Today's Info Policy News
Protecting your children's privacy: The Facts
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Item(s) found: 667
Education New York comments re Student Privacy submitted to FERPA NPRM - May 23, 2011
Monday May 23 2011, 9:22 PM
Document ID: ED-2011-OM-0002-0001: Family Educational Rights and Privacy. The proposed changes to FERPA do not adequately address the capacity of marketers and other commercial enterprises to capture, use, and re-sell student information. Even with privacy controls in place, it is also far too easy for individuals to get a hold of student information and use it for illegal purposes, including identity theft, child abduction in custody battles, and domestic violence. Few parents are aware, for example, that anyone can request -- and receive -- a student directory from a school. Data and information breaches occur every day in Pre-K-20 schools across the country, so that protecting student privacy has become a matter of plugging holes in a dyke rather than advancing a comprehensive policy that makes student privacy protection the priority.
New York State Student Information Repository System (SIRS) Manual
Wednesday December 22 2010, 8:44 PM
New York State Student t Information Repository System (SIRS) Manual; Reporting Data for the 2010–11 School Year (SEE APPENDIX 19)
Education and Workforce Data Connections: A Primer on States’ Status
Wednesday April 14 2010, 6:16 PM
Data Quality Campaign - [States are currently working to connect education and workforce data, however, states are far from reaching the goal of having data systems that can link across the P-20/Workforce spectrum. To connect these education and workforce databases, states should engage a broad range of stakeholders to: 1. Prioritize, through broad-based stakeholder input, the critical policy questions to drive the development and use of longitudinal data systems. 2. Ensure data systems are interoperable within and across agencies and states by adopting or developing common data standards, definitions and language. 3. Protect personally identifiable information through governance policies and practices that promote the security of the information while allowing appropriate data access and sharing.]
Hug the kids, turn the page
Sunday September 02 2007, 10:00 AM
Times Herald-Record opines, "For parents worrying about how they are going to fit in soccer practice and choir rehearsal, how about adding another stop to the itinerary — a weekly trip to the library, a few hours reading and talking about what was in the books. Let's face it, the kid is not going to make it in the MSL or the WNBA or the New York City Ballet. Reading, writing and communicating are the keys to the future. Think about 'no child left behind' not as a law or a line item in a budget but as a philosophy. Lobby the government to provide funding, show up at school events to show support. It's the start of a new school year. Time to read with the kids."
Lawmakers Seek to Loosen No Child Rules
Wednesday August 29 2007, 10:51 AM
AP Nancy Zuckerman reports, "The proposal being circulated would allow states to measure how well students first learning English are doing at acquiring language skills instead of judging them on standard reading tests. The substitute test would only be allowed, however, for two years after the law is enacted. During that time, states would be expected to develop alternative tests for limited-English speakers - such as tests using simplified English."
The Gifted Children Left Behind
Monday August 27 2007, 12:14 PM
Washington Post op-ed contributors Susan Goodkin, executive director of the California Learning Strategies Center and David G. Gold, lecturer and consultant on strategic issues in negotiation opine, "With reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act high on the agenda as Congress returns from its recess, lawmakers must confront the fact that the law is causing many concerned parents to abandon public schools that are not failing. "
Implementing the No Child Left Behind Teacher Requirements
Thursday August 23 2007, 8:38 AM
This CEP report by Jennifer McMurrer examines how states and school districts have implemented the No Child Left Behind Act's teacher quality requirements. The report finds that, according to state and district officials, the NCLB highly qualified teacher requirements have had minimal or no impact on student achievement and have not had a major impact on teacher effectiveness. The report also discusses state and district implementation of the federal requirements to equitably distribute experienced, highly qualified teachers among higher and lower poverty schools.
Speed up school safety audits
Thursday August 23 2007, 8:25 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle opines, "There should be ongoing, month-to-month audits of every school. Results should be released to parents. Remediation should be immediate, and the public should be informed at every step. An unsafe school should be identified quickly, and dealt with quickly."
27 Schools Named As “Persistently Dangerous” Under NCLB
Wednesday August 22 2007, 7:58 AM
All schools designated as “persistently dangerous” must provide school choice to students where transfer options exist. Each school also receives a $100,000 grant to help improve school safety. School districts must also submit an Incident Reduction Plan for each school to show the specific steps that the district will take to reduce the number of violent incidents and improve safety at the school. Staff from the New York State Center for School Safety and Regional School Support Centers also provide help to each school to improve safety.
California lawsuit filed over teacher labeling
Tuesday August 21 2007, 6:48 PM
Bay City News Service reports, "According to Public Advocates, more than 10,000 intern teachers are labeled as 'highly qualified' each year in California. Nationally the number is more than 100,000. In addition to California ACORN the other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include the activist group Californians for Justice as well as a number of individual students and parents. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court In San Francisco."
Reform No Child Left Behind
Sunday August 19 2007, 2:48 PM
Buffalo News op-ed contributor Murray B. Light, former editor of The Buffalo News opines, "One aspect of Miller’s proposed changes that most certainly will be opposed by the education unions would in effect be merit pay, something all these unions have vigorously fought, much to my surprise and displeasure. I favor merit pay for worthy teachers and have never understood the union opposition. Aware of the union stance, Miller does not allude to merit pay as such, instead saying that he would propose pay for performance, paying more to teachers based on how much their students improve and if their students were on a path that could lead to proficiency within a few years. Again, that makes eminent good sense. But it is unlikely to gain favor and be included in a renewal measure."
Tribes say No Child Left Behind leaves no room for culture
Saturday August 11 2007, 12:03 PM
Santa Fe New Mexican reports, "State [New Mexico] Secretary of Education Veronica Garcia said schools in isolated rural areas, where many tribal and pueblo schools are located, often have difficulty recruiting teachers. The government needs to support ways to encourage Native Americans to become teachers so they can return to teach in their tribes and pueblos, Garcia said. The law also disregards tribal sovereignty by forcing schools to adhere to state academic standards, said Samantha Pasena, a recent graduate of the Santa Fe Indian School. In addition to issues facing Native Americans, the panel also brought up the concern that under No Child Left Behind, special-education students are forced to take the same tests as regular students."
Are City [NYC] Vocational Education High Schools Being Left Behind?
Friday August 10 2007, 8:55 AM
NYC Independent Budget Office Fiscal Brief -- August, 2007.
City trade school courses don't make grade
Friday August 10 2007, 8:43 AM
NY Daily News reports, "The city's vocational classes aren't up to snuff, a new report from the Independent Budget Office charges. Only 12% of career and technical programs are certified by the state, meaning the courses taken by about 110,000 high school students could be lacking. And only nine of the 22 vocational schools - 41% - meet federal No Child Left Behind standards, compared with 65% of city public schools overall."
