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The Power of Longitudinal Data Measuring Student Academic Growth
"The accountability mandates of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act have focused educators' and policymakers' attention on developing fairer and more accurate methods of assessing student progress on academic standards. NCLB requires schools and districts to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) -- a measure of the percentage of students meeting academic proficiency in reading (or English/language arts) and mathematics. Yet students in some schools start so far behind that even though they are making progress toward proficiency, they have not met the goal yet. Growth models can give schools credit for this progress. Growth models also can draw attention to the growth among students who already are proficient or advanced."