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There's something a bit too convenient about the most recent "bubble" kids study that says low- and high-performing kids are being left behind, while "bubble" kids in the middle get all the attention. Ditto for today's Clarence Page column in the Chicago Tribune, which riffs off of the study to -- no surprise -- call for lowering NCLB's proficiency requirements (Leaving children behind, again
). You could argue that the bubble kids are increasingly higher-achieving, as the NCLB proficiency cutoff moves up over time. But the answer to teachers focusing on the middle kids (as they always have) doesn't seem to me to be lowering the NCLB proficiency standard. Instead lawmakers might think of giving schools extra credit for moving kids up from the bottom quartile, even if they still don't make AYP.