US Department of Education -- Office of Inspector General (OIG) Perspective on the Unsafe School Choice Option
Friday August 10 2007, 8:14 AM
We suggest that the Department and Congress, in considering legislative changes, require states to ensure that their USCO policies meet the following basic requirements: 1) All violent incidents, according to state code, are factored into the PDS determination, without the use of disciplinary action qualifiers; 2) Benchmarks for determining PDS are set at reasonable levels that are supported by objective and reliable data; and 3) PDS are identified based upon the most current year of data. These suggestions are intended to affect immediate improvement of the USCO in its current state. However, based on our audit work and further research, there is an apparent reluctance to fully comply with the USCO provision. Therefore, we are also offering our perspective on more in-depth changes to the provision that should help USCO to be better received by the education community, and therefore, encourage more willing compliance. The lack of incentive to comply with USCO will need to be addressed and resolved in order for the provision to realize its full potential as a tool for improving the level of safety in our nation’s schools.
Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA)
Thursday August 09 2007, 11:32 AM
The Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA) has been formed to expand on and advance the ideas in the "Joint Organizational Statement on No Child Left Behind" to improve federal education policy.
A Letter from Selected Civil Rights Groups on Multiple Measures
Thursday August 09 2007, 11:26 AM
EXCERPT: To counter the narrowing of the curriculum and exclusion of important subjects that has been extensively documented as a consequence of NCLB, the new law should also allow states to include other subjects, using multiple forms of assessment, in an index of school indicators. To ensure strong attention is given to reading and math, these subjects can be weighted more heavily. Graduation rates and grade promotion rates should be given substantial weight in any accountability system. Other relevant indicators of school progress, such as attendance and college admission rates, could be included.
Graduation Matters: Improving Accountability for High School Graduation
Thursday August 02 2007, 8:26 AM
By Daria Hall, Assistant Director for K-12 Policy at The Education Trust. "The Education Trust report provides recommendations for policy changes at both the federal and state levels, including the following priorities for NCLB reauthorization: * Crafting meaningful graduation-rate accountability provisions in the law and providing high schools with a greater share of the federal investment in education so they have more resources to meet ambitious improvement goals; * Targeting federal investments to improve high school curriculum and assessments; and *Better directing funds and interventions toward the lowest performing schools to ensure that high-poverty and high-minority schools get their fair share of the tools they need to be successful – strong teachers, high standards and high-quality curriculum and assessments."
GRADUATION MATTERS: How NCLB allows states to set the bar too low for improving high school grad rates
Thursday August 02 2007, 8:21 AM
Despite the national focus on reforming America’s high schools, most states are setting woefully low goals for improving graduation rates and are not setting goals for ensuring that more low-income, minority, disabled and English language learner students graduate, according to a report released today by The Education Trust.
New York State ranks 44th in graduation rate
Thursday August 02 2007, 8:15 AM
Times Union reports, "'We're a lot more honest, I think, than others,' said Education Department spokesman Tom Dunn. But he conceded that 'expectations must be much higher.' Yet the report found that New York, like many states, actually exaggerates its graduation rate in some instances. The report says the state told the U.S. Department of Education that 77 percent of its high school freshmen graduated in four years. But by what the report says is a more accurate measure, the figure was 12 points lower."
No Child Left Behind thwarts refugees
Wednesday August 01 2007, 9:06 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle guest essayist Henry Padrón opines, "These students have spent most of their lives running and in refugee camps where they may have received some but little formal schooling. Many of these children are suffering from post-traumatic shock disorder and a host of health issues — not to mention their academic needs based on NCLB expectations. This is a fatal shortcoming of NCLB that needs further attention. So, when analyzing the performance data as per NCLB, we need to take all of these factors into consideration."
PTA Response to Chairman Miller’s NCLB Reauthorization Proposal
Tuesday July 31 2007, 9:09 PM
Our expectation is to work with Chairman Miller so that Congress will pass a bill providing more opportunities for parents to get involved, to build the vital parent-school-community partnerships, and to ensure schools will better inform parents about the progress of their child.
'No Child' Needs to Expand Beyond Tests, Chair Says
Tuesday July 31 2007, 9:19 AM
Washington Post reports, "Teacher unions, a powerful force in Democratic politics, strongly support the use of so-called multiple measures, but they are expected to oppose another Miller proposal: paying teachers based in part on how their students perform."
Choices, Changes, and Challenges: Curriculum and Instruction in the NCLB Era
Monday July 30 2007, 8:44 AM
This CEP report examines the amount of time spent during the school week on core academic subjects and how that allocation of time across subjects has changed since school year 2001-02 when NCLB was enacted. The report finds that approximately 62% of school districts increased the amount of time spent in elementary schools on English language arts and or math, while 44% of districts cut time on science, social studies, art and music, physical education, lunch or recess.
Sunday July 29 2007, 9:03 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "Six years later, as the law comes up for reauthorization by Congress, frustration with its provisions are widespread as evidenced by the essays on today's Speaking Out page. But scrapping the law, which seeks to meet its outlined goal by 2014, isn't the solution. Rather, it needs to be fixed. In a number of places."
Binghamton High revamps school day schedule
Thursday July 26 2007, 10:24 AM
Press & Sun-Bulletin reports, "The high school will switch from an eight-period day, which has been the norm, to a nine-period day, Principal Albert Penna said. The move is part of a comprehensive restructuring plan developed by Binghamton High School officials under the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act and the state's new Contract for Excellence. The high school had to develop the plan because it is on a state list of schools needing improvement."
Debate over school tests: What's being left behind?
Wednesday July 25 2007, 8:52 AM
Star-Ledger reports, "Rothenberg [principal of Parsons Elementary School in New Jersey] stressed that while he fears some of the teaching creativity is lost with the focus on reading and math, his North Brunswick school is better for it. 'Kids have to learn reading and math first, and that should be the focus,' he said. 'It's not a bad tradeoff."'
Congress Prepares for NCLB Reauthorization Debate
Tuesday July 17 2007, 7:08 AM
School Reform News contributor Dan Lips, education analyst at The Heritage Foundation writes, "After months of committee hearings, congressional leaders are now looking to begin the legislative process for the scheduled reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Democrats control Congress, but Republican leaders are proposing an agenda of policy ideas to be considered in the reauthorization."
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond Simon Offers Commencement Address at Brighter Choice Charter Schools 4th Grade Graduation
Thursday July 12 2007, 9:47 AM
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond Simon today highlighted the efforts of our nation's charter schools to empower parents and improve access to quality education for all students during a visit to Brighter Choice Charter Schools in Albany, N.Y. Offering the keynote address at the school's 4th grade commencement ceremony, Secretary Simon congratulated the students and teachers for their hard work to achieve the top ranking among Albany schools in English and math assessment scores. Additionally, Secretary Simon underscored the importance of No Child Left Behind reauthorization this year and touted President Bush's proposal to expand the availability of charter schools and provide more options for families.
Wednesday July 11 2007, 5:33 AM
NY Times op-ed contributor Jonathan Kozol opines, "Congress has an opportunity to take advantage of the opening created by Justice Kennedy later this year when it reauthorizes the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The law gives children the right to transfer from a low-performing school to a high-performing school if the low-performing school has failed to demonstrate adequate improvement two years after being warned of its shortcomings."
