AYP results?
40. Where are publicly released AYP results found?

Review of AYP Determination
41. On what basis can a school/districts request an informal review of AYP decisions?
42. How can a school/district receive an informal review process of AYP decisions?
43. How long does a school/district have to request an informal review of AYP decisions?


Not Meeting AYP

1. What Has To Happen For A District To Miss AYP?

Participation: A district will miss the AYP Participation Rate if the participation rate in a content area is missed by all three grade spans: Elementary (grades 3-6), Middle (grades 7-8), High (11th grade). There must be at least 40 students showing as enrolled in the tested grades in the subgroup on the fifteenth testing day of the official PAWS window for an AYP Participation determination to be made on a subgroup.

A district would miss the participation rate if less than 95 percent of the students in any subgroup in language arts or math. For example, a district that misses the participate rate at the elementary, middle, and high school grades spans in Language Arts(LA) would miss the AYP Participation Rate for LA at the district level. However, if the district made the AYP participation rate at the high school grade span, but missed the AYP participation rate at the elementary and middle grade spans for LA, then the district would make the district level AYP Participation Rate.

Participation rate is calculated by taking the number of students tested in 2009 divided by the number of students enrolled in the district. If this ratio results in 95 percent or above, the district has made AYP. If the result is less than 95 percent, then the number of students tested in 2008 and 2009 are divided by the number of students enrolled in the school in 2008 and 2009. The district has made the AYP Participation rate if this ratio is greater than or equal to 95 percent. If it is less than 95 percent, then one more calculation is performed using the number of students tested in 2007, 2008 and 2009 over the number of students enrolled in 2007, 2008, 2009. If the result is 95 percent or above, the district has not missed Participation rate. If it is below 95 percent, then participation rate has been missed.

Performance: A district will miss the AYP Performance Measures if the proficiency index (see question #11) in a content area is less than zero in any of the subgroups for all three grade spans: (elementary, middle and high). Additional Indicator: A district will miss the AYP Additional Indicator if the additional indicator is not met by all three grade spans: (elementary, middle and high). Elementary and middle school will miss the AYP Additional Indicator if the percentage of students reading below basic is greater than 15 percent or the percentage of students reading below basic has increased from the prior year. High School would miss the additional indicator if the graduation rate is less than 80percent or did not increase from the previous year.

2. How Does A School Miss AYP?

Participation: A school will miss the AYP Participation Rate if the participation rate in a content area is missed by any of the subgroups. There must be at least 40 students showing as enrolled in the tested grades on the fifteenth testing day of the official PAWS window. If a schools participation rate in any subgroup in language arts or math is less than 95 percent then a school would miss the AYP Participation Rate. Participation rate is calculated by taking the number of students tested in 2009 divided by the number of students enrolled in the school. If this ratio results in 95 percent or above, the school has made AYP.

If the result is less than 95 percent, then the number of students tested in 2008 and 2009 are divided by the number of students enrolled in the school in 2008 and 2009. Again, if this ratio is 95 percent or above, the school has made AYP Participation rate. If it is less than 95 percent, then one more calculation is performed using the number of students tested in 2007, 2008 and 2009 over the number of students enrolled in 2007, 2008, 2009. If the result is 95 percent or above, the school has not missed Participation rate.

If it is below 95 percent, then participation rate has been missed. Performance: A school will miss the AYP Performance Measures if the proficiency index is less than zero in any subgroup in either the math or language arts content area.

Additional Indicator: The additional indicator for High school (11th grade) is the graduation rate. If the graduation rate is less than 80 percent or did increase by at least the target, then the 11th grade additional indicator would not have been met. For grades 3-8, the additional indicator is the percentage of students reading below basic. If the percentage of students reading below basic is greater than 15 percent and there was an increase from the prior year, then the 3-8 additional indicator would be missed.

3. What Subgroups Are Used When Making AYP Determinations?
The additional indicator makes determinations only on the ALL STUDENT subgroup. For both the participation and performance measures the subgroups used in making AYP determinations include:

  • All Students
  • Hispanic
  • White
  • English
  • Language Learner(ELL)
  • Black Free and Reduced Lunch
  • Asian
  • Individual Education Plan (IEP)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native
  • Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian
  • Two-or-more races

AYP Participation

4. How Many Students Need To Be In A Subgroup Before AYP Participation Decisions Are Made?
For each subgroup (including all students) there must be at least 40 students in subgroup enrolled in the school for an AYP Participation determination to be made on that subgroup. This excludes any student that is considered exempt.

