I am confused about AYP, including Safe Harbor. I feel like I know bits and pieces, but a lot of it is still fuzzy to me. Can anyone explain to me what happens if a school keeps failing AYP? At what point does the government start shutting down schools? What happens to the faculty at those schools?

You know, I have wondered the same thing. My school has made it under Safe Harbor since, well, since they started keeping track. We've improved every year, but never actually made AYP. I know our admin fills out a bunch of paper work for the state and tells them about what we're doing to improve. But other than that, I really don't know. Hopefully someone can enlighten us.

The state takes over and they usually fire most if not all of the staff possibly even the Principal. My co-workers dad is a P at a MN school and the state came over and wiped out most of his staff. Kept him though. They end up getting LOTS of money in order to help them make AYP. Double edged sword there. Fail = millions of dollars for your school. Don't fail = no extra money.

I have another questio about AYP ( I don't really understand it) but my P says we are in a pickle because our scores are extremly high. We have always made AYP, but he says there is no way to grow. Does that make sense?

Sure. As I understand it, as an outsider looking in, AYP measures growth. But it's not unlimited; it's measured by standardized tests. If most of your kids are already perfoming near the 99th percentile, there's no room at the top for them to go.

Well, its kind of complicated. 1. Safe Harbor: If you are meeting your safe harbor goals, you are making AYP. You can achieve AYP each year this way...there is no limit on how many times you can utilize safe harbor. Safe harbor basically means that you must move 10% or more of the students who did not reach proficiency last year. It does not mean you must move 10% total...the formula is more complicated than that. For instance, if your school had 60% prof. last year, that means 40% did not reach prof. You must move 10% of the 40% so that equals 4%. Of course, you need to calculate this for each subgroup as well. 2. Not Making AYP: For schools that don't make AYP (or safe harbor) in any area for two consecutive years, they go into program improvement. To get out of PI, you must make AYP for two years. So, two to get in and two to get out. As you progress further into PI, there are guidelines set by the state. Year 1 is not so bad but each passing year brings more guidelines. By about PI stage 3 and 4, you are looking at having to choose from several severe options....replacing the principal, replacing teachers, reopening as a charter. There are still other options at this stage....extending the learning day, etc. By stage 5, the other more minor options are pretty much gone and your only options are to redesignate all staff, reopen as a charter, etc. I hope this is helpful. There is a lot more info but this is it in a nutshell!!

I think you're mistaken: under NCLB, AYP was based on the rate of improvement toward a goal of 100% proficiency. Schools that started with high performance levels had much smaller AYP requirements, since there was less of a gap to close. Schools that started with very low performance levels had very large AYP requirements, because they had a very large gap to close. But that AYP model was always defective because it's really not reasonable to expect 100% of students to be proficient. The system was deliberately designed so that the number of "failing" schools would increase every year. 100% proficiency is a laudable aspiration, but it's not a realistic goal, and it's perverse to penalize teachers or schools for failing to achieve absurdly difficult improvements. After writing this, I notice that Tiffany posted a much more detailed and surely more accurate description of the consequences for failing to achieve AYP.

OK, I stand corrected. As a teacher in a non-public school, I'm on the outside looking in on this one. My apologies.

All I know is that if a school doesn't make AYP for a certain amount of years, the state takes over the school until they see an appropriate improvement.

In Kentucky, we've had a system similar to "AYP" since the early 1990's. What has typically happened is that there comes a point where people come to a standstill. Everyone gets all uptight and frantic. Then the standards and testing changes, and we start all over again. I started teaching on the downward cycle. Since then, we've been through around three other cycles. We're on the downward slope right now, too. One year we were to the point of having to offer students the option to transfer to another school. The problem? We only have ONE school in the district. Period. They would have to transfer to another district in another county. Those schools were not accepting out-of-district students. A friend's SIL works in a school that has qualified for the highest intervention level for 15 years . . . and nobody has taken over, and there have not been significant changes in the staffing.

There was a school just a little North to where I was in CA and they were on PI for several years without meeting their AYP marks. The government finally stepped in and took over, replacing everyone.

AYP---think of it as a ladder. Not sure if all states have the same requirements or not. Let's pretend that in year 1, the state is looking for 40% of the students to be proficient. If 40% of your students are proficient, you meet AYP. If not, you don't. **However, it also takes into account sub groups. A sub group is any group of 45 or more students in your school in the tested ages (at least in my state). So, if we have 45 special education students in 3/4th grade (our tested grades), special education counts as a sub group and we must have 40% of special education students as proficient. However, if we only have 40 free and reduced lunch students in 3/4th grade in our school, then they would not count. [This is pretending it is a K-4th grade school and only 3rd and 4th grade are tested.] Then, year two, that 40% steps up the ladder to 45%. Now, 45% of students in each grade and sub group must be proficient. Then, year three, that 45% steps up the ladder to 50%. On and on, until 100%. Safe harbor happens when you don't meet the requirement. So, if you need 50% to be proficient, but you were only at 35%. Then, you would get a safe harbor number as Tiffany explained. If you meet your safe harbor number, you meet AYP. Safe harbor can be set for whole schools or any sub group of students not making AYP for the year.

I teach in Kentucky and the state has come in this year. We have not met AYP in math/reading for the last 6 years. They came for a week, but due to snow ended up being there only a day and a half. They interviewed EVERY teacher/admin/staff person, parents, students, some substitutes and former students. If you were in the building or on campus that day, they found you. Our admin had us preparing way ahead of time. We had to have a binder full of stuff. They have us for the next 3 years. We have been told to prepare for endless meetings and prof development. Right now the only person we know is gone is our principal. Because of my school's location, only 2 of the 4 options in KY we are eligibile for and they are 50/50..fire everyone bring back UP TO 50% of the staff ...OR... transition (i think that's the name) basically we retain everyone and people come in to work with us via meetings, walkthroughs, class observations either way. regardless our P is gone after only being in charge a year and a half. It is stressful already..we have been bashed by people that have no idea how hard SOME of us work, we have students that STILL don't care. We are getting funding and hope to bring an alternative school-which would help us SO much..we have NONE right now.. I could go on. AYP is a set criteria that a school has to meet..it contains over 10 certain factions, I believe..my mind is screwy on this stuff even after hearing it since oh...October.. After 6 years, the state comes in and in a sense takes over..basically they watch us for the next 3 years to see if we improve. What is kind of bad, we have to hire a new principal...bad side, if the scores don't come up in 12 months, THAT principal is fired as well.

We have a school around me that hasn't meet for 7 years now, and the state still has done no more than ask for a SIP plan with additional documents. They have changed principals, but the state hasn't taken over yet....