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NCLB Outrages

U.S. Urged to Rethink NCLB ‘Tools’: Districts seen as using light touch for schools required to restructure.

Teacher Comment: I confess...I became so angry when the first sentence said "experts" and then didn't list them all that I skimmed the rest of the article. I felt a little vindicated in my anger when the first "expert" named was Diane Ravitch, followed by The Fordham Foundation. And then Alan Bersin? Apparently no one at EdWeek has talked to any teacher down in San Diego about the job he did on their district. Do they really think that coming down harder on schools is really going to make kids learn more or teachers teach better? They're living in W's fantasy world.

By Lynn Olson

With more U.S. public schools entering the restructuring phase under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, experts convened here last week agreed that the remedies for schools and districts that don’t meet their achievement targets have so far had more bark than bite.

The conference was based on a set of papers that included reviews of NCLB implementation in California, Colorado, Michigan, and New Jersey, as well as in three rural Kentucky districts and 36 big-city districts nationwide. Those analyses found that states and districts appear more inclined to offer technical assistance, professional development, and additional planning to troubled schools than to impose tougher sanctions.

Participants in the meeting ascribed that pattern—which many of them see as a problem—partly to weak enforcement by the U.S. Department of Education. An equally large factor, many said, are shortcomings of the nearly 5-year-old federal law itself. At the same time, some noted, there’s little evidence to suggest that some of the more stringent measures that the law authorizes for troubled schools actually raise student achievement. . .
Education Week doesn't like me reproducing their articles, and it would make you sick to read it anyway, but if you insist, go to the url below.

— Lynn Olson
Education Week


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