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January 23, 2009

Wish #2: The End of Proficiency Only Accountability Systems

The No Child Left Behind Act may represent the largest threshold-based government accountability system in the country. Schools are evaluated not by how much progress students make, but by their success in pushing students over the proficiency bar. By now, you're probably familiar with the disconten...

January 13, 2009

Lies, Damned Lies, and Bush Administration Accomplishments

Yesterday, President George W. Bush, as part of his swan song, released a compendium entitled “Policies of the Bush Administration 2001-2009.” Not surprisingly, No Child Left Behind is the centerpiece of administration’s accomplishments in K-12 education, and the fact sheets detail the ad...

December 04, 2008

Bubble, Pony, or Lone Star?: Portraits of the Secretary of Education

A month ago, Flypaper asked us to come up with appropriately silly backdrops for Margaret Spellings' portrait, which will be unveiled on December 18th.All you lame duck Department of Education staffers - here's something to post on the water cooler tomorrow morning. Enjoy.

September 30, 2008

No Child Left Behind: Looking Back, Looking Forward

I'm knee deep in old NCLB documents, and ran across the Department of Education's NCLB song. NCLB represented not only a major shift in federal education policy, but an embrace of policy/PR boosterism that's enough to make all of us giggle (Remember Armstrong Williams?). Back from 2002, here are the...

September 23, 2008

What Does Educational Testing Really Tell Us? An Interview with Daniel Koretz

Daniel Koretz, a professor who teaches educational measurement at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, generously agreed to field a few questions about educational testing. He is the author of Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us. EW: What are the three most common misconcepti...

September 17, 2008

Between a Political Rock and a Statistical Hard Place

Some days, skoolboy feels bad for the hard-working folks in the New York City Department of Education. They’re caught between a political rock and a statistical hard place. The political rock is the New York State accountability system, which complies with No Child Left Behind’s requirements...

September 12, 2008

Cool People You Should Know: Doug Downey

To many observers of public education, there is no doubt about which schools are failing - it's the schools with low rates of students passing state tests, stupid!Of course, this assumes that students' achievement is a direct measure of school quality. "Yet we know that this assumption is wrong....I...

September 12, 2008

Schools Restructuring under NCLB: Blow ‘em up Good?

This morning, the Center for Education Policy in Washington, DC is issuing the latest in a series of state-level reports on the fate of schools restructuring under NCLB policy. Today’s report, authored by Brenda Neuman-Sheldon (a one-time student of skoolboy’s, but I hear that she’s back on...

September 09, 2008

Lessons for No Child Left Behind from "No Cardiac Surgery Patient Left Behind"

New AYP numbers are out, folks. In California, only 48% of schools made AYP, and only 34% of middle schools did so. In Missouri, only about 40% of schools made AYP. Pick almost any state, and you'll see that there are soaring numbers of schools designated as "in need of improvement." With numbers li...

August 29, 2008

Why the Achievement Gap Matters

skoolboy has explained, much more eloquently than I can, why achievement gaps matter even if the scores of white, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian students are all rising equally: There are a great many social institutions that sort and rank individuals on the basis of test scores and the comp...

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