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No Child Left Behind: A Lost Decade for Educational Progress

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No Child Left Behind: A Lost Decade for Educational Progress

no child left behindNews of the following important report is from a news release of Fair Test.

The federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law “failed badly both in terms of its own goals and
more broadly,” leading to a decade of educational stagnation. That is the central conclusion of a major
new report marking NCLB’s tenth anniversary. President George W. Bush signed the program into law
on January 8, 2002.
The report, “NCLB’s Lost Decade for Educational Progress,” summarizes data from the National
Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and dozens of independent studies. It was written by staff
of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest).
Among the report’s major findings:
–  NCLB failed to significantly increase average academic performance or to significantly narrow
achievement gaps, as measured by NAEP. U.S. students made greater gains before NCLB became law
than after it was implemented.
–  NCLB severely damaged educational quality and equity by narrowing the curriculum in many
schools and focusing attention on the limited skills standardized tests measure. These negative effects
fell most heavily on classrooms serving low-income and minority children.
–  So-called “reforms” to NCLB fail to address many of the law’s fundamental problems and, in
some cases, may intensify them. Flawed proposals include Obama Administration waivers and the
Senate Education Committee’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization bill
“NCLB undermined many promising reform efforts because of its reliance on one-size-fits-all
testing, labeling and sanctioning schools,” explained FairTest’s Lisa Guisbond, the new report’s lead
author. “A decade’s worth of solid evidence documents the failure of NCLB and similar high-stakes
testing schemes. Successful programs in the U.S. and other nations demonstrate better ways to improve
schools. Yet, policymakers still cling to the discredited NCLB model.”
“It’s not too late to learn the lessons of the past ten years. Now is the time to craft a federal law that
supports equity and progress in all public schools,” added FairTest Executive Director, Dr. Monty Neill.
The Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA), which FairTest leads, is promoting a comprehensive
plan to overhaul NCLB. The proposal calls for using multiple measures to assess student and school
performance. It also targets resources to improve teaching and learning. More than 150 national
education, civil rights, disability, religious, labor and civic groups signed the Joint Organizational
Statement on No Child Left Behind, which FEA seeks to implement.

See also “4 New Education Bills Introduced Rearranging No Child Left Behind Deck Chairs

See the No Child Left Behind 10th Anniversary report

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