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NCLB Outrages

A Critical Analysis of the 2004 and 2005 SAT Scores of College Bound Students, with Implications for the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Law and the State of Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs)

This is ERIC Document ED490619

by Archie W. Earl

Descriptors: Program Effectiveness; Federal Legislation; College Bound Students; White Students; Racial Differences; Scores; African American Students; Hispanic American Students; State Standards; Achievement Tests;
Journal/Source Name: Online Submission
Journal Citation: N/A
Peer Reviewed: No
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 2005-09-23
Pages: 16
Pub Types: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to conduct a critical analysis of (1) the disparities between the SAT scores of Black and White students, and Hispanic and White students, for 2004 and 2005 and (2) what those disparities suggest about the effectiveness of the State of Virginia "SOL" program and the Federal "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) program. The nationwide averages of Black and White students on the 2004 and 2005 overall, verbal, and math SAT were compared. Conclusions were drawn about the effectiveness of the "NCLB" program, based on the results of those comparisons. Comparisons were also done between Black and White students, in the State of Virginia, using their statewide overall, verbal, and math averages on the SAT, for 2004 and 2005. Based on those comparisons, conclusions were drawn concerning the effectiveness of the State of Virginia "SOLs".

The same kinds of comparisons were done between Hispanic and White students and similar conclusions were made. The sizes of the gaps between Blacks and Whites, and Hispanics and Whites, were examined, along with their implications for what Black and Hispanic students, and colleges and universities, must do to accomplish the task of closing them. Results indicate that, based on overall, verbal, and math SAT scores, on a national level, the "No Child Left Behind" program has not helped Black students to catch up with their White counterparts, but, on the contrary, it has succeeded, for the most part, in leaving them further behind. The same was found to be the case for comparisons between Hispanic and White students. Comparisons of SAT scores of Black and White students and Hispanic and White students, at the statewide level revealed similar results, i.e., the State of Virginia "SOLs" did not decrease the gaps. If Black and Hispanic students are to be competitive (in the job market) when they finish college, the gap must be closed between the day that they enter college and the day that they graduate. Perhaps, instead ocusing on helping the students that are behind to reach low or minimum standards, the State of Virginia "SOL" program and the "No Child Left Behind" program should focus on helping them to reach the highest level of education that they are capable of achieving. Future studies should focus on comparisons with other subgroups, i.e., females, Black males, students from low income families, etc. (Contains 6 tables and 1 figure.)

— Archie W. Earl


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