Cycle III 
The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) established the years between 2002 and 2014 as the period within which states must help all students attain proficiency in English language arts and mathematics. To align its existing accountability system with NCLB, Massachusetts has set intermediary performance targets for each 2year cycle between 1998, when the Massachusetts School & District Accountability System was adopted, and 2014.
The State issues midcycle Adequate Yearly Progress determinations in oddnumbered years. At the end of each 2year cycle issues Performance and Improvement Ratings as well as AYP determinations. Fall 2004 marks the end of Cycle III, encompassing the 20022003 and 20032004 school years. 
Performance Rating 
A school or district's Performance Rating is a descriptive representation of that school or district's aggregate student performance on Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests for a given cycle. The Composite Performance Index (CPI) is a measure of the extent to which students are progressing toward proficiency in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics, respectively. A CPI of 100 in a given content area means that all students have reached proficiency.
CPI scores correspond to one of six performance rating categories: Very High (90  100); High (80  89.9); Moderate (70  79.9); Low (60  69.9); Very Low (40  59.9); and Critically Low (0  39.9).

CPI  Composite Performance Index. The Composite Performance Index (CPI) is a measure of the extent to which students are progressing toward proficiency in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics, respectively. The CPI is a 100point index that combines the scores of students who take standard MCAS tests (the Proficiency Index) with the scores of those who take the MCASAlternate Assessment (MCASAlt) (the MCASAlt Index). For more detailed information on the CPI, see the School Leaders' Guide to the 2004 Cycle III Accountability and AYP Reports (pdf). 
State Target  State performance targets for ELA and for mathematics have been set for each twoyear periodor cyclebetween 1998 and 2014. These targets establish benchmarks toward the NCLB goal of all students scoring proficient or advanced by 2014. For both years of Cycle III (2003 and 2004), the state target for ELA was a CPI of 75.6 points. For math, the state target was 60.8. 
Improvement Rating  A school or district's Improvement Rating is determined by comparing baseline performance to endofcycle performance. The amount of Composite Performance Index increase a school or district is expected to achieve during a particular rating cycle, called the gain target, is based on the gap between that school or district's baseline Composite Performance Index and a Composite Performance Index of 100 (the year 2014 performance target for all Massachusetts schools and districts).
Once the amount of improvement is calculated for each content area and the appropriate error band has been applied, the resulting score is matched to one of five improvement rating categories: Above Target; On Target; Improved Below Target; No Change; Declined.

Baseline CPI  The Baseline Composite Performance Index (CPI) represents the combined performance of students tested in the two years of the previous rating cycle. Baseline CPIs are established separately for ELA and for math.
A Cycle III ELA baseline CPI is calculated using the MCAS scores of students tested in grades 3, 4, 7, and 10 in the spring of 2001 and spring of 2002. The Cycle III math baseline CPI is calculated using the MCAS scores of students tested in grades 4, 6, 8, and 10 in the spring of 2001 and spring of 2002.

Gain Target  The Gain Target represents the amount of improvement a school, district, or student subgroup is expected to make during a twoyear cycle. Gain targets are calculated by subtracting the baseline CPI from 100 (the ultimate CPI goal), and dividing the difference by the number of remaining cycles, including the current cycle, until the year 2014. For Cycle III, that number is six. Improvement gain targets are set for ELA and math separately. The gain target at midcycle is 2/3 of the endofcycle target. 
On Target Range  The On Target Range represents the minimum and maximum CPI scores required for a group to receive an "On Target" improvement rating, taking into consideration the error band surrounding each groups Gain Target. The smaller number in the On Target Range represents the Gain Target minus the error band, while the larger number in the On Target Range represents the Gain Target plus the error band.
If the Cycle III CPI falls within the On Target Range, the group is considered to be On Target. 
EB  Error Band. The improvement that a district, school, or subgroup is expected to make from one cycle to another is expressed as a target range. (See On Target Range.) This range includes an "error band" that surrounds the target number. The size of the error band varies depending on the size of the sample. Consequently, you may meet your target even though your CPI is below the target number. Error bands vary in size between 1.0 and 4.5, depending on the size of the group being measured and whether it is at the school or district level. The error band is only applied to a group's Improvement Rating, not its Performance Rating. 
AYP  Adequate Yearly Progress. As required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, all schools and districts are expected to meet or exceed specific student performance standards in English language arts (ELA)/reading and math by the year 2014. AYP determinations are issued yearly to monitor the interim progress of all students toward attainment of those performance goals. School and district AYP determinations are made based on the performance of students in the aggregate and for student subgroups for both ELA and mathematics.
To receive an affirmative 2004 AYP determination, schools and districts must meet a student participation requirement, an additional attendance or graduation requirement, and either the State's Cycle III performance target for that subject or the school or district's own Cycle III improvement target. A group may also make AYP by reducing the number of nonproficient students by 10% between 2003 and 2004 (NCLB's Safe Harbor provision).

