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Our School Didn’t Make AYP Required by NCLB: Can We Change Schools?

by Wrightslaw

My school is a Title 1 school under No Child Left Behind and did not make AYP (adequate yearly progress). The school says that we only have one school within the district, therefore no change of schools is required.

Why don’t I have the choice to go to another school? Where can I look for my rights?

NCLB says Title 1 schools are supposed to make arrangements for kids to attend schools that are passing. Passing schools are those making their Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals. This requirement still applies even if it means transferring to a school in a different district. NCLB says that all children in a failing school can choose to go to a non-failing school. If there is no other passing school in your district, you may choose a school in another district.

Sue Whitney Heath, co-author of Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind, explains the choices you have if your school is a Title 1 school and is failing to meet its AYP goals.

If your Title 1 School fails to meet its AYP goal for two consecutive years, all the children in the school may choose to attend a non-failing school in your school district. If all schools in your district fail, you may send your child to a school in another school district. Section 6316(b)(7)(C) (Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind, p. 179)

If your Title 1 School fails to reach its AYP goal for three years, your school will provide supplemental services to the children remaining there. These supplemental services include tutoring, after-school programs, and summer school.

To learn more about your rights, including transferring from a school that does not make progress, read Sue’s “Parent’s Guide to NCLB.”

You’ll find answers to more of your questions about the law here: NCLB at Wrightslaw.

On the NCLB Law page scroll down to Guidance Documents for the Public School Choice, Non-Regulatory Guidance Draft.

Today from Education News at read more about what happened in the Houston Independent School District where about 15% of the schools failed to make adequate progress under NCLB in 2007, making about 17,500 students qualified to change schools.

Unfortunately, some Texas parents will have to wait until Oct. 8 — more than six weeks after the first day of school — to find out whether their children are entitled to transfer to a higher-performing campus under No Child Left Behind.

It’s not the first time the Texas Education Agency has failed to comply with the federal law’s requirement that parents be given notice in time to get their children out of failing schools before the first bell rings. Read more in Delay leaves students who want to transfer in limbo.

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22 Comments on "Our School Didn’t Make AYP Required by NCLB: Can We Change Schools?"


My son attends a Title 1 program improvement (PI) school and I was offered by the Director for Compensatory Education one of two schools in the same district, but both schools are also PI schools, I told this person it was “pointless to transfer”. Brought this to the Director of Child Welfare and Attendance she said since I refused there offer they will not help. After trying to reason with her, it changed to “the district does not base student transfer requests on Academic Performance Index (API) scores unless the schools are placed on the Ramero List by the State. School in question is not on this list. I grieved this and lost. I filed an appeal stating violations of my Constitutional Rights Article VI Clause 2, NCLB Act and ESEA. I recently lost my appeal. If my case interests you I have no problem going into complete detail.


I’m a mother of a 1st grader his school did not pass the AYP. I called different schools from other districts and they told me they are not accepting children due to overcrowded classes in this case was my other option I don’t understand how this system works.


My son’s elementary school is a title I and did not meet AYP for the first year. I received a letter from the district as a choice to transfer my son to another school. Is this possible? Do they must provide transportation?
Do all students gets a choice of transfering or is it for only specific students?



Before we moved to a new school district, I requested all of my child’s records including academic, health, etc. I had copies of progress reports and state assessments. I made extra copies. I delivered one packet to his new school. And, I delivered a second packet to the pupil services department at the new school district. The pupil services director at the new school district was very appreciative. Apparently, school records go to the new school, not the pupil services director. Then, the school copies the records and send to the pupil services. My efforts resulted in both departments having the records concurrenlty and everything for my child was off to a good start. They had records two months before we transferred and all is well. This may help other pareents.

Sharon L.

Kristine, The only reason I can think of a school refusing to send the IEP is because it was never signed by all of the team members? You mentioned you have a DRAFT IEP. IF that is the case have them send you the final sheet of the IEP and you get it back to them and there should be no problem. Otherwise I cannot understand what the problem would be.