This paper dwells on the methodological challenges for student, school, district, and state accountability as formulated by the new law and provides some recommendations, based on recent research, for a viable approach for measuring progress of schools toward a set target. Conceived as a planning document, this paper aims to provide an analytic platform that will be transparent enough so that the ... [Show full abstract] discussion of the procedures for accountability measurement can be better de-coupled from the more contentious policy side of the current school accountability debate. It outlines the principal rationale for (1) employing scale scores, (2) using multiple outcomes, (3) estimating value-added gains from student-level longitudinal performance data, (4) requiring model-based aggregation, (5) requiring model-based inference, and (6) keeping the black-box open in a viable accountability system.Within the same framework, it proposes a definition of what it means for a school to 'make AYP' under NCLB. It shows that this notion of AYP, termed 'AYP-NCLB', can be operationalized as a comparison at any point in time of a school's growth rate with a minimum growth required of that school if it is expected to be proficient by 2013-14. The same analysis yields the proportion of the students in a school who are 'proficient' each year, the primary interest of standards-referenced approaches to the assessment.