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RAND Researchers Offer NCLB Prescription

If you want to know what researchers who've studied the No Child Left Behind law think about how to improve it, check out this new brief from RAND, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based think tank.

With support from the U.S. Department of Education, RAND researchers conducted two longitudinal studies of the law between 2004 and 2007. Based on those findings, the new brief offers eight recommendations that RAND says lawmakers ought to consider if they decide to reauthorize the program.

These include: promoting more uniform academic standards and teacher-qualification requirements across states; setting more "appropriate" improvement targets for schools (i.e., ones that give schools credit for students' academic growth rather than just overall achievement scores); expanding testing and accountability requirements to subjects beyond reading and math; offering incentives for teachers to teach in low-performing schools; and recognizing the "limited benefits" of school choice by focusing on improving all schools while continuing to offer choice.

See the brief, "What Can We Learn from the Implementation of No Child Left Behind?", for the full list.

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