Merit pay for teachers
Sunday July 08 2007, 11:52 AM
Daily Freeman opines, "BELEAGUERED taxpayers might gasp at the notion of giving teachers more money, but what if was tied into a merit pay system? It's working in other professions and it could have a positive impact on student performance under carefully detailed guidelines if connected to teachers' compensation."
Schools Move Toward Following Students’ Yearly Progress on Tests
Friday July 06 2007, 10:02 AM
NY Times reports, "Concerned that the traditional way amounted to an apples-to-oranges comparison, schools in more than two dozen states have turned to growth models. Now a movement is mounting to amend the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which is up for reauthorization this year, to allow such alternative assessments of student progress. Many urban educators contend that growth models are a fairer measure because they recognize that poor and minority students often start out behind, and thus have more to learn to reach state standards. At the same time, many school officials in affluent suburbs favor growth models because they evaluate students at all levels rather than focusing on lifting those at the bottom, thereby helping to justify instruction costs to parents and school boards at a time of shrinking budgets"
So Much Paperwork, So Little Time to Teach
Wednesday July 04 2007, 10:39 AM
NY Times contributor Samuel G. Freedman, a journalism professor at Columbia University writes, "The situation was most acute for teachers in schools that did not have a staff administrator to handle the voluminous paperwork required for English language learners, as the students are called. Teachers in such schools were responsible for completing more than a dozen different forms, evaluations, assessments and reports that came variously from the levels of district, city, state and federal government, and grading standardized tests."
Reauthorization of No Child Left Behind: Federal Management or Citizen Ownership of K–12 Education?
Wednesday June 27 2007, 8:13 PM
Eugene Hickok, Ph.D., Bradley Education Fellow at The Heritage Foundation previously serving the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education and Pennsylvania's Secretary of Education and Matthew Ladner, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at the Goldwater Institute conclude, "Shifting greater policymaking authority back to the state level would protect academic transparency in American education. Parents, citizens, and policymakers would continue to receive the information about students' and schools' performance through state testing. Maintaining this transparency would ensure that all stakeholders have the needed information about how best to educate children. This would begin to restore citizen ownership of American education--a necessary step for future efforts to strengthen American public schools."
Reforming No Child Left Behind by Allowing States to Opt Out: An A-PLUS for Federalism
Tuesday June 19 2007, 5:28 PM
Dan Lips, Education Analyst in the Domestic Policy Studies Department at The Heritage Foundation writes, "After more than four decades of unsuccessful federal intervention, it is time for Congress to consider a new approach. Returning greater authority to the states would empower parents, local school leaders, state policymakers, and governors to take responsibility for local schools and implement reforms to strengthen public education."
Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind: Schools React
Monday June 18 2007, 12:14 PM
NPR "Tell Me More" reports, "Andrew Rotherham is a published author on education policy and co-founder of the think tank, Education Sector. He discusses the broader implications of the No Child Left Behind Act and how schools are reacting to the pending reauthorization."
Valley Central hopes to do the No Child Left Behind act one, or two, better
Friday June 15 2007, 7:38 AM
Times Herald-Record reports, "Every member of the Accountability Task Force has equal leverage. 'We have some teachers (on the task force) who are among the greatest thinkers in the district,' said Hooley, 'and they're not afraid to disagree with me.' When the plan is finished, by the start of the next school year, Valley Central will have an in-house system for measuring expectations and achievement in every department."
Opposing view: We're attacking the issues
Thursday June 14 2007, 10:24 AM
USA Today op- ed contributor Hank M. Bounds, Mississippi's education superintendent opines, "In Mississippi, we know real improvement takes more than changing the standard on a test. Clearly, expectations and standards matter, but school leaders must focus on more than just standards. That is why we are increasing the rigor of the curriculum and assessments, increasing the quantity and quality of teachers and administrators, creating a culture that values education, and redesigning education for the 21st century workforce. We have built the most comprehensive plan in the country to attack all of these issues. Overcoming the poverty that has historically kept Mississippi near or at the bottom will not be easy, but it must be done. It is the right thing to do for our children."
States get creative in minimizing law's impact
Monday June 11 2007, 7:33 AM
Star-Gazette reports, "One way states can postpone committing to the goals of No Child Left Behind is to make their standardized tests easy enough for most students to pass. But there are other options as well:"
Questions, answers about No Child Left Behind
Monday June 11 2007, 7:20 AM
Star-Gazette reports, "The No Child Left Behind law has set a 2014 deadline for states to make public school students proficient in math and reading, but each state decides how to meet that goal. Some states have adopted strategies that disguise how far students still are from achieving proficiency, as measured by the one federal test administered in all 50 states.
Recommendations to Reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
Sunday June 10 2007, 1:20 PM
Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
Tests criticized as inconsistent
Friday June 08 2007, 8:22 AM
Poughkeepsie Journal reports, "The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires all public schools to improve their scores in state tests by a set percentage each year. What it doesn't determine is the content of those tests. Local critics say this is unfair because standards are literally 'all over the map.'"
Mapping 2005 State Proficiency Standards Onto the NAEP Scales
Thursday June 07 2007, 11:04 AM
This report presents the results of applying a methodology for mapping state proficiency standards in reading and mathematics onto the appropriate NAEP scale, employing data from the 2004–05 academic year. The mapping exercise was carried out for both grades 4 and 8. For each of the four subject and grade combinations, the NAEP score equivalents to the states’ proficiency standards vary widely, spanning a range of 60 to 80 NAEP score points. Although there is an essential ambiguity in any attempt to place state standards on a common scale, the ranking of the NAEP score equivalents to the states’ proficiency standards offers an indicator of the relative stringency of those standards. There is a strong negative correlation between the proportions of students meeting the states’ proficiency standards and the NAEP score equivalents to those standards, suggesting that the observed heterogeneity in states’ reported percents proficient can be largely attributed to differences in the stringency of their standards. There is, at best, a weak relationship between the NAEP score equivalents for the state proficiency standard and the states’ average scores on NAEP. Finally, most of the NAEP score equivalents fall below the cut-point corresponding to the NAEP Proficient standard, and many fall below the cut-point corresponding to the NAEP Basic standard. This report presents the results of applying a methodology for mapping state proficiency standards in reading and mathematics onto the appropriate NAEP scale, employing data from the 2004–05 academic year. The mapping exercise was carried out for both grades 4 and 8. For each of the four subject and grade combinations, the NAEP score equivalents to the states’ proficiency standards vary widely, spanning a range of 60 to 80 NAEP score points. Although there is an essential ambiguity in any attempt to place state standards on a common scale, the ranking of the NAEP score equivalents to the states’ proficiency standards offers an indicator of the relative stringency of those standards. There is a strong negative correlation between the proportions of students meeting the states’ proficiency standards and the NAEP score equivalents to those standards, suggesting that the observed heterogeneity in states’ reported percents proficient can be largely attributed to differences in the stringency of their standards. There is, at best, a weak relationship between the NAEP score equivalents for the state proficiency standard and the states’ average scores on NAEP. Finally, most of the NAEP score equivalents fall below the cut-point corresponding to the NAEP Proficient standard, and many fall below the cut-point corresponding to the NAEP Basic standard.
