In the space of less than a week, we've been inundated with reports and news stories about NCLB and testing that are all over the place: CEP puts out report stating that achievement seems to be rising since (but not necessarily because of) NCLB, the Dallas Morning News does a big series on widespread cheating on state tests, USA Today does a big package on states lowering requirements to make their test scores look better, and yesterday the USDE puts out a report showing just how different (mostly lower) state requirements are compared to NAEP (national) requirements.(You can find ...

Besides the ones further below... Under NCLB Pressure, Districts Negotiate School Improvement With Unions EdWeek In such districts as Chicago, Miami-Dade County, Fla., and Cleveland, administrators and union officials have worked together on contract provisions or formal agreements designed to help low-performing schools make gains. Some High Schools Avoid Valedictorians NPR Some high schools are getting rid of a senior class tradition -- naming a valedictorian. They say that lowering competition among students is better for their overall success. Eden Prairie High School in Minnesota will graduate its last valedictorians this year. Next year, exceptional students will receive just an ...

Lots of stuff in USA Today, including a big package by Ledge King on how states jimmy with their tests to make themselves look better (In school achievement, appearance means more than results) -- check it out, it has maps and everything -- and a much-anticipated Greg Toppo piece updating the NOLA reform scene (In New Orleans schools, it's like starting over)....

Long-time rabble-rouser Mike Klonsky goes all class warfare in this post about a newish group called Democrats For Education Reform. Klonsky mocks its founders as arrivistes with little more than money, MBA-born ideas, and slick opinions. Though he would never use that word. To be sure, the May 31 New York Sun article (here) that set Klonksy off is a little uncritical. And the "new" reform folks can seem annoyingly clubby and frighteningly like dot-commers the first time around. In fact, some of them probably were. But what I really wonder is why reformers of other stripes (groups, think tanks, ...

The Dallas Morning News has just put out a big series on -- yes, again -- cheating on the Texas state exams, called TAKS. Here's the rundown, according to reporter Josh Benton: "Day 1 is the main story, detailing what we did and what we found (Analysis shows TAKS cheating rampant). Day 2 is all about charter schools, where cheating is far more common than in traditional schools (Cheating's off the charts at charter schools). Day 3 is about how Texas could stop 90%+ of the cheating tomorrow if officials felt like it (Efforts to stop cheating often fall short)." ...


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