Accountability Status  Districts, schools, and student subgroups are expected to make Adequate Yearly Progress in ELA and mathematics. Districts, schools, or subgroups that make AYP in consecutive years have no Accountability Status. Those that do not make AYP for two consecutive years or more may be identified for Improvement, Corrective Action, or Restructuring for students in the aggregate or for one or more student subgroups. Improvement, Corrective Action, and Restructuring status all trigger specific consequences. 
Participation  Participation is a required component of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) calculations. Participation rates represent the number of students who participated in MCAS tests (# assessed) divided by the number of students who were enrolled (# enrolled) on the date MCAS tests were administered. As a matter of federal law, the required participation rate to make AYP is 95%. 
N  The number of student assessment results for Cycle III (20022003 & 20032004) included in the CPI calculation. This number includes only those students enrolled on or before October 1 of the academic year in which the test was administered. The MCAS results of firstyear LEP students are not included. 
Met Target (Performance)  To receive an affirmative AYP determination, districts, schools, and student subgroups must either meet the State Performance Target or their own Improvement target. For Cycle III (2003 and 2004), the State Performance Target for ELA was a CPI of 75.6 points. For math, the State Performance Target was 60.8. 
CPI Change  Composite Performance Index (CPI) Change. This figure represents the difference between a group's baseline CPI and its Performance CPI for the current cycle. The CPI Change figure is compared to a group's Gain Target to establish whether the group met its Improvement Target. 
Met Target (Improvement)  To make AYP, districts, schools, and student subgroups must meet either the State Performance Target or their own Improvement Target for ELA and for mathematics, respectively. A district, school, or subgroup's Cycle III improvement target is 100 minus its baseline CPI, divided by 6 (the number of remaining Cycles through the year 2014). Midcycle targets are twothirds of the endofcycle targets. 
Attendance  Attendance is the additional AYP indicator for elementary schools, middle schools, and districts. (For high schools, Competency Determination (CD) rates are used.) Attendance is calculated by dividing the total number of days a student attended school by the total number of days enrolled. Students are included in districtlevel attendance rates if they attended any school in the district for any portion of the school year. Students are only included in schoollevel attendance calculations if they were enrolled in that school on October 1 and at the end of the same school year.
The attendance rate required to make AYP in 2004 was 92%, or improvement of at least 1% from the previous year. Determinations are only made for groups of six or more students.

Competency Determination  The Competency Determination (CD) attainment rate is our interim additional AYP indicator for high schools. A CD is awarded to high school students who pass both the ELA and mathematics Grade 10 MCAS tests. CD rates are calculated by dividing the number of Grade 12 students who have received a CD by the total number of students enrolled in Grade 12 in the school as of October 1 of the same school year. (Calculations do not include transferred, deceased, or foreign students.)
The CD rate required to make AYP in 2004 was 70%. Determinations are only made for groups of six or more students.

No Determination 
Districts, schools, and student subgroups that do not meet the minimum sample size requirements for Cycle III do not receive an AYP determination.
Beginning in 2004, AYP determinations are calculated for student populations in the aggregate whenever the number of students assessed is forty (40) or greater in each year for which performance data is being analyzed. When the total number of students assessed per year is fewer than forty, the Department determines, on a casebycase basis, the most reliable, valid, and consistent method to render an AYP determination for the school or district.
AYP determinations are calculated for subgroups if they include (1) forty (40) students or greater assessed in each year for which performance data is being analyzed, AND (2) the number of subgroup members was at least 5% of students whose assessment results are included in the school's or district's aggregate AYP calculation, OR (3) the number of subgroup members was 200 or more.
At midcycle, a subgroup must meet the minimum sample size requirements for the year under review. At endofcycle, as in 2004, a subgroup must meet the sample size requirements in each year of the two years under review in order to receive an AYP determination. 
Adequate Yearly Progress History  A school or district's AYP History provides a snapshot of the years between 1999 and 2004. AYP determinations are made each year in ELA and mathematics, for students in the aggregate and for student subgroups. Prior to 2003, AYP determinations were issued only at the end of each accountability cycle, and were based only on aggregate student performance. A school or district's current Accountability Status for both ELA and mathematics is printed in the final column of the AYP History table. 