Rep. George Miller said last month that NCLB "is not fair, not flexible, and is not funded." In response to one question on this PBS Web chat, the chairman of the House education committee lays out three things he wants to change about the law: 1.) Revise assessments "so they measure critical thinking, problem solving, and other important skills." New tests could reduce the amount of test-prep and "drill-and-kill" of "low-level skills," he writes. 2.) Create growth models to "ensure that teachers get credit" for raising test scores across the achievement spectrum, as well as for helping students on the ...


In 11 years at Education Week, I've covered State of the Union Addresses, visited dozens of schools, and traveled to Antarctica. But I've never interviewed a Hollywood celebrity. Until today. Fitness guru Richard Simmons read my item about the House bill he's endorsing to add physical education requirements under NCLB. One of his assistants called to tell me Simmons would like to talk. I left him a message, and he called back five minutes later. You can listen to our 15-minute conversation here. (He does most of the talking.) He explains that he's taking on this campaign because he wants ...


One thing is almost certain about NCLB's future: The way AYP is calculated will change. Most, including the chairman of the House's education committee, would use students' test-score growth as the key indicator. In the new issue of Education Next, Harvard researcher Paul E. Peterson is the latest to outline ideas for a growth model. Under his plan, schools would be given letter grades, from 'A' through 'F,' based on the amount of progress their students are making toward the goal of universal proficiency by the end of 2013-14 school year. He compares the current "you made it or ...


A quick update on the new teacher quality lawsuit: My colleague Vaishali Honawar has a story with more details here. Also, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education supports the lawsuit. "The federal government needs to close this loophole that allows unprepared and uncertified teachers to enter the classroom and be called highly qualified," Jane West, the group's vice president for government relations and advocacy, writes in this statement....


Last week, Karl Rove suggested that Bush administration might flex executive muscle to change NCLB. Today, a coalition of California groups filed a lawsuit saying the administration hasn't been forceful enough in writing the law's highly qualified teacher rules. Read all about it here. In the suit, Public Advocates asks a federal judge to enforce the law's requirement that teachers be fully certified under state law to be considered highly qualified. The department's rules allow states to declare teachers pursuing alternative certification as highly qualified, according to this statement from Jenny Pearlman, a staff attorney for Public Advocates. The department's ...


I'm back from an NCLB-free vacation. Thanks to Alyson Klein for taking over the blog and to Sean Cavanagh for making a cameo appearance. I've been playing catch up on NCLB news for the past 48 hours. Perhaps the most interesting tidbit I've found was buried in this AP story about President Bush's plans to assert his executive authority during the remainder of this term. "We have No Child Left Behind, which we can either do by law or regulation; we want to do it by law," outgoing presidential adviser Karl Rove said. This adds a new wrinkle to those ...


Merit pay for teachers, which has been a subject of debate among lawmakers working towards reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, was a point of discussion in the Democratic presidential debate in Iowa on Sunday. It’s particularly interesting to see how the three candidates who sit on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which could take up an NCLB reauthorization bill as early as next month, came down on that issue, and on the education law generally. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said he would support merit pay as long as teachers “have some buy-in” in ...


It’s unclear just how Congress will address the question of how—and whether—to expand parts of the No Child Left Behind Act to high schools. There’s no shortage of proposals out there, though, many of which are endorsed by the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington-based advocacy organization headed up by former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, a Democrat. The group held a briefing on Capitol Hill this morning for congressional staff member, education advocates, and the press. Bethany Little, the group's vice president for policy and federal advocacy, highlighted some of the high school overhaul measures ...


Written by Education Week's Sean Cavanagh This week, one of the leading voices in the U.S. business lobby, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, offered some specifics on the kinds of changes to the law its leaders will support, with this underlying message: Hold firm. Arthur J. Rothkopf, a senior vice president at the Chamber, told reporters at an Aug. 15 press event in Washington (link launches RealMedia audio file) that the organization opposes the idea of establishing "multiple measures'' to judge students' academic progress under a reauthorized NCLB unless those measures are as academically demanding as the current ...


The Senate, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held a field hearing in Sante Fe, New Mexico on NCLB on August 10, exploring the impact of the law on Native American students, which so far, has been an under-the-radar-issue in the larger reauthorization debate. Coverage of the event in the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Albequerque Journal mainly focused on criticisms that the law has made it harder for schools to focus on native languages and culture. Maggie Benally, principal of the Navajo Language Immersion School in Fort Defiance, Ariz., which has made adequate yearly progress the past three ...


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