Darien Public Schools met federal standards for adequate yearly progress in the 2010-2011 academic year.

The town's schools remained in good standing as districts throughout the state sunk beneath an ever-rising cutoff, put in place by No Child Left Behind.

To make AYP, 91 percent of elementary and middle-school students must reach proficiency in math, and 89 percent in reading on the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT). At the high school level, 90 percent of students must reach proficiency in math on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT), and 91 must do so in reading.

The targets must be met by the entire school, as well as all subgroups that contain more than 40 students, including special education students, English language learners; economically-disadvantaged students; and black, white, Asian and Hispanic students. The test scores are split into five performance levels: below basic; basic; proficient; goal; and advanced.

Under No Child Left Behind, which was passed in 2002, 100 percent of students nationwide are expected to meet proficiency by 2014. In order to achieve such a goal in a dozen years, the performance targets are increased each year. These targets jumped by about 10 percent this year over last. To meet standards last year, 82 percent of CMT students had to score at or above the proficient level in math; and 79 percent had to do so in reading. On last year's CAPT, 80 percent of students had to score at or above proficient in math and 81 percent in reading.

Neighboring New Canaan was also "all clear" this year, but elsewhere in lower Fairfield County, districts did not fare as well.

Stamford was one of 34 districts that failed to make AYP due to the whole district's math and reading scores; Greenwich Public Schools was one of 10 districts across the states to miss AYP due to subgroups' performance on this year's round of standardized testing.

"Although more schools failed to meet the standards, this difference is due in part to the increase in the federal requirements of No Child Left Behind for 2011, where nine in 10 students are required to be proficient in mathematics and reading," read a Monday morning statement from the State Department of Education.

According to the State, 373 elementary and middle schools throughout Connecticut, (about 48 percent) did not make AYP this year, compared with 220 (about 28 percent) last year. Among high schools, 86 schools (45 percent) did not make AYP this year, compared with 61 (31 percent) last year.

Fifty-four of the state's 189 public school districts failed to meet the mark, an increase of 17 schools over last year.

Staff writer Maggie Gordon can be reached at maggie.gordon@scni.com or 203-964-2229.