Articles Tagged with No Child Left Behind

2077051832_db157fb5c1_oAnn Foster of Parents for Public Schools has a great post about the pending No Child Left Behind reauthorization. She is a former school board member and presents a good balanced view of some of the key issues that need to be addressed.

In particular I appreciate her focus on the problems of including most Special Education students in the regular testing regime. She writes:

But perhaps the biggest travesty of all involved the most challenged and vulnerable students in the school district – children with physical and mental disabilities – which in some cases included those who could not even sit up. Sure, there was a provision in the NCLB law that allowed districts to exclude a certain percentage of special education students. But it had no relation to the number of special education students in the district. As a result, some children had to take the test who should have never been required to. It was cruel and unusual punishment. And it should never have happened.

Hear hear.

963329_bygone_era_1Don’t miss Gary Stager’s scathing take down of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) over at the Huffington Post.

He cites a recent review by the Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences that stated:

β€œThe program did not increase the percentages of students in grades one, two or three whose reading comprehension scores were at or above grade level.”

From there he goes on to compare it to the Iraq War and Katrina. Ouch!

517386_scanning_testNew York, Texas, California, and Florida have opted out of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and will be abandoning all high stakes testing. It is unclear at this time if other states will follow, although indications from across the political spectrum are clear there is strong interest.

In a joint press conference the Chief State School Officers for the big 4 expressed a commitment to move the money they are currently spending on high stakes testing into Art, Music, and Intramural Sports.

“Frankly we were not seeing real gains. We kept tweaking the tests and measurements to give the illusion that progress was being made – but at the end of the day it was the same old same old” stated one Chief. Another added that it was difficult to measure whether the tests were really making a difference. As he pointed out – “the mortgage crisis was driven by people educated 15-30 years ago, it is hard to see how today’s students could be dumber than that.”