Study: Big Differences in State Tests
Thursday June 07 2007, 11:04 AM
AP Nancy Zuckerbrod reports, "The federal government's first-ever comparison of how states test for student progress in school shows big variations across the nation. For example, a reading score that rates a fourth-grader 'proficient' in Mississippi would be a failing score in Massachusetts, according to a report released Thursday by the Education Department."
Education Law Up for Renewal; Teachers Are Leery
Thursday June 07 2007, 6:56 AM
NPR Larry Abramson reports in Morning Edition, June 6, 2007 --The No Child Left Behind Act is up for renewal in Congress, and whether it is working remains in question. A new study shows test scores are rising. But it's unclear whether the education law should get the credit. For many educators, the verdict on the law is undetermined.
New Study Finds Gains Since No Child Left Behind
Wednesday June 06 2007, 10:27 AM
NY Times SAM DILLON reports, "In the decade before the law was passed, many states had adopted policies aimed at raising achievement, like broadening access to early childhood programs, that could also be responsible for gains. The study also acknowledged that the increases in achievement recorded by many state tests had not been matched by results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, nationwide reading and math tests administered by the federal Department of Education."
Answering the Question That Matters Most: Has Student Achievement Increased Since No Child Left Behind?
Wednesday June 06 2007, 9:40 AM
Center on Education Policy Report: Using testing data from all 50 states, this study addresses two key questions in the debate surrounding the No Child Left Behind Act: has student achievement increased and have achievement gaps narrowed since NCLB was enacted in 2002?
Report shows schools' progress under No Child Left Behind Act
Thursday May 31 2007, 7:55 PM
AP reports, "Almost half the eligible schools in New York received ratings of 'High Performing/Gap Closing' for the 2005-2006 school year under the No Child Left Behind Act, state education officials said Thursday. The 1,658 public schools, 14 charter schools and 288 public school districts got the designation for meeting all applicable state standards and showing adequate progress in English and math for two years. They included 1,120 elementary schools, 301 middle and 251 high schools. Another 220 public schools, six charter schools and 26 districts were designated 'Rapidly Improving' -- about 6 percent of those eligible -- because they were below state standards in at least one subject but improving. The 148 elementary, 44 middle and 34 high schools improved for three straight school years."
How Educators in Three States Are Responding to Standards-Based Accountability Under No Child Left Behind
Thursday May 31 2007, 10:42 AM
This research brief describes work done for RAND Education documented in Standards-Based Accountability Under No Child Left Behind: Experiences of Teachers and Administrators in Three States, by Laura S. Hamilton, Brian M. Stecher, Julie A. Marsh, Jennifer Sloan McCombs, Abby Robyn, Jennifer Lin Russell, Scott Naftel, and Heather Barney, MG-589-NSF, 2007, 302 pp., ISBN: 978-0-8330-4149-4. "Key findings: Most superintendents considered three improvement strategies most important: using data for decisionmaking, aligning curriculum with state standards, and focusing on low-performing students. Teachers changed their instruction in both desirable and undesirable ways. Most educators felt challenged by insufficient alignment among state standards, curriculum, and tests. The researchers recommend improving alignment among standards, tests, and curriculum; providing educators with professional development assistance; and exploring ways to measure performance more accurately."
Facing Federal Cuts, High School Yields to Military Recruiters
Thursday May 31 2007, 10:13 AM
Daily Californian reports, "High schools are required to release the information of all juniors and seniors under the No Child Left Behind Act, passed in 2002. However, Berkeley High had not been releasing the data, instead giving students the option to elect to have their information passed on, Coplan [district spokesperson] said."
With lawsuit looming, Spellings discusses No Child Left Behind
Tuesday May 29 2007, 5:15 PM
AP reports, "U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings vigorously defended the No Child Left Behind Act Tuesday in Connecticut, which has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the education law." Additionally, "The Department of Education plans to approve growth models for up to 10 states in a pilot program, with five already approved and two others approved conditionally."
A failing score in current events
Tuesday May 29 2007, 9:36 AM
The Cincinnati Enquirer opines, "With No Child Left Behind and expanded standardized testing, today's children may be the most analyzed, evaluated and benchmarked generation ever. But oddly - especially for a generation so immersed in technology - young people today are generally poorly informed about news of the world around them."
Monday May 28 2007, 8:59 AM
The Journal News opines, "For starters, school leaders must have high expectations for all staff and students, and quickly supply academic interventions for struggling students. Mills [New York State Commissioner of education] also said that infusing literacy, the ability to read and write well, into every facet of schooling must be paramount. Written answers, say, on a chemistry test, actually have to be properly constructed with correct spelling and grammar. "Literacy,'' Mills said, "must be emphasized across all subjects.'' The other testing area that "most people predicted doom in,'' the commissioner said, was the performance this year of "English Language Learners'' who have been in the country at least a year and now are required by NCLB to take the same English tests as peers; previously students could get a waiver of three years of more. More than double the number of such students took the tests this year - 72,000-plus - yet a higher percentage met or exceeded the standard than last year, 18 percent to 16.2 percent statewide. Not great, but not doom."
Secretary Spellings Approves Additional Growth Model Pilots for 2006-2007 School Year
Saturday May 26 2007, 8:44 AM
The Department intends to gather data to test the idea that growth models can be fair, reliable and innovative methods to measure student improvement and to hold schools accountable for results. Growth models track individual student achievement from one year to the next, giving schools credit for student improvement over time. The pilot program enables the Department to rigorously evaluate growth models and ensure their alignment with NCLB, and to share these results with other States.
MIDDLE SCHOOL PERFORMANCE IMPROVES ON 2007 GRADE 3-8 ENGLISH TESTS
Wednesday May 23 2007, 8:56 AM
Achievement in grade 3-8 English has improved overall this year, according to results from newly released State tests. The improvement is notable in middle school. Grades 6-8 improved. Grade 6 increased by 2.8 percent, grade 7 improved by 1.4 percent, and grade 8 increased by 7.7 percent. Fewer students also are showing serious academic problems in all grades except grade 3. The number of English Language Learners taking this year’s tests more than doubled from 2006. This increase was caused by new federal rules under NCLB in which all ELL students who have been in the country for at least one year are now required to take the tests. Nevertheless, the performance of ELL students dipped only modestly in each grade, a better result than many predicted. The increase in the number of students tested was especially large in elementary school; scores declined overall in grades 3 and 4. The change in rules also affected the overall performance of Hispanic and Asian students. Results for students with disabilities improved overall. The decline in the percentage of students who showed serious academic problems was especially large.
