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.