LANSING, Mich. - The percentage of schools making "adequate yearly progress" rose from 80 to 86 percent in Michigan in 2008-2009, according to findings released by the Michigan Department of Education and reported in the Detroit Free Press.

The improvement was attributed to better math and writing scores among low-income students and a new standard under which schools receive credit for high school students who graduate in five years rather than the traditional four, the Free Press reported.

Under the terms of the federal No Child Left Behind act, schools that fail to make adequate yearly progress are subject to a variety of sanctions, including providing transportation for students to attend a better school.

The number of schools not demonstrating AYP dropped to 528 from 758, the Free Press reported. The number of schools that have failed to make AYP for at least five years climbed from 154 to 169, the report said. Those schools are designated for restructuring.

In addition to AYP findings, the department also released its latest EducationYES! School Report Cards, which grades schools based on standardized test scores, scores on alternate assessments for students with disabilities and "performance indicators" such as professional development for teachers, the Free Press reported.

Detroit Free Press, "Michigan releases latest school report cards," Sept. 3, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "The shell game of making AYP," March 18, 2009