No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) uses the term Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) to describe whether a school or school system has met its annual accountability goals. Accountability goals are set by the State of Alabama until the year 2014 where the goal for each school in Alabama and the nation will be 100%.
The Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test (ARMT) is a criterion-referenced test based on Alabama's academic content standards. It is administered in Grades 3 through 8 and consists of selected Stanford Achievement Test (Stanford 10) items and additional items to ensure coverage of the Course of Study content standards. The ARMT utilizes three types of reading: literary/recreational, textual/informational, and functional. Reading is assessed by using a variety of genres which includes stories, poems, subject texts, manuals, brochures, and pamphlets. There are three types of items used for the ARMT. They are: multiple choice items on both the Reading and Mathematics portion of the assessment, gridded items on the Mathematics assessment in Grades 4 through 8, and open-ended items on both the Reading and Mathematics assessment. The open-ended questions require students to use their reasoning skills to write a narrative explanation of their answer for reading and use reasoning skills to show their work or explain how they solved the problem in mathematics. The responses to these questions require the student to use logic and higher-order thinking skills. The results for the ARMT assessment are reported in achievement levels and are aligned to Alabama's content standards. A Level I score signifies that the student does not meet academic content standards. Level II scores indicate that the student partially meets the academic content standards. A Level III score reveals that the student meets the academic content standards while a student receiving a Level IV score exceeds the required academic content standards. Individual student results are particularly helpful when determining a student's remediation needs for the next school year. Group results are reported for school systems and for individual schools by grade level and reveal grade level proficiencies and deficiencies related to Alabama content standards.