EdWeek's NCLB Articles, Now All in Once Place

Although NCLB Act II is on hiatus, in the meantime, you might be interested in checking out the Spotlight on No Child Left Behind. Education Week's editors have packaged major NCLB articles and commentaries into a downloadable PDF on growth models, graduation rates, supplemental education services, the “differential accountability” pilot project and more. Check it out....


NCLB: Act II Takes an Intermission

NCLB: Act II is on hiatus. At some point in the future, it may resume covering developments in the reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now known as the No Child Left Behind Act....


Expect New Rules for Title I on Tuesday

The week before Election Day, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings put the Bush administration's final stamp on NCLB by publishing new Title I rules. Among other things, the wide-ranging set of rules require states to set a uniform graduation rate and use it to hold high schools accountable; force schools to complete a series of administrative tasks before they redirect money away from tutoring and school choice; and create a minimum "n" size for the number of students in a subgroup needed for that group to be include under NCLB's accountability rules. At the time, key lawmakers endorsed the rules ...


Following Obama's Call, States Start Redoing Their Tests

President Obama is promising to improve the quality of assessments used under NCLB. Even though he has yet to introduce a detailed plan to reauthorize the law, states are at work on doing just that. Once again, Kentucky is out in front. Washington state and Texas aren't far behind. See my story now online. One quote that got left in my notebook: "This is very much driven out of Washington now," said Stanley Rabinowitz, the testing director at WestEd, referring to Obama's campaign promises and his rhetoric since taking office. Here are two examples: From the White House Web site's ...


Title I Spending Rules Could Use Updating, Influencial Source Says

In the weeks before the election last fall, Robert Gordon published an intriguing essay for the Center for American Progress, where he worked at the time. The title—"More Equity and Less Red Tape"—aptly summarizes what is a nuanced argument delving deeply into complicated rules governing how districts spend Title I money. In the piece, Gordon argues that the federal government should abandon the "supplement, not supplant" rule and be more forceful about "comparability." Under "supplement, not supplant," schools are forced "to prove what they would have done in the absence of federal funding," Gordon writes. That creates a web of...


Debate Over Curriculum Narrowing Continues

The argument that NCLB is narrowing the curriculum is not going away. Here are two items: 1. The congressional sponsors of the FIT Kids Act plan to re-introduce their bill this week. The House bill would require schools to schedule daily physical education and set a goal of providing 150 minutes a week of gym for elementary students and 225 minutes a week for secondary students. The bill also would require schools, districts, and states to report on the quality of their systems. The bill had a long list of co-sponsors in the last Congress and the support of American ...


Districts May Get Wide Discretion Over Title I Money in Stimulus

The debate over Title I setasides may be moot. One simple phrase in the stimulus law may allow districts to spend money from Title I and other federal programs as they choose, without following the rules set in NCLB or other laws. The clause says that states "may use the funds for any activity" authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and other federal laws. See Section 14003 in the law itself. Creative lawyers are suggesting that because ESEA's Impact Aid program gives districts wide discretion in spending money under ESEA, districts may be able to rely on that ...


Jump Over to Politics K-12 for NCLB News

The Politics K-12 team has two important posts pertaining to NCLB's future, one about the future of the Bush administration's Title I rules and another about the prospects for national standards in the long term....


How 11 Words Could Dramatically Change Proficiency Goal

Back in 2007, the House education committee's "discussion" draft for NCLB reauthorization bill came under fire from many sides. The NEA's opposition to potential pay-for-performance programs drew most of the attention. Barely noticed and hardly debated, though, were minor addition to NCLB's goal for student achievement. The current law requires states to track whether students are on pace to be proficient by the 2013-14 school year. The discussion draft for Title I would have added one important 11-word phrase: "or be on trajectory to meet or exceed [proficiency] within 3 years." I point this out as a follow-up to Friday's ...


Growth Models: Not as Simple as They Appear

When experts talk about accountability under NCLB, they agree on one thing: The future lies in growth models. Discussions usually end there, never delving into the complexities of what makes a good growth model, how to design one, or whether they accomplish what NCLB sets out to do. Charlie Barone jumps into the morass and reports on some of the technical problems and design flaws with Tennessee's growth model. In a report for Education Sector, he writes that the Tennessee model doesn't measure whether the state's students are going to meet NCLB's ultimate goal: universal proficiency by the 2013-14 school ...


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