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NCLB Outrages

Expanding NCLB Testing

Last week, the American Enterprise Institute held a forum titled: "Education After the 2004 Election". The panelists were David Dunn, White House Education Policy Advisor; Nina Rees Assistant Deputy Secretary, Office of Innovation and Improvement, US DOE;, Sally Stroup, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, US ODE; Roberto Rodriquez Democratic Staff, Senate HELP committee; and Erik Robellen from Education Week. AEI has now posted a transcript of the event at:

a href="http://www.aei.org/events/filter.all,eventID.958/transcript.asp">

One of the more interesting items comes out toward the end in a question about Bush's proposal to extend NCLB testing to two more grades in high schools. The questioner correctly points out that the NCLB sanctions, including choice and supplemental services, only apply by federal law to school that receive Title I funds. Only 5-10% of high schools do. David Dunn replied that the Administration very much envisions the additional assessments applying to high schools for accountability purposes and triggering AYP decisions.

If this is indeed what the Administration intends, not only would Bush be proposing two more years of mandated annual testing under NCLB, but also a major expansion to apply federal consequences to schools whether or not they receive Title I funds. Since school choice and supplemental services are funded from up to 20% of the district's Title I funds, applying these sanctions to school that do not receive Title I funds would result in siphoning off money from Title I classroom services to students in Title I schools to pay for busing and after-school tutoring for students in non-Title I schools. That would be a MAJOR change and a significantly new unfunded mandate.

Joel Packer
Manager, ESEA Policy
Government Relations

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