5. Is Participation Broken Down By Subgroup?
The participation rate is broken down by content areas (math and language arts). These content areas are then broken down by subgroups. These subgroups are listed in Question 3.

6. Will A School/District Beheld Accountable For Participation On PAWS For A Student Who Enters The School/District On The Fifteenth Testing Day Of The Official PAWS Window?
If a student enters a school/district on or before the fifteenth testing day of the official PAWS window, then the student’s participation will be included in the school/district AYP participation calculation. Refer to Question #2 for details on calculation participation rate.

7. Will A School/District Beheld Accountable For Participation In PAWS For A Student Who Enters The School/District After The Fifteenth Testing Day Of The Official PAWS Window?
No. A school will not be held accountable for participation in PAWS for any student that enters a school/district after the fifteenth testing day of the PAWS window. The school/district where the student was enrolled on the fifteenth testing day of the PAWS window will be held accountable for the participation of that student.

AYP Performance And Targets

8.What Grades Use The Elementary School Targets?
The elementary target applies to grades 3-6.

9. What Grades Use The Middle School Targets?
The middle school targets apply to grades 7-8.

10. What Grades Use The High School Targets?
Only the 11th grade uses the high school targets.

11. If My School Has Grades With Different Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO), How Is AYP Determined For My School?
When a school has grades with different targets, Grades 3-8 and 11 within a school are combined for AYP determinations using a proficiency index. This provides the fairest method of evaluating schools by taking into account differing AMOS for elementary, middle and high school grades across Wyoming’s wide variety of school grade configurations. The elementary AMO applies to grades 3 through 6 (the majority of Wyoming 6th grade students attend classes in the K-6 elementary school environment), the middle school AMO applies to students in grades 7 and 8, and the high school AMO applies to students in 11th grade.

An example of the proficiency index for a hypothetical school serving grades 6 and 7 for the Asian category is illustrated below:

2006 AMO
Grade six is 42 percent proficient
Actual percent of Grade 6 white student (N=20) proficiency is 40 percent. Difference -2 percent.

Grade seven is 45.42 percent proficient
Actual percent of white students (N=30) proficient = 50 percent. Difference is +4.58 percent.

Weighing Constants (Grade N/Total N): Grade six 20/50 = .4; Grade seven 30/50 = .6
Proficiency Index: 0.4 (-2 percent) + 0.6 (+4.58 percent) = 1.95 percent.

A proficiency index of zero or higher indicates the AMO has been met by the subgroup in the school. In the example, the white proficiency index is 1.95 percent. When the proficiency index is less than zero, a 95 percent confidence interval is applied to determine if the gap is statistically significant. If the gap (percent below zero) is not statistically significant, the subgroup will be considered to have made AYP.

12. How Many Students Need To Be In A Subgroup Before AYP Performance Decisions Are Made?

  • All Students 6
  • Hispanic 30
  • White 30
  • English Learner (EL) 30
  • Black 30
  • Free & Reduced Lunch 30
  • Asian 30
  • Individual Education Plan (IEP) 30
  • American Indian 30

13. How Are AYP Decisions Made When There Are Less Than 6 Students Tested In A School?
Schools with fewer than six test scores are reviewed based on averaged data over the previous 2-3 years, which is designed to reach at least six test scores. If any schools remain, they will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis so that all schools are included in AYP.

Safe Harbor

14. What Is Safe Harbor?
Safe Harbor is a provision in the No Child Left Behind law that allows schools to meet AYP even if they have not met the performance targets. In order to reach safe harbor, a school or district must make a decrease in the percent of non-proficient students (those in the below basic and basic categories)that is statistically significant to at least 10 percent. The percentage of students testing non-proficient last year (2007-2008), is compared to the number of students testing non-proficient this year (2008-2009) to determine whether there has been a 10 percent decrease between last year and this year. This applies school-wide for all students tested.

