Sunday, June 21, 2009

No Child Left Behind Appears To Be Doing Some Good

Despite the doomsday scenarios and conspiracy theories, it looks like NCLB might be working, even if only a little:

Since the No Child Left Behind Act was enacted, critics have questioned whether the law’s mandate to bring students to "proficiency" has resulted in schools ignoring the needs of the nation’s highest- and lowest-achieving students.

A new study, released today, suggests those fears have not become reality.

The 50-state analysis found that test scores for both "advanced" and "basic" students rose in nearly three-quarters of assessments studied across states and grade levels, a level of progress only slightly lower than that of students reaching proficiency.

The study sought to examine a story line put forward in recent years—namely, that schools are not focusing on the highest- or lowest-scoring students, but rather on middle achievers, said Jack Jennings, the president of the Center on Education Policy, which produced the report.

While the progress of high and low achievers could be stagnating in individual instances or schools, the study indicates that on average, those students are advancing, said Mr. Jennings, of the center, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington.

I'm betting on reauthorization with only cosmetic changes.


Fritz J. said...

I suspect you are right and that some minor cosmetic changes will suddenly have many of those who objected to it now saying it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. There will always be a contingent against it because they will claim it discriminates. More importantly, I think it also shows us which teachers are competent and which are not,something I suspect will cause the various teacher's unions to object to it. Fortunately, truly incompetent teacher are few, but they need to be discovered and removed because of the damage they do. While I had several lackluster teachers, only one would I describe as incompetent and she was let go after one year, but my nephews were not so lucky. The grade school they attended kept that teacher and finally the family moved simply to get the last one a better fourth grade teacher. Several years later the wife of a friend of mine was elected to the school board of that district and after all was said and done, several teachers, including the one, were let go along with the principal.

miriam said...

I hope you are right. My observation is that no-one learns anything any more in the American educational system.