Conflicting demands of No Child Left Behind and state systems: Mixed messages about school performance.

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Abstract

An ever-increasing reliance on student performance on tests holds schools and educators accountable both to state accountability systems and also to the accountability requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. While each state has constructed its own definition of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements within the confines of NCLB, substantial differences between the accountability requirements of many state systems and NCLB still have resulted in mixed messages regarding the performance of schools. Several features of NCLB accountability and state accountability systems contribute to the identification of a school as meeting goals according to NCLB but failing to do so according to the state accountability system, or vise versa. These include the multiple hurdles of NCLB, the comparison of performance against a fixed target rather than changes in achievement, and the definition of performance goals. The result of these features is a set of AYP measures that is inconsistent both with existing state accountability systems and also with state NAEP performance. Using existing achievement to set the cut-score measured by AYP and using the highest-performing schools to set the year-to-year improvement standards would improve the NCLB accountability system.

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How to Cite
Linn, R. L. . (2005). Conflicting demands of No Child Left Behind and state systems: Mixed messages about school performance. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 13, 33. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v13n33.2005
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Author Biography

Robert L. Linn, University of Colorado at Boulder

Robert L. Linn is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Co-Director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing. He has published over 200 journal articles and chapters in books dealing with a wide range of theoretical and applied issues in educational measurement and has received several awards for his contributions to the field, including the ETS Award for Distinguished Service to Measurement, the E.L Thorndike Award, the E.F. Lindquist Award, the National Council on Measurement in Education Career Award, and the American Educational Research Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Educational Research. He is past president of the American Educational Research Association, past president of the National Council on Measurement in Education, past president of the Evaluation and Measurement Division of the American Psychological Association, and past vice-president for the Research and Measurement Division of the American Educational Research Association. He is a member of the National Academy of Education, a Lifetime National Associate of the National Academies, and serves on two Boards of the National Academy of Sciences.