An important distinction needs to be made. The question of, “Has the school or DISTRICT made an increase in the number of proficient students that is statistically equivalent to 10 percent” is NOT the same as looking for a 10 percent decrease in non-proficient students.

15. How Is Safe Harbor Calculated?

  1. Step 1: The percentage of students that are proficient in the previous school year is subtracted from 100 percent to give the percent of students that were non-proficient in the previous school year.
  2. Step 2: The percent of students that are non-proficient is then multiplied by 10 percent. This gives the amount of reduction of non-proficient students a subgroup would need to achieve in order to meet safe harbor.
  3. Step 3: The percent reduction in non-proficient students is then subtracted from the total percent of non-proficient from the previous school year. This last calculation provides the maximum percentage students that can be non-proficient on the PAWS in the current school year.

Example: An example might help illustrate this calculation. Suppose a school has 72 percent of their students advanced or proficient last year. This means that 28 percent of the students were non-proficient. In order to make safe harbor, the school needs to have a 10 percent decrease in the number of non-proficient students.

This is calculated by taking 28 percent x 10 percent = 2.8 percent. If you subtract 2.8 percent from 28 percent you get 25.2 percent. That means that the school would need 25.2 percent or fewer of its students with non proficient results in order to meet Safe Harbor.

16. Does The School Or District Need To Meet The Additional Indicator To Be Eligible For Safe Harbor?
If a school or district is trying to meet AYP for a subgroup through safe harbor, then that subgroup is required to meet the additional indicator. If the subgroup does not meet the additional indicator, then the subgroup cannot make AYP through safe harbor.

17. Does The School Or District Need To Meet The AYP Participation Rate To Be Eligible For Safe Harbor?
If a school or district is trying to meet AYP for a subgroup through safe harbor, then that subgroup is required to meet the AYP participation rate. If the subgroup does not meet the AYP participation rate, then the subgroup cannot make AYP through safe harbor.

18. Does The School Or District Need To Achieve Higher Performance Levels In The Current Year Than In The Previous Years?
If a school or district is trying to meet AYP for a subgroup through safe harbor, then that subgroup is required to have a higher percent proficient or advanced in the current year than in the prior year. If the subgroup does not have a higher achievement level in the current year, then the subgroup cannot meet AYP through safe harbor.

Additional Indicator

19. What Is The High School Additional Indicator?
Wyoming uses the federal regulatory graduation rate beginning with the 2010-11 AYP determinations. Schools and LEAs with a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate of 80 percent or higher have satisfactorily met the additional indicator. Schools with a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate below the graduation rate goal can meet the graduation rate AYP requirement if the school meets the graduation rate targets. The AYP Graduation Rate Target can be found here. If the target is met, then the AYP graduation rate additional indicator requirement will be met.

20. What Is The Additional Indicator At The Elementary And Middle School Levels?
Wyoming uses the reduction in the percentage of students scoring in the below basic performance category in reading as the additional academic indicator for elementary and middle schools. If in the current year, a school’s percentage of students scoring below basic in reading is below 15 percent, the school has met additional indicator. If the percentage of students reading below basic is greater than 15 percent, then a reduction in the percentage of students reading below basic will allow a school to meet the additional indicator.

21. How Is The Additional Indicator Calculated For Schools That Serve Grades With Two Different Additional Indicators?
These schools would need to meet both the below basic reading additional indicator as well as the graduation rate. If the school misses either or both of the additional indicators, then the school will miss AYP for the additional indicator.

22. Are The Additional Indicators Broken Down By Subgroup?
For additional indicator reported in the AYP results, only the results for All Students are included. The additional indicators for subgroups must be met if a subgroup is trying to meet AYP through safe harbor, but this will not be publicly reported.

School Without Tested Grades

23. How Is AYP Calculated For My School If I Do Not Have Any Tested Grades?
In Wyoming there are schools that are K-2 grade configurations. These schools are “paired,” with a school that includes a tested grade for purposes of accountability. For example, several districts have organized their elementary schools so that students attend grade K-2 in one building and then move to a different building for grades 3-5. In this case, the AYP results for the 3-5 school are used to hold the K-2 school accountable as well. The rationale for this is quite simple; teachers in the two different schools need to be communicating across buildings to plan their curricular and instructional sequences.

