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NCLB's School Evaluation System is a Flawed Reform Tool, Report Concludes

Susan Notes: Teachers should use the evidence provided by Bill Mathis to write op eds for local papers. Make it clear that the enemy is the federal government, not local officials.


ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
Education Policy Research Unit (EPRU)

****NEWS RELEASE--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****

NCLB'S SCHOOL EVALUATION SYSTEM IS A FLAWED REFORM TOOL, REPORT CONCLUDES

CONTACT: William Mathis (802) 247-5757 (email) wmathis@sover.net or

TEMPE, Ariz. (Tuesday, September 26, 2006) - Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP),
the school evaluation system central to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law,
is fundamentally flawed and should be suspended until the premises
underlying it can be confirmed or refuted by solid, scientific research,
according to University of Vermont Professor William J. Mathis.

NCLB mandates that schools make Adequate Yearly Progress on state
standardized tests en route to having all children reach proficiency
standards by 2014. Mathis' policy brief, "The Accuracy and Effectiveness of
Adequate Yearly Progress, NCLB's School Evaluation System," released by the
Education Policy Research Unit at Arizona State University, examines the
controversies surrounding the implementation of AYP and the proposals to
improve it.

"Although [U.S. Department of Education] Secretary [Margaret] Spellings has
claimed the law is 99.9 percent pure, the scientific evidence tells another
story," Mathis said. "Modest experiments with growth models, minimum group
sizes, graduation rates and discussion of national standards simply distract
from rather than solve the inherent shortcomings of the AYP system. In fact,
many of these changes may make the system perform even less accurately."

Mathis concludes that:

* NCLB's 100-percent proficiency goal is unattainable.

* Current proposals to improve AYP, such as value-added models, cannot
resolve the system's underlying problems.

* AYP is underfunded and the system fails to provide adequate programs aimed
at off-setting the impact of poverty; therefore, schools attended by the
neediest children are penalized disproportionately.

Find this document on the web at:
http://www.asu.edu/educ/epsl/EPRU/epru_2006_Research_Writing.htm


CONTACT:
William Mathis
Adjunct Professor
University of Vermont
(802) 247-5757
wmathis@sover.net

Alex Molnar, Professor and Director
Education Policy Studies Laboratory
(480) 965-1886
epsl@asu.edu
http://www.edpolicylab.org

**********

The Education Policy Research Unit (EPRU) conducts original research,
provides independent analyses of research and policy documents, and
facilitates educational innovation. EPRU facilitates the work of leading
academic experts in a variety of disciplines to help inform the public
debate about education policy issues.

Visit the EPRU website

— William Mathis
Education Policy Research Unit (EPRU)


INDEX OF RESEARCH THAT COUNTS


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