Requiem For No Child Left Behind

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

The education policy of the administration of former President George W. Bush is one we’ve always covered critically. It turns out that at least one other reporter also tried to take a good honest look at it.

“I was an education reporter covering suburban districts in 2002 when NCLB became the law of the land, and it was imperfect on so many levels,” Tracy Dell’Angela writes on The Education Post. “It narrowed the curriculum.”

“It encouraged states to set their passing standards low so that big numbers of students could pass without really learning what they needed for high school, college and beyond. Schools got no credit for helping students grow in their learning, only for passing. And in the end, the key remedies didn’t really work. Students didn’t sign up for tutoring or transfer to better schools.”

“The dramatic restructuring demanded of perennially failing schools rarely materialized. Districts just flat out ignored parts of the law, including the requirement that highly qualified teachers should be evenly distributed between poor and affluent schools.”

Nevertheless, she gives NCLB credit for one thing: The debate over and controversy surrounding it forced all onlookers to actually take notice of student achievement, or lack thereof.