Holding both schools equally accountable for the 3-5 school results should help foster this communication. The following is a list of Wyoming schools that do not contain any of the currently assessed grades and the school with which they are paired for accountability purposes.

Douglas Primary School K-2 Douglas Intermediate School
Lincoln Elementary K-2 Trail Elementary
Lebhart Elementary K-2 Fairview Elementary
Libbey Elementary K-2 West Elementary
Jackson Elementary K-2 Colter Elementary
Mountain View Elementary K-2 Fort Bridger Elementary
Newcastle Elementary K-2 Gertrude Burns Intermediate

1 percent ALT CAP

24. What Is The 1 Percent ALT Cap?
When measuring AYP, the State and districts have the flexibility to count the proficient scores of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who take alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards—so long as the number of those proficient scores does not exceed 1.0 percent of all students enrolled in the grades assessed (about nine percent of students with disabilities) at the district and State level. The 1.0 percent cap does not restrict the number of students who may participate in an alternate assessment. It does limit the number of proficient and advanced scores based on alternate achievement standards that may be used in the calculation of AYP. A limit is required to ensure a thoughtful application of alternate achievement standards and to protect IEP teams from pressure to assign low-performing students to assessments and curricula that inappropriately restrict in scope, thus limiting educational opportunity for these students.

25. Are Schools Held To The 1 Percent ALT Cap?
The 1.0 percent cap does not apply at the school level. Some districts may deliver special services for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in one or a few schools. Additionally, the enrollment patterns of students across a district might not result in an even distribution of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities among schools, even if there are no special centers for these students. In these cases, a 1.0 percent cap on the number of students who may be counted as scoring proficient or advanced on alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards would prove unworkable at a school level and not be in the best interests of those students.

26. How Is The 1 Percent ALT Cap Calculated?
The 1.0 percent cap is based on the number of students enrolled in the tested grades. This means that since the State is testing in grades 3-8 and 11, the 1.0 percent calculation is based on the number of students in those grades. The number of students in a tested grade is based on enrollment on the first day of the PAWS testing window, including students who are publicly placed in a private school to receive special education services.

AYP And Science

27. Beginning In The 2007-2008 School Year Science Will Be Tested Through PAWS. Will It Count Towards AYP?
Currently, Science will not be included in the AYP decision. This will only change is if the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind requires science to be part of the accountability decisions.

AYP And School And District Improvement

28. How Does A District Go Into District Improvement?
In order for a district to be classified as being in need of improvement, it must fail to make AYP for two consecutive years for the same content area or other academic indicator in all three grade spans (elementary, middle/junior high, and high school), regardless of the subgroup.

Example 1

Hypothetical Examples

 

Elem ELA

Middle ELA

High ELA

Elem ELA

Middle Math

High Math

Elem Add’l Indicator

Middle Add’l Indicator

High Add’l Indicator

Year1

X

X

X

           

Year2

X

X

X

           

In this example, the district has missed AYP in the same subject (language arts) across all grade spans for two consecutive years. Thus, the district would be identified for improvement.

 

Elem ELA

Middle ELA

High ELA

Elem ELA

Middle Math

High Math

Elem Add’l Indicator

Middle Add’l Indicator

High Add’l Indicator

Year1

           

X

X

X

Year2

           

X

X

X

In this example, the district has missed AYP in the additional indicator across all grade spans for two consecutive years. Thus, the district would be identified for improvement.

 

Elem ELA

Middle ELA

High ELA

Elem ELA

Middle Math

High Math

Elem Add’l Indicator

Middle Add’l Indicator

High Add’l Indicator

Year1

     

X

X

X

     

Year2

X

 

X

 

X

   

X

 

In this example, the district has not missed AYP in the same area across all grade spans for two consecutive years. Thus, the district would not be identified for improvement.

29. How Does A School Go Into School Improvement Status?
A school can go into school improvement in three different ways.

  1. school has missed the AYP participation rate in the same content area for two or more years
  2. A school has missed the AYP performance measure in the same content area for two or more years; or
  3. A school has missed the additional indicator for two years in a row.

30. How Can A School/District Be Removed From School/District Improvement Status?
A school or district would have to make AYP for two years in a row in the area(s) that put them into school improvement to begin with. Suppose a school had missed the performance measure in math for two years in a row but had made the language arts performance measure. To be removed from school improvement status, this school would have to make AYP for performance in math for two consecutive years.