Yonkers still lacks teaching assistants
Wednesday May 23 2007, 8:45 AM
The Journal News reports, "For three years, the school district and the city's teachers union have been unable to reach a compromise on the hiring of teaching assistants. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires school districts to use teaching assistants, versus teacher aides, to give instructional support to students. The Yonkers school district still has not hired any teacher assistants, who have higher education and certification standards than aides."
Secretary Spellings Delivers Remarks at Manhattan Institute Education Conference
Tuesday May 22 2007, 3:17 PM
Today in New York City, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings spoke at the Manhattan Institute Education Reform Conference to discuss the need to reauthorize No Child Left Behind (NCLB) this year. Following are her prepared remarks:
What's Being Said About NCLB?
Saturday May 19 2007, 9:49 AM
Susan Black, an ASBJ contributing editor writes, "The No Child Left Behind Act, signed into law in 2002, is scheduled for congressional reauthorization this year. Exactly when Congress and the president will sign on the dotted line is uncertain, and some officials speculate a vote on NCLB will be postponed until after the 2008 elections. But that uncertainty hasn’t slowed a storm of reports, hearings, and intense lobbying seeking to modify the five-year-old law. In Congress, more than 40 bills proposing changes to NCLB are pending, including one introduced by Rep Don Young (R-Alaska). His bill, H.R. 5709, incorporates recommendations made by the National School Boards Association. It seeks to remedy 'unintended consequences' from the way the current law is interpreted and implemented."
Ed groups push for joint NCLB changes
Friday May 18 2007, 8:36 PM
Six of the nation's top education groups, including the National School Boards Association, jointly urged Congress to reauthorize NCLB to focus on five major areas of change: • A redesign of the federal accountability framework to improve public schools rather than abandon them. • Valid, reliable, unbiased assessment systems that are aligned with state standards. • Maximum flexibility for states and school districts to address the assessment and learning needs of English language learners and students with disabilities. • Helpful interventions tailored to the needs of schools and communities rather than the current system of punitive sanctions. • Determination of the qualifications of principals, teachers, and other education professionals by states and local school districts.
Teacher Quality: Inspiring Excellence and Strengthening Innovation - Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Saturday May 12 2007, 10:15 PM
See linked site for details on viewing and participants.
New York educators critique No Child Left Behind
Saturday May 12 2007, 9:20 AM
Legislative Gazette reports, "At the recent New York State United Teacher’s annual convention, delegates presented a No Child Left Behind initiative based on the results of a survey of teachers statewide. The survey results show teachers are frustrated with the federal law and say it jeopardizes creativity and curriculum not specifically focused on teaching students to succeed on standardized tests."
Evaluating 'No Child Left Behind'
Friday May 11 2007, 8:35 AM
The Nation contributor Linda Darling-Hammond, the Charles E. Ducommon Professor of Education at Stanford University writes, "Perhaps the most adverse unintended consequence of NCLB is that it creates incentives for schools to rid themselves of students who are not doing well, producing higher scores at the expense of vulnerable students' education. Studies have found that sanctioning schools based on average student scores leads schools to retain students in grade so that grade-level scores will look better (although these students ultimately do less well and drop out at higher rates), exclude low-scoring students from admissions and encourage such students to transfer or drop out. Recent studies in Massachusetts, New York and Texas show how schools have raised test scores while 'losing' large numbers of low-scoring students."
How School Testing Got Corrupted
Thursday May 03 2007, 10:31 PM
Huffington Post contributor Diane Ravitch writes, "If we want better schools, we must have a solid, knowledge-rich curriculum, one that includes history, science, geography, the arts, civics, and other disciplines, not just reading and math. We must have effective instruction based on that curriculum. Our assessments should be based on the curriculum. Sadly what we are doing today is to use the tests as a substitute for curriculum and instruction. This won't work, and it will only damage American education. We may get higher scores -- short-term -- but we won't get better education."
School truancy bill moving forward
Thursday May 03 2007, 10:26 PM
MaineCoastNow.com reports, "Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, attendance is one of the markers measuring how well a school is doing overall. Some Augusta schools have been cited for not meeting that standard."
Statement from Secretary Spellings on National Charter Schools Week
Thursday May 03 2007, 8:34 AM
These schools [charter] are dispelling the myth that some children can't learn. By acting as laboratories for best practices, they are changing attitudes about education and they're getting great results for kids. Charters are also transforming urban education and tackling head-on our nation's stubborn achievement gap. They are proving that new approaches to education can work—that breaking tradition and taking risks can yield tremendous results for students. Through the groundbreaking No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush and I have supported a robust expansion of school choice options for students and parents, helping to pave the way for greater access to charter schools. Since 2001, the President has invested $1.4 billion in the Charter Schools Program to facilitate start-ups and spread clear information about successful schools and provided over $262 million for charter school facilities. We will continue to support charter schools as they strive to help students achieve their potential.
Teachers want change in education policy
Thursday April 26 2007, 9:36 AM
Observer-Dispatch reports, "New York teachers are asking Congress to: •Allow states to develop appropriate language-arts tests for English-language learners and special-education students. English-language learners have to take the same language-arts tests as their peers, even though they may not have a full command of English. •Distinguish struggling schools from those that are successful but need limited assistance, rather than putting all schools with problems into the same category. •Stop punishing entire schools and districts based on the low test scores of a small number of students. •Adequately fund testing and accountability mandates in the law. New York received $911 million less in funding last year than what Congress authorized when it passed the legislation in 2002, NYSUT said."
School Push-Outs: An Urban Case Study
Wednesday April 25 2007, 11:46 AM
Elysa Hyman writes, "While the specter of the No Child Left Behind Act continues to loom over our nations’ schools, grassroots organizations, parent groups, attorneys, educators and policymakers must monitor their local school systems and take action if schools are engaging in exclusionary practices. National coalitions must be formed to highlight the unintended effects of the Act and to advocate reform of laws and policies that punish schools for trying to educate all students or that provide incentives for schools to push them out of the building."
Educating Children in Foster Care: The McKinney-Vento and No Child Left Behind Acts
Wednesday April 25 2007, 9:44 AM
Casey Family Programs write, "The recommendations, included as part of a comprehensive report released at a congressional briefing, deal with the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The recommendations are: Improve school stability by ensuring that the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act applies to all children in out-of-home care, and increase funding for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to a level that covers all eligible children. Ensure that children and youth in foster care have access to education-related support services by making them automatically eligible for Title I, Part A services and including them in the set-aside that exists for homeless children. Increase funding for school counselors and mental health services."
