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[Susan notes: The chorus is chanting that NCLB isn't going away. Let's join hands and and demolish it.]

Published in Billings Gazette

To the editor

NCLB has enhanced student learning

The No Child Left Behind Act is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act first passed in 1965 as part of Lyndon B. Johnson's war on poverty, aimed at school reform. The reauthorization was initiated as a nonpartisan bill and signed in 2002 by President Bush.

In fall 2002, the Montana Office of Public Instruction facilitated a process that extended and refined the grade level expectations in reading and mathematics for grades 3 through 8 and grade 10. These expectations were necessary to meet federal requirements under NCLB Act and for the development of the customized criterion referenced tests that measure the mastery and application of these grade level expectations. OPI brought together reading and mathematics writing teams to establish these expectations. Each year they review expectations and this year they are adding science.

The CRT and additional measures used by OPI ensure that each child is proficient at grade level expectations and each school is benefiting from continuous school improvement.

NCLB is not going away. Modifying and enhancing the law is a more realistic approach. Data from our school shows that our educational practices, because of NCLB, have enhanced our students' learning. As a member of the team that reviewed Montana Schools Effectiveness reports, I see that schools across the state have experienced the same results. In a recent NEA publication, No. 6 in their Plan for Reducing School Dropouts is to ensure that grade level learning expectations are being met. To me, that means do all we can to prevent every child from being left behind, at every level.

Mona Sindelar

District Testing Coordinator

Huntley Project Schools


Mona Sindelar

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