Rep. George Miller (D-CA), Chair of the House Education and Labor Committee said that there should be "multiple measures" in No Child Left Behind rather than the current one--the state assessment. Many believe "multiple measures" is code for diluting accountability.
In a Nevada school distict six high schools failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) yet were named in the top 5% of public schools in Newsweek magazine. How can that be? AYP requires the disaggregation of eight subgroups. These Nevada high schools, while great places for high-achieving students taking Advanced Placement courses, did not educate their students with special needs, or Special Education students. This is exactly what "No Child Left Behind" is all about: pointing out that it's no longer acceptable to fail to educate certain subgroups of students.
Some that criticize No Child Left Behind say that the general public cannot understand when different measures conflict. I disagree. The medical field uses different assessments to determine the complete pictures. AYP provides one piece of the picture of a school's performance. In addition, there are State Accreditation Indicators, the School Accountability Report, and CSAP results. When the public understands the varied purposes of different accountability measures, it makes sense that there would sometimes be conflicting "scores."
In early October Colorado will release state, district and school Adequate Yearly Progress results. In December, School Accountability Reports will be released. It's inevitable that some of these reports will conflict, but that's what happens when you examine different pieces of the complete picture.