The Real Story in Schools Struggling with NCLB
We’ve all heard the complaints about what the federal No Child Left Behind Act forces schools to do: cut out music, art, and even social studies, teach to the test, scrap recess. This study from last year out of the Center on Education Policy raised the issue from a national perspective, finding that a significant number of schools were indeed paring back on some subjects to focus on the reading and math tested by the federal law. But it’s rare that information leaks out from individual schools detailing their less politically correct strategies when it comes to annual testing and the fear of not making Adequate Yearly Progress and facing sanctions. That’s why this story in The Washington Post is so interesting. Turns out the principal of this Rockville, Md. middle school asked teachers to list students and cross out the names of those who would have no problem passing the state tests and those who were very unlikely to pass the tests. Those students who might be able to pass the state tests with some additional help got extra tutoring, while the students who lagged far behind did not.