On Tuesday, Madison, Wis., teacher David Wasserman refused to give state tests, saying he had moral objections to NCLB's testing requirements. He sat in the teachers' lounge while a colleague proctored the test for him, according to this Associated Press account. Wasserman planned to halt his protest today after the district superintendent threatened to fire him. "I can't jeopardize health insurance for my family," Wasserman, 36, told the AP. "I want to still hold by my morals, which I feel very strongly about. But I have a family to think about." This is a small and isolated story. But it ...


The demand for supplemental educational services hasn't kept pace with the growth of federal dollars to pay for them, according to a new analysis from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. Even though the number of districts required to offer SES under NCLB has grown in recent years, the percentage of students signing up for the free tutoring has declined, the 19-page paper says. These numbers are similar to national numbers that I collected from the U.S. Department of Education for this story three weeks ago. "What is striking is that the increase in the number of eligible students ...


For the first time in months, the current issue of Education Week doesn't have an story describing the incremental progress (or lack thereof) on NCLB legislation. But the Education Week staff still managed to find several NCLB treats to share with you. Christina A. Samuels delivers a front-page report on efforts to require "universal design for learning" in NCLB ('Universal Design' Concept Pushed for Education). A coalition of education groups wants states to create lesson plans that address a variety of learning styles. The language is in the discussion draft circulated by House members and in a bipartisan Senate bill (see...


Don't bother clicking on any of my links to the House's discussion draft over the past two months. The House Education and Labor Committee has taken down the documents it posted on Aug. 28 and Sept. 6. Now all you get is this friendly message: "The committee has received many helpful comments regarding its NCLB discussion draft and is currently in the process of reviewing them." The panel pulled the documents because "elements of the draft were growing outdated," Tom Kiley, a committee spokesman, told me in an e-mail. He didn't mention which parts of the proposal are no longer ...


The next version to NCLB will almost certainly use growth models to measure adequate yearly progress. The idea is in the House's discussion draft and just about every set of recommendations to improve the law (see here, here, and here). A new report out today suggests the law should allow new forms of assessing students, too. The report from a Delaware-based group says that NCLB should let states use computer-adaptive tests instead of grade-level tests, which are usually given with pencil and paper. Grade-level tests, the groups says, are unable to measure progress of students who start the year either ...


What does the namesake of a civil-rights leader from the South Side of Chicago have in common with a Caucasian Republican from Alaska who lives seven miles north of the Arctic Circle? They agree on how to fix No Child Left Behind. Boardbuzz—the official blog of the National School Boards Association—announced in this item that Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., D-Ill., has endorsed the association's NCLB bill. The bill, H.R. 648, is sponsored by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, a former teacher. This alliance shows how mixed up the politics of NCLB can be. Jackson's action is another...


Since I last talked to Richard Simmons, his effort to insert physical education into the NCLB debate hasn't made much progress. The House's NCLB draft excluded the FIT Kids Act, which would require states to guarantee students have access to physical education. And the draft's list of potential multiple measures wouldn't include physical education. Both are things Simmons is lobbying for. But he isn't giving up. The fitness star's Web site has a long entry explaining that he's excited about the progress of his proposal to add physical education requirements to NCLB. The biggest positive sign, he says, is that ...


Advocates for environmental education are continuing to push their cause. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., has signed up to be the Senate's sponsor of the No Child Left Inside Act. “The No Child Left Inside Act will help reconnect more kids with nature and restore environmental education in America’s classrooms,” Reed says in a press release from the coalition of environmental and education groups pushing the bill. On the coalition's Web site, you'll see that it has been partially successful in its lobbying, at least in the House. In its comments on the Title I section of the House's ...


Even though lawmakers aren't making news about the future of NCLB, the current issue of Education Week includes stories that touch on the hallmarks of the law: accountability, improving reading skills of the lowest-performing students, and rewarding teachers for improving students' test scores. Throw in a commentary about narrowing the curriculum, and you've got a full plate of NCLB in front of you. As for the news, Alyson Klein writes about the looming budget faceoff between Democrats and President Bush (Bush, Democrats Face Education Spending Showdown). I've already blogged about the story here, mentioning that it is too soon to ...


The California Teachers Association continues its assault on NCLB. To supplement its Web ads, it has turned to YouTube and radio ads. The YouTube video tears at heartstrings and predicts that NCLB will lead to the end of public education as we know it. The radio ad includes standard union criticism of the law. "Students should be judged by more than a standardized test score," CTA President David Sanchez says. Performance pay "means more teaching to the test and will make it harder to attract teachers into lower-performing schools," he adds. The ad is available in English and Spanish. You ...


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