COMMISSIONER MILLS MEETS WITH NEW YORK CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION; DISCUSSES “NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND” REAUTHORIZATION
Tuesday April 24 2007, 9:56 PM
State Education Commissioner Richard Mills met with members of New York’s Congressional delegation in Washington D.C. Wednesday to urge key changes in the upcoming renewal of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Ten Accountability Lessons: What Works and What Does Not What Works and What Does Not
Saturday April 21 2007, 9:53 PM
Boosting Accountability in New York’s Schools How to Meet the Governor’s Historic Challenge March 8, 2007 Ten Accountability Lessons: What Works and What Does Not What Works and What Does Not Paul E. Peterson Paul E. Peterson – Harvard University Harvard University Lesson 1: Lesson 1: Overall, accountability seems to have Overall, accountability seems to have positive effects. positive effects. Effect of State Accountability Effect of State Accountability Systems on NAEP Performance Systems on NAEP Performance 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 none with report card with accountability math gains 4th to 8th grade (% of a standard deviation) Change in NAEP Test Scores Change in NAEP Test Scores (All Students, 1992/98 (All Students, 1992/98 - 2005) 2005) 18.5 2.5 10.7 -0.3 25.2 11.2 14.1 1.2 19.7 8.1 13.3 0.3 -10 0 10 20 30 4th Grade Math 4th Grade Reading 8th Grade Math 8th Grade Reading Change in Score (1992/98 to 2005) U.S. Florida New York Note: For 8th Grade Reading, comparison years are 1998 and 2005; for all others, 1992 and 2005. Stars denote changes in the state scores that were significantly higher or lower than the changes in the U.S. overall. Change in NAEP Scores Change in NAEP Scores (Black Students, 1992/98 (Black Students, 1992/98 - 2005) 2005) 27.7 7.9 18 0 35 17.8 14.8 2.4 24.6 8.3 25.2 -3.8 -10 0 10 20 30 40 4th Grade Math 4th Grade Reading 8th Grade Math 8th Grade Reading Change in Score (1992/98 to 2005) U.S. Florida New York Note: For 8th Grade Reading, comparison years are 1998 and 2005; for all others, 1992 and 2005. Stars denote changes in the state scores that were significantly higher or lower than the changes in the U.S. overall. Change in NAEP Scores Change in NAEP Scores (Hispanic Students, 1992/98 (Hispanic Students, 1992/98 - 2005) 2005) 24.2 6.9 14.1 3.5 25.6 12.1 18.4 4.5 29.2 24.2 21.4 3.9 0 10 20 30 40 4th Grade Math 4th Grade Reading 8th Grade Math 8th Grade Reading Change in Score (1992/98 to 2005) U.S. Florida New York Note: For 8th Grade Reading, comparison years are 1998 and 2005; for all others, 1992 and 2005. Lesson 2: Lesson 2: Accountability, as we know it, is not Accountability, as we know it, is not transforming schools. transforming schools. National Assessment of Educational Progress, 1971-2004 Age 17, Math 225 250 275 300 325 1971 1982 1993 2004 Scale Score White Black Hispanic National Assessment of Educational Progress, 1971-2004 Age 17, Reading 225 250 275 300 325 1971 1982 1993 2004 Scale Score White Black Hispanic Lesson 3: Lesson 3: Accountability is cost effective. Accountability is cost effective. Lesson 4: Lesson 4: NCLB NCLB’s measuring stick is flawed measuring stick is flawed – standards vary by state. standards vary by state. Variation in State Variation in State Proficiency Proficiency Standards, 2005 Standards, 2005 Lesson 5: Lesson 5: NCLB NCLB’s measuring stick conflicts measuring stick conflicts with state accountability measures. with state accountability measures. Comparison with Florida Comparison with Florida’s Measuring Stick Measuring Stick Lesson 6: Lesson 6: NCLB does a poor job of identifying NCLB does a poor job of identifying good schools. good schools. Accuracy of Measuring Stick Accuracy of Measuring Stick Lesson 7: Lesson 7: For accountability to work, states For accountability to work, states need to build a data base that can need to build a data base that can track students over time. track students over time. Lesson 8: Lesson 8: Schools respond if accountability Schools respond if accountability contains a penalty. contains a penalty. Florida Student Gains from Being Florida Student Gains from Being Threatened by the Voucher Option Threatened by the Voucher Option 10 percent of a standard deviation 10 percent of a standard deviation (about half the size of the class size reduction, (about half the size of the class size reduction, at little or no cost) at little or no cost) Lesson 9: Lesson 9: Student accountability is more Student accountability is more effective than school accountability. effective than school accountability. “The student is the crucial actor. The student is the crucial actor. Whether we adults like it or not, he or Whether we adults like it or not, he or she decides what has been purveyed. she decides what has been purveyed.” - Theodore Theodore Sizer Sizer High Stakes Testing in Chicago High Stakes Testing in Chicago Math Results Math Results High Stakes Testing in Chicago High Stakes Testing in Chicago Reading Results Reading Results Achievement Trend Achievement Trend – Chicago vs. Chicago vs. Other Large Midwestern Cities Other Large Midwestern Cities Change in Test Score Gains Change in Test Score Gains Resulting from Florida Resulting from Florida’s Retention s Retention Policy Policy – Low Performing Students Low Performing Students Change in Test Score Gains Change in Test Score Gains Resulting from Florida Resulting from Florida’s Retention s Retention Policy Policy – Retained Students Retained Students Impact of School Autonomy and Impact of School Autonomy and Central Exams on Math Test Scores Central Exams on Math Test Scores % of a standard deviation % of a standard deviation % of a standard deviation % of a standard deviation Statewide MCAS Math Results Statewide MCAS Math Results 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 Percentage at or above proficient 4th grade 8th grade 10th grade Lesson 10: Lesson 10: Principals and teachers, not schools, Principals and teachers, not schools, need to be held accountable. need to be held accountable.
Saving 'No Child Left Behind' From Itself
Saturday April 21 2007, 3:01 PM
Fox News reports Dan Lips, education analyst, The Heritage Foundation, "Under the new approach, states would be free to use federal education funds as they see fit, provided they maintain student testing to assess their progress and make the test results publicly available. Some NCLB supporters charge that the conservative plan would undermine accountability. Sandy Kress, a former Bush administration education adviser, protested: 'Republicans used to stand for rigor and standards, but no money for education. Now they seem to be for the money, but no standards.'”
Doubts Grow About 'No Child Left Behind'
Monday April 16 2007, 6:00 PM
Oxford Analytica reports, "One recent empirical study found several enduring political fissures in response to the law, which will influence the NCLB reauthorization debate: 1. Regional divisions. A South-North divide has emerged in response to the law. Southern states have had a more positive reaction than Northern states. States in the South typically have more room for educational improvement and get a larger relative financial boost from federal dollars. 2. Urban-rural divide. Voters in rural districts are positive about NCLB, because they generally witness more funds going to their schools. Yet parents in urban areas are increasingly unsettled by the influence of the law. Urban schools find meeting NCLB targets more difficult. 3. Union politics. Many state-level initiatives that predated NCLB focused on the failings of teachers and entrenchment of teachers' unions. NCLB addressed many of these concerns, but it continues to attract opposition from many educators. 4. Partisan cleavages. Although NCLB originated as a bipartisan initiative, traditional divisions have become increasingly apparent. Democrats are increasingly concerned about the enhanced federal role in school testing and teacher assessment, while Republicans generally favor this approach. However, Republican resistance to providing additional funding is hardening."
