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[Susan notes: Three cheers. We need more clear-headed, hard-hitting messages like this one.]

Published in Des Moines Register

To the editor

More than three years ago, Robert Brennan, director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Measurement and Assessment at the University of Iowa, said "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) is really "Most Children Left Behind."

Now, two University of Chicago researchers have the data to back up Brennan's prediction.

The law requires schools to show "adequate yearly progress" toward an ever-increasing percentage of students who are identified as "proficient" by meeting a certain cut score on a standardized test. Brennan predicted that this would lead teachers and administrators to focus their attention on those students who are just below the cut score and neglect other students.

The Chicago researchers found that above-average and gifted students, as well as those hopelessly below the cut score, showed much less gain after NCLB requirements were implemented.

This is just one of a half-dozen fundamental flaws in NCLB, a law that is doing more harm than good for schoolchildren.

John B. Cook

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