You'll need a subscription to read this Roll Call story, but the headline tells the tale: Talks Stall on No Child Left Behind. The principals on the House Education and Labor Committee aren't making any progress on the issues separating them, the story says. It mentions merit pay for teachers as a roadblock, but doesn't name others. Judging from past statements, the list includes multiple measures, choice and supplemental educational services, local assessments, and maybe some smaller details. The story concludes noting that the clock is ticking. We're in mid-October, and there are two months at most left before Congress ...


Thanks to Alyson Klein for blogging about yesterday's NCLB meeting at the White House. Some of you know that I have a weekly appointment with a bunch of 5th grade boys on a soccer field on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. That made it hard to blog yesterday afternoon. I wanted to follow up with a couple thoughts. 1.) The presidential bully pulpit works. A former aide to Secretary of Education Richard Riley once told me that Riley could hammer away on an issue for weeks and make little progress. But if President Clinton highlighted the issue in one speech, ...


If you want to see how NCLB dominates the K-12 landscape, look at the front page of this week's issue of Education Week. Three of the four stories on the front page are directly related to the law. The other one mentions NCLB in the fourth paragraph. In Federal Rule Yields Hope for Science, Sean Cavanagh reminds us that states must assess students in science starting in the current school year. Note that the Department of Education has approved just five states' science tests. Also see that six states will use their science scores as the "other academic indicator" in ...


From Alyson Klein President Bush and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings met Tuesday with civil rights leaders at the White House to “strategize” on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act. In remarks to reporters after the meeting, Bush said that recent results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress demonstrate that the law is helping to close the achievement gap between low-income, minority students and their more advantaged peers. “Our goal is to have every child reading and doing math at grade level by 2014," the president said. "That seems reasonable to me. Seems like a reasonable ...


Two prominent think tankers agreed to discuss their new book on turning around low-performing schools under NCLB in this edweek.org chat. But most questions centered around standards. "Why is it obvious to just about everyone EXCEPT the people that make policy that national standards are needed?" one principal asked. "This is SUCH a no-brainer, it boggles my mind." Chatter Chester E. Finn, Jr., agreed. But he responded that the failed efforts to establish national standards and tests in the 1990s have left members of Congress "quite allergic to this idea." Later, in response to a question about a national ...


With help from their union brothers to the west, Nevada teachers are getting exercised about the pay-for-performance proposals in NCLB. The Nevada State Education Association held a rally in Reno on Saturday to announce their opposition to proposals in the House's NCLB draft that would experiment with paying teachers based on their students' achievement. The California Teachers Association's president helped lead the rally, according to this CTA press release. Some of the Nevada leaders plan to meet with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this week, according to this television report. Earlier this year, Reid called NCLB "vastly underfunded" and "too ...


As we start another week of waiting for legislative action, let's pause and note where NCLB fits in the larger world of presidential politics. In the field, two candidates have called for the elimination of NCLB. (See here and here.) One is a Democrat; the other a Republican. One is a governor and a former House member; the other is a former senator who voted for NCLB in 2001. At first blush, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the Democrat, and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, the Republican, appear to be strange bedfellows. But when you align them with the the ...


The New America Foundation has a new brief on the looming budget showdown between Congress and President Bush. It says NCLB may play a central role in resolving the stalemate. Democrats are pushing appropriations bills that would make "the most significant change to federal education funding in the last decade," writes Heather Rieman, a policy analyst at the think tank. But the president has threatened to veto the Democratic increases in education and other domestic spending. Rieman foresees three scenarios: 1.) Democrats send the president a huge appropriations bill and dare him to veto it and cause the government to ...


I'm a little late to comment on The Proficiency Illusion, released yesterday by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. Most of the media coverage (see here, here, and here) and blog comments (see here and here) have focused on the wide variation in states' definition of proficiency. That's something that has been evident for a while. But there's one other significant finding in the report that has been overlooked: Proficiency appears to be significantly easier to attain in the early grades than in middle school and high school. That may be one of the reasons why Title I middle schools are ...


Several Capitol Hill aides appeared on a panel at the Alliance for Excellent Education's conference in Washington this morning. Nothing they said had stop-the-presses news in it. But they did give a few tidbits of note. That's what blogs are good for. A member of the audience asked whether NCLB would be reauthorized in the current Congress. "The answer is a resounding yes," responded Roberto Rodriguez, a staffer for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the chairman of the Senate's education committee. "Both chambers are working tediously toward that goal." Yes, he said "tediously." I guess diligently goes without saying. On ...


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