Diane Ravitch, one of the nation's most influential education writers, gets prime real estate on today's New York Times op-ed page to argue for dramatic changes to NCLB. She calls the law "fundamentally flawed" and declares its goal of universal proficiency is "simply unattainable." The law "has unleashed an unhealthy obsession with standardized testing that has reduced the time available for teaching other important subjects," she writes. The solution, she concludes, is to have the federal government and states trade jobs. The feds would collect data that tell states how well their schools are doing; the states would use the ...


You can read all about the meaning of the latest round of scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress in this week's issue of Education Week. President Bush says the mostly positive results mean Congress should get to work and reauthorize NCLB, I write in Bush Pushes NCLB as Renewal Percolates. But I didn't have much to report on lawmakers' progress when I wrote the story. (And I still don't have much to report. Anybody out there want to clue me in? Here's my e-mail.) In an important NCLB-related story, Lynn Olson reports in Teacher-Pay Experiments Mounting Amid Debate ...


As I've mentioned before, the road to NCLB's reauthorization in the House goes through California. Both the chairman and senior Republican on the education committee and the Speaker of the House all represent the Golden State. Throw in the other 50 House members representing California's interests, and you have to pay attention to the politics there. To that end, take note of Assembly Joint Resolution 23 that passed both chambers of the California legislature last month. It includes common complaints about the law. Not flexible enough. Inadequately funded. Too dependent on reading and math scores. But it also introduces a ...


The inclusion of performance pay may make NCLB a "deal breaker" for the NEA. But its absence would disappoint some Democrats. The Center for American Progress—led by John Podesta, a former chief of staff in the Clinton White House—says that the proposed grant programs supporting new performance-pay projects should stay in the House's NCLB draft. "This is an important initiative that deserves support on both sides of the aisle—especially from progressives who believe in strengthening public education for low-income students," CAP says in a brief for media. The fact sheet then counters many of NEA's talking...


Don't overlook middle schools in NCLB reauthorization, some members of Congress are saying. Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, D-Az., is pointing to findings buried in a recent report that show a disproportionate number of middle schools are failing to make AYP. Although 15 percent of schools in the Title I program serve the middle grades, a third of the schools in restructuring or corrective action are middle schools, the Government Accountability Office says in this report. Rep. Grijalva is pointing to the figures as a reason to address middle schools' problems in NCLB reauthorization. He has sponsored a middle school bill, ...


We've heard all about testing and teacher pay since the House education committee released its discussion drafts on NCLB. Beware of another potential headache: paperwork. That's what the American Association of School Administrators says. In two separate documents (here and here), AASA lists the new red tape the House proposal would add. Committees would need to form, studies would have to be published, and new reports would need to be filed. Under the Title I proposal, districts would be overwhelmed trying to comply with everything the draft would require in their improvement plans, AASA says. Under Title II, districts would ...


President Bush today joined the chorus of NCLB supporters who say the law is the reason for the positive results on the National Assessment of Education Progress. "What all this means is No Child Left Behind Act is working for all kinds of children in all kinds of schools in every part of the country," the president said in New York City this morning. But critics aren't convinced. FairTest has released its formal response, saying that NAEP increases were "significantly greater" before NCLB (from 2000 to 2003) than after. "That deflates the administration’s claims that federal law is driving ...


Last week lacked the breaking news on the NCLB beat common in recent months. But the stories in this week's issue of Education Week dig below the surface of some significant developments. Throw in a couple of commentaries, and this issue has a lot to offer on the NCLB front. In Law's Timeline on Proficiency Under Debate, I explain where key lawmakers and leading lobbyists stand on the deadline for universal proficiency by 2014. The goal once appeared sacrosanct, but it may not be now. Although I didn't have a fresh quote on this topic from Secretary of Education Margaret ...


NCLB supporters are bragging today that the law's focus on student achievement is the main reason for the rise in reading and mathematics scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Here's this press release from Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings: “No Child Left Behind is working. It’s doable, reasonable, and necessary. Any efforts to weaken accountability would fly in the face of rising achievement." Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., says the scores show that NCLB should be reauthorized with its key ingredients in place. "They are also a stark reminder that we cannot and must not back ...


This morning, NEA President Reg Weaver and other NEA staff members explained the union's stance on NCLB reauthorization to a dozen or so education writers. They outlined what the union doesn't like about growth models, teacher-pay provisions, and other issues addressed in the House education committee's discussion draft. Much of the policy discussion had been covered in documents previously released by the NEA. (See here, here, and here.) But the political discussion was news to me. At the end, Weaver was asked whether the NEA would bend in its opposition to merit pay and pay for performance linked to students' ...


Advertisement

Recent Comments

  • Cheryl Jones: David, What do you think will happen with NCLB? Cheryl read more
  • Michael Theriault: I understand your point about having a student's grades reflect read more
  • Al: Thank you sir for your courage. If only most teachers read more
  • Al: Thank you sir for your courage. If only most teachers read more
  • Al: Thank you sir for your courage. If only most teachers read more

Archives

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here