Connecticut's New Education Commissioner Faces a Long To-Do List
Sunday April 15 2007, 9:42 AM
NY Times reports, "Mr. McQuillan, who is to begin his job on Monday as the state’s commissioner of education, said Connecticut has been a leader in education reform and has a unique governing structure that fosters teamwork among local school boards, the State Department of Education, legislators and educational advocates."
NCLB Changes Could Affect Special Ed
Saturday April 14 2007, 8:58 PM
The Post-Journal (Jamestown, New York) reports, "The Bush Administration is suggesting changes be made to the act which will allow more disabled children to take simpler tests than their peers. Roughly 10 percent of special education students — the majority with the most severe cognitive disabilities — already take alternative assessments. If approved, the changes would bump the number of students taking the alternative exams up to 20 percent."
Government Relations audioconference: What is the status of NCLB reauthorization?
Friday April 13 2007, 7:22 PM
Join Richard Long, IRA Director of Government Relations, in a live audioconference on Tuesday, April 24, at 8:00 p.m. EST as he discusses the House and Senate Education Committees’ work on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act as well as the status of Reading First.
U.S Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond Simon Joins Pennsylvania Congressmen to Highlight Success in Pennsylvania Under No Child Left Behind
Thursday April 12 2007, 9:23 PM
Highlighting more than five years of progress under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond Simon today traveled to Pennsylvania, joining Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18th) and Rep. Bill Schuster (PA-9th) for roundtable discussions with teachers and administrators to discuss ways NCLB can be expanded and improved as Congress prepares to reauthorize the law this year. Deputy Secretary Simon touted the significant achievements of schools and students throughout Pennsylvania since NCLB was enacted.
Upstate schools strapped for federal cash
Thursday April 12 2007, 9:15 AM
Observer-Dispatch reports, "As Upstate New York school districts finalize their budgets for next year, they are facing a nearly $207 million shortfall in federal funds to help low-income students succeed, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Wednesday. That money was promised as part of the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind law, which aims to improve learning in the nation's schools and measure the results through increased testing."
Education Trust Recommendations for No Child Left Behind Reauthorization
Wednesday April 11 2007, 6:15 PM
Monday April 09 2007, 10:31 AM
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review opines, "If the feds have, in fact, 'raised the bar' for students with President Bush's No Child Left Behind mandates, are states lowering it? It's a fair question in light of a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which found that states are failing to reliably measure student performance. One researcher, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, questions whether states may actually be weakening their tests simply to raise their passing rates to comply with federal mandates."
PTA Recommendations for Parent Involvement in the Upcoming ESEA-NCLB Reauthorization
Monday April 09 2007, 10:22 AM
As Congress moves towards reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), reauthorized in 2001 as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), PTA has crafted specific recommendations to improve the parent involvement provisions within the law. While ensuring local flexibility, PTA recommends creating a system of accountability designed to encourage parents to be active partners in their child's education.
Education law needs flexibility
Monday April 09 2007, 9:35 AM
Poughkeepsie Journal opines, "Spellings says the new tests won't be as easy as those given to the severely disabled already exempted from the regular tests, but they won't be as difficult as those given to the great majority of students. While that sounds promising, it is essential the tests are counted toward a school's performance. Some groups representing disabled students say accountability standards have to be in place because these children were often ignored until No Child Left Behind forced schools to pay more attention to them. There is, indeed, a danger of lowering the bar to the point where some special education students won't be challenged to the degree they should be. More details about the tests will have to be fleshed out over time. But the announcement does show the administration has heard some of the criticism and is proposing changes. That is a good sign in what promises to be a contentious debate about the renewal of No Child Left Behind."
Joint Statement on Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)
Sunday April 08 2007, 6:39 PM
The groups worked together to offer recommendations in 11 areas, including giving states and schools the flexibility to use "growth models" to gain credit for increasing student achievement; creating rewards and differentiating consequences; supporting meaningful, long-term school reform; and ensuring fair testing of special populations. Recommendations also ask that the reauthorization include a renewed state-federal partnership that will provide states the flexibility to ensure the law works effectively in each and every state.
Govs Call for More Control Over NCLB
Sunday April 08 2007, 6:31 PM
Infozine reports, "The NGA's [National Governors Association] recommendations include allowing states to decide the most appropriate way to test students; not requiring any new tests; differentiating consequences for schools that fail to make progress by a little or a lot; rewarding schools that perform well; and giving states grants to voluntarily benchmark themselves to international standards. Some suggestions reflect the battles individual states have had with the federal government over the law, such as alternate tests for students with disabilities, or allowing English learners more time to learn the language. Arizona and Virginia have clashed with the U.S. Department of Education for not giving the states more time to teach their foreign students English before testing them in reading. The governors also want fewer restrictions to consider a teacher 'highly qualified.'"
Conservatives and No Child Left Behind
Saturday April 07 2007, 9:58 AM
NPR All Things Considered and Andrew Rotherham report, "President Bush and key Democrats believe the No Child Left Behind Act is a success. They want the law re-authorized this year. Does conservative opposition spell trouble for President Bush's signature education plan?"
Building on Results: A Blueprint for Strengthening The No Child Left Behind Act
Friday April 06 2007, 11:04 AM
Building on Results: A Blueprint for Strengthening the No Child Left Behind Act sets forth the policy proposals of Secretary Spellings for reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act . U.S. Department of Education, Building on Results: A Blueprint for Strengthening the No Child Left Behind Act, Washington, D.C., 2007.
Longer school day would have benefits
Friday April 06 2007, 10:01 AM
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin 'Guest Viewpoint' Binghamton resident Jane Shear opines, "Teachers also need professional development time where they can compare best practices, analyze data and plan interesting and successful curricula. This should be done before the school year starts, but it is also important to have time during the course of the school year. A longer school year would enable us to have periodic breaks, at the end of each nine-week block of time, during which students would have time to reenergize for the following quarter, while teachers would have time to examine what has been accomplished and what needs to be done next. I believe that a longer school year and a longer school day will enable students and teachers to better work toward our common goal, which is to help each and every student graduate with high levels of the skills they will need in adult life. A firm commitment to education from all of us, teachers, students and parents working together, will help us achieve this goal."
Secretary Spellings Announces New Regulations to More Accurately Assess Students With Disabilities
Thursday April 05 2007, 5:01 PM
Under the new regulations released today, states may develop modified academic achievement standards based on grade-level content, and alternate assessments based on those standards, for students with disabilities who are capable of achieving high standards but may not reach grade level in the same timeframe as their peers. States may count proficient and advanced test scores on these alternate assessments for up to 2.0 percent of all students assessed when calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP) under NCLB. These regulations build on the flexibility provided for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, which allows states to count up to 1.0 percent of proficient and advanced assessment scores based on alternate achievement standards toward AYP calculation.
