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NCLB Outrages

Educators assail No Child Left Behind

Almost all in a poll sent out by Sen. Ken Salazar say the federal law's goals are not achievable. Imagine this: A member of Congress asked educators their opinions. Colorado teachers, please contact him in large numbers. Tell your stories. Tell your students' stories. Ask parents to contact him.

Here is his Contact Information.

By Allison Sherry

Colorado teachers, principals and administrators overwhelmingly say the federal education law No Child Left Behind is unrealistic and underfunded, according to a survey conducted by U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar's office.

Almost all of those who responded to the survey - sent to all Colorado school districts as well as a handful of parent advocacy organizations and administrators - said the law's goal of all students reaching 100 percent proficiency by the 2013-14 school year was not achievable.

Teachers also said they favor charting student academic growth over time, versus the law's comparison of the same grade levels year after year.

Roughly 2,000 people responded to the survey, sent out last summer, including 1,600 teachers, 119 principals and 117 parents.

The federal No Child Left Behind - signed into law Jan. 8, 2002 - requires students in most grades to take annual assessment tests and requires districts to make "adequate yearly progress."

The reauthorization discussion will take place this year in a much different political landscape in Congress than in 2002, with Democrats controlling both the House and the Senate.

Salazar released the results of the survey Monday, as well as a letter he wrote to Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., about what Colorado education experts and parents said about the federal law. Kennedy is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and was an architect of the law.

Salazar spokesman Cody Wertz said Monday that the senator will reach out again to educators and policymakers this spring before reauthorization hearings begin.

Colorado Education Association spokeswoman Deborah Fallin said Monday that teacher union members "support accountability," but "it's clear that between CSAP and NCLB the pendulum has swung too far."The CSAPs are Colorado's assessment tests.

Staff writer Allison Sherry can be reached at 303-954-1377 or asherry@denverpost.com.

— Allison Sherry
Denver Post


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