The issue of the week in the House appears to be testing. In the Senate, it's teacher quality. At least that's the conclusion you can draw from reading the reactions to yesterday's introduction of the All Children Can Achieve Act. The bill is mentioned here. The bill follows many of the recommendations of the Aspen Institute's Commission on NCLB, which would require schools to use students' test scores to evaluate their teachers. New York City Chancellor Joel I. Klein likes the bill because it focuses on "teacher performance, not on teacher credentials," according to this Associated Press report. The NEA's ...


Three centrist senators unveiled their version of NCLB reauthorization today. Details aside, the proposal has one intriguing suggestion: rename the law. Sens. Lieberman, Landrieu, and Coleman call their bill the All Students Can Achieve Act. Despite the new name, the bill would retain NCLB's goal of all children achieving proficiency in reading and mathematics by 2014. It would change some important policies, though, following many recommendations of the Aspen Institute's Commission on NCLB. The bill would identify highly effective teachers and determine accountability for schools based on the growth of student achievement. It would invest in state data systems to ...


A lot of comments across the Web—like here, and here, and here—about a Congressional Quarterly report that Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon doesn't like the Democratic draft of an NCLB bill. McKeon is especially concerned about the language that would allow districts to use so-called multiple measures in determining AYP, according to one of his aides. The aide pointed to a July 13 letter from the Education Trust and civil rights groups calling for "extreme caution" in allowing for scores from new tests to be used in calculating AYP. Any such alternate tests would "dilute Title I's clear focus...


In the latest twist on the NCLB name, environmental groups have announced their No Child Left Inside campaign. "In the classroom, NCLB causes science teachers to bypass environmental science when it does not appear to relate directly to state tests," says the coalition, which includes the Sierra Club, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and several of other environmental groups. "Beyond the classroom, teachers have to forgo valuable, hands-on field investigations rather than take time away from test-related instruction," the group adds. They're pushing an amendment to NCLB that would boost spending on environmental education and would: Start a grant program in ...


A new study out of Chicago suggests that low-achieving and high-achieving students haven't benefited from No Child Left Behind. When comparing changes in Chicago students' test scores pre- and post-NCLB, researchers Derek Neal and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach found a "strikingly consistent pattern" in the test scores of students with lowest-achievement test scores. They scored "the same or lower" under NCLB's accountability system than they did in the 1990s under the Chicago's accountability measures. When looking at gifted students, the researchers found "mixed evidence of gains" in the NCLB era. Kids in the middle--the ones closest to proficiency--performed better under NCLB ...


Here are some of the key details in yesterday's bill introduced by Sen. Burr and Gregg: Creates differentiated consequences for schools based on how far they are falling short of their AYP goals. The ones farthest from their targets would get the most support; others would get targeted help based on their needs. Expands the current growth model program run by the U.S. Dept. of Ed. to make all states eligible. (Currently, 10 states are in the program, and the dept. has capped the pilot at that.) Like the department, the bill would create the department's requirement that growth ...


Some people predicted House Democrats would introduce an NCLB bill this week. Wrong chamber and wrong party. Sens. Judd Gregg and Richard Burr--both Republican members of the Senate's education committee--released their version of a reauthorized bill today. From the press release on Sen. Burr's site, it doesn't look as if they would change much. They would keep most of Secretary Spellings' "core principles." That includes goals of proficiency by 2013-14, annual testing grades 3-8, focus on reading and math. It also promises: "Additionally, the bill would streamline the accountability timeline to make it easier for schools to develop and implement ...


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