No Child Left Behind

What does “No Child Left Behind” mean to my family?

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It is very important for parents to have good information about what is happening at their child’s school. The desired outcome for the Federal Government’s No Child Left Behind Act is to ensure that all schools make adequate yearly progress (AYP).

Testing

Utah’s testing program is called UPASS. (That stands for Utah Performance Assessment System for Students.) This is a combination of tests including: end of year tests and the IOWA tests, which are taken in the fall of a student’s 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 11th grade years.  

There is also a 10th grade basic competency test that all 10th graders must pass in order to graduate. For this 10th grade test, options are offered for re-testing if a student fails a specific section. All of these UPASS tests are very important, and students need to know that they must try to do their best when taking them. Parents need to support their students and encourage them.

School Reports

Each school must make available a yearly report card on how the school is doing. The school must report on test scores, teacher qualifications, the results of the UPASS tests, attendance and graduation rates. If your school reports that it has not made adequate yearly progress, a Federal AYP Report should tell you why. There are 40 categories that the schools must be able to answer “yes” to on every item or else they will appear on the list of schools that are “not making adequate yearly progress”. A school may be on the list because attendance was down or too many children were sick and therefore absent on the day of the test. It may be that students in every category made some progress, but not enough to meet the standard to keep the school from appearing on the list.

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), School Choice & Supplemental Services

Adequate yearly progress levels are standards of achievement in numerous categories set by the state that meet regulations of the United States Department of Education. If your school is a “Title I” school, and does not make AYP two years in a row, the school is determined to be in “need of improvement”. The school, with input from parents, will create a plan to improve the school. Your school district will offer assistance. The district must offer parents the choice to send their children to other schools that are not in need of improvement. Parents can choose to have their students stay at their home school, or to send their children to the other schools that are offered. If your school does not meet AYP the third year, the school must continue to offer a choice of schools, and must begin offering supplemental services to students, which may include a menu of after-school and summer tutoring and remediation options in which parents may choose to have their child participate.

Parent Involvement

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, it is very important that parents be involved in their child’s education. It is important to send children to school ready to learn. It is important for parents to help their children with reading and homework, and to be involved in your school’s decision-making process. You can do this by becoming involved in your school’s parent organization, such as the PTA. We all want our children to be the best they can be, and that takes everyone doing the best they can.