Banked Scores

31. If An 11th Grade Student Takes PAWS During Any Of The Early Administrations, When Do Their Scores Count Toward AYP?
An early administration for an 11th grader includes the March/April administration in their 10th grade year. These scores are banked and do not count towards AYP until after the official administration in April of the 11th grade year.

32. How Are Banked PAWS Scores Used When Calculating AYP?
Grades 10-11: Students may “bank,” their scores during the 10th grade testing window. AYP will be determined only for students in grade eleven using their “banked,” scores or scores achieved during the official March testing window, which ever is higher.

33. Does A Student In Grades 3-8 Have To Take The PAWS Again If They Are Retained In A Grade?
Yes, these grades do not permit banking. This means that scores from the previous year cannot be used in subsequent years. For AYP, if a retained student in any grade 3-8 does not take PAWS in their retained year, they would count against the school and district’s participation rates.

34. Does A Student Repeating 11th Grade Need To Retake PAWS?
If a student has previously tested in all content areas, then this student would not be required to retake PAWS. The previously banked scores will be used in the performance and participation measures. If a student has not banked scores in a content area, then the student is required to test in the content area with no banked score. If the student still does not test in the non-tested content area, this will count against the AYP participation rate in the content area for the school and district.

Graduation Rate

How Is The Graduation Rate Calculated?
The regulatory rate calculation will utilize the following formula (example formula is for the 2010-11 AYP determination school year):

Four-Year Adjusted Cohort Number of cohort members who earned a regular high Four Year school diploma by the end of the 2011-12 school year
Adjusted Cohort = Number of first time ninth graders in fall of 2007 (starting cohort) who transfer in, minus students who transfer out or die during 2007-2008, 2008-2009, and 2009-2010

A minimum n-size of 30 students will be applied to the AYP graduation rate determinations. This n-size will apply to all AYP student groups. If a school/district has fewer than 30 students in the aggregate or in a subgroup, then cohorts for up to three years will be combined to increase the n-size to at least thirty students. If the sum of cohorts over the three years for a student group is less than thirty, then no AYP determination will be made on that student group.

36. Does A Student Who Gets Their GED Count Against The Graduation Rate?
In order to get a GED, a student must first dropout of school. Since the student dropped out of school, they do count as a dropout for the school and reduce the graduation rate.

AYP Results And Notification

37. When Are Schools/Districts Notified About Their AYP Status?
Preliminary AYP results for the 2013 school year have been released to school districts in September 17, 2013. AYP decisions become final after a 15-day confidential review. The public release of the final AYP decisions will be made sometime after the end of the 15-day review, allowing for any needed changes by the WDE.

38. How Are Schools/Districts Notified About Their AYP Status?
After AYP decisions have been made, a letter is sent to the superintendent of the district notifying him/her of which schools did not make AYP and in which areas. The district AYP determinations are also reported to the district in this letter.

39. When Will The Public Receive Notification Of AYP Results?
The target for AYP results to be released to the public is July 15.

40. Where Are Publicly Released AYP Results Found?
AYP results, including prior years, can be found on the on the accountability page.

Review Of AYP Determinations

41. On What Basis Can Schools/Districts Request An Informal Review Of AYP Decisions?
The request to review the AYP decision may be based on statistical error or other substantive reasons as contained in Section 1116(b)(2) of No Child Left Behind.

42. How Can A School/District Receive An Informal Review Process Of AYP Decisions?
If a school/district believes an AYP decision was made in error, a school or district must submit a WDE639 form (District) or WDE637 form (School) to the Wyoming Department of Education explaining which AYP decision is in need of review and why. After receiving the AYP request for review, the Wyoming Department of Education will research and will work with the district and the Accountability System Review Team to resolve the potential error. The request for review must be received at the Wyoming Department of Education within 15 days of the preliminary AYP results being sent to the districts. Once the potential error is resolved, a letter will be sent to the school/district informing them of the resolution to the error review. After a district receives the preliminary AYP results, the school/district has 15 days to review AYP results and to provide the Wyoming Department of Education the request to review AYP decisions.