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NCLB Outrages

61 schools fail to meet No Child Left Behind standards


Comments from Annie: As another state fails to meet the standards of NCLB’s mandated testing program, Angela Dorta, president of the Vermont chapter of the National Education Association explains: "It is this law, with its excessive testing and its negative labels, that is failing, not our schools.”

The Boston Globe

61 schools fail to meet No Child Left Behind standards

MONTPELIER, Vt. --Nearly a quarter of schools tested did not meet yearly education standards set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act this year, state officials said Thursday.
Sixty-one schools fell into that category, a jump from just 10 last year, and education officials said that was because of broader student testing.

The school assessments released Thursday were based on tests given to students in third through eighth grades, as well as 10th-graders.

Last year's rankings were based on the testing of fourth-, eighth- and 10th-graders.

"It's a more complete picture based on additional testing," Education Commissioner Richard Cate said of this year's data.

Of the schools that did not meet the standard, 75 percent were identified because of students who are poor or who have disabilities, Cate said.

"So it's not all students," he said.
Angela Dorta, president of the Vermont chapter of the National Education Assessment, said the federal law does not suit Vermont.

"It is this law, with its excessive testing and its negative labels, that is failing, not our schools," he said.

Four schools -- Fair Haven Grade School, Harwood Union Middle and High School, Rutland Northwest School and Vergennes Union High School -- have made enough improvements to be removed from the list of underperforming schools.

And Mount Anthony Union Middle School in Bennington, after failing to meet the standard for at least four years, must create an action plan to address its deficiencies.

Principal Warren Roaf said the whole school has always met the standards but low-income and special education students have not. To address those populations, the school is involved in a pilot training program for teachers.

They will identify students' different learning styles and their abilities and readiness to learn and then they'll put together a curriculum around those factors, Roaf said.
"It's a recognition that not everyone learns the same," he said.

He said teachers also are being trained as part of another pilot state program to offer students continual feedback on their learning.

The state is in the middle of a transition in testing. Education officials said the assessments of schools offering grades 9 through 12 would be updated in the fall based on the results of spring tests.


© Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

— Lisa Rathke
The Boston Globe
2006-08-03
http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2006/08/03/61_schools_fail_to_meet_no_child_left_behind_standards?mode=PF


INDEX OF NCLB OUTRAGES


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