Bush administration wants to loosen NCLB rules
Wednesday April 04 2007, 1:16 PM
AP reports, "The Bush administration wants to loosen the rules so that many more disabled children can take tests that are simpler than those required by the president's signature No Child Left Behind law. The changes would triple the number of those children who could take simplified tests. Roughly 10 percent of special education students -- those with the most serious cognitive disabilities -- currently can take easier, alternative tests and have the results count toward a school's annual progress goals under the law. Under final rules the administration was to unveil Wednesday, about another 20 percent of children with disabilities would be allowed to take alternative tests."
Answering some of parents' most-asked questions about No Child Left Behind
Tuesday April 03 2007, 10:09 AM
Arizona Republic reports, "The Arizona Republic sat down with Spellings to get answers to parents' most-asked questions about the centerpiece of the administration's education policy: the No Child Left Behind Act."
Illinois uses test loophole
Wednesday March 28 2007, 8:51 AM
Chicago Tribune reports, "Under the reform, schools are judged only on the scores of students enrolled for a 'full academic year.' Each state is allowed to determine what constitutes a full year. Until last year, Illinois schools were responsible only for students enrolled by Oct. 1 of that school year. Now, students must be enrolled by May 1 of the previous school year for their score to count under the federal law. The relaxation of the rules helped 53 schools, including 28 in Chicago, escape the federal failing schools list. Schools that land on the roster face a series of escalating sanctions, including allowing students to transfer to better campuses and offering free tutoring to those who remain. The enrollment exemption is designed to avoid penalizing schools that have many students transferring in after the school year has begun -- often, children from homeless, migrant and low-income families."
PTA Urges Inclusion of Four Key Principals in NCLB Reauthorization
Tuesday March 27 2007, 11:40 AM
The recommendations outline four major principals: assuring the implementation of parent involvement provisions required in NCLB; delivering clear, timely information to parents; integrating Parent Information and Resource Centers (PIRCs) into parent involvement plans; and providing incentives to businesses and community groups to encourage school-community partnerships.
The Future of NCLB
Monday March 26 2007, 9:55 AM
Huffington Post contributor Diane Ravitch writes, "First, the federal government should establish national standards in basic academic subjects (reading, mathematics, science, and history). Second, it should annually administer national examinations in those subjects. Third, it should make the results available to states and school districts. It should be left to the states to decide which actions to take in response to this information. The states, working with the school districts, should decide which combination of rewards and sanctions will improve student achievement."
No Retreat on School Reform
Monday March 26 2007, 9:28 AM
Washington Post Op-Ed contributor Sen. Edward Kennedy, a lead author of the Leave No Child Behind Act opines, "Part of the act's promise was that greater accountability would be accompanied by greater support. We knew that federal resources would be critical to achieving the goals. When the law was adopted in 2002, Congress delivered $22 billion to support public education -- an increase of 20 percent over the previous year. This was an unprecedented federal investment. The law promised increased funding levels over the life of its provisions, in step with the increase in targets for student performance. Yet year after year, the federal government has failed to provide the resources that states and school districts need to improve struggling schools. Assessment and accountability without the funding needed to implement change is a recipe for failure.":
State senator calls for changes in law
Sunday March 25 2007, 9:29 AM
Poughkeepsie Journal reports on Sen. Saland on NCLB, "'We believe that the No Child Left Behind Act contains restrictions that stifle innovations and undermine the effectiveness of state programs,' he said in a statement. 'We further believe that NCLB constitutes an enormous unfunded or under-funded mandate imposed on states and local school districts.'"
The Administrative Burden of No Child Left Behind
Sunday March 25 2007, 9:20 AM
Dan Lips, Education Analyst and Evan Feinberg, Research Assistant in Domestic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation write, "As Congress considers the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, it should address the growing administrative burden that federal education policy imposes on state and local authorities. By allowing states to opt out of federal regulations and bureaucracy, A PLUS would return the authority to improve education to state and local officials. State and local communities would have the freedom to redirect resources currently expended on regulatory compliance toward promising reforms that boost academic achievement. Simplifying education policy in this way would bring about greater transparency in federal education spending and, ultimately, greater public accountability over taxpayer funding of education."
Remarks of Secretary Spellings at the Celebration of Teaching and Learning Conference
Saturday March 24 2007, 8:44 AM
US Department of Education Press Release: In the last 50 years, American ingenuity has put a man on the moon, a rover on Mars, and computers in our businesses, our homes, and even our pockets. We launched the World Wide Web, mapped the human genome, and developed life-extending drugs and treatment for AIDS. Having every child on grade level by 2014 is another great goal, and it's one we can accomplish. With the right support for teachers, including new technologies, we will close the achievement gap and reach our goal of No Child Left Behind.
No Child Left Behind Act: Education Assistance Could Help States Better Measure Progress of Students with Limited English Proficiency
Friday March 23 2007, 1:44 PM
GAO-07-646T, March 23, 2007. The GAO report recommended that Education (1) support research on accommodations, (2) identify and provide technical support states need to ensure the validity of academic assessments, (3) publish additional guidance on requirements for assessing English language proficiency, and (4) explore ways to provide additional flexibility for measuring annual progress for these students. Education generally agreed with our recommendations and has taken a number of steps to address them.
GAO: Reading Program Improperly Managed
Friday March 23 2007, 9:10 AM
AP reports, "Education Department officials and their contractors appear to have improperly backed certain types of instruction in administering a $1 billion-a-year reading program, congressional investigators found. The Government Accountability Office report supports assertions by the inspector general of the Education Department, who has released several reports in recent months into the Reading First program. The program is a key part of the 2002 No Child Left Behind law. It offers intensive reading help for low-income and struggling schools."
Bill Would Protect Against Cuts
Thursday March 22 2007, 9:56 AM
Washington Post reports, "Under the legislation, governors would be required to certify that their states do not have time to train teachers on a new test and that alternatives then available are 'not in the best interest of the public school system and the children the system serves.'"
Utah heats up long-simmering school-voucher debate, Governor has signed into law the first 'universal' voucher program in the US
Thursday March 22 2007, 9:49 AM
Christian Science Monitor reports, "The idea of vouchers dates back to the 1950s, when economist Milton Friedman suggested it would promote competition and improve schools. Proponents also argue that families should be able to apply some tax dollars to whatever school they choose. Opponents insist that public money should be used only for public schools, rather than to subsidize private and religious institutions. The Reagan administration pushed for vouchers, as did the current Bush administration in the initial education-reform proposals leading up to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which is now five years old and up for reauthorization. But so far, voucher programs have persisted only in about half a dozen states and districts; most are offered to students in low-income families, low-performing schools, or special-education programs."
50-State Report on Key State Education Policies
Tuesday March 20 2007, 12:06 PM
From the Council of Chief State School Officers , "The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announces publication of the biennial report Key State Education Policies on PK-12 Education: 2006. The most recent edition of this report updates two decades of research, providing 50-state analysis and trends for state policies that define teaching and learning across the nation. The report covers several areas of state policy that will define efforts of states, districts, and schools to meet key requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)."
NCLB: Don't scrap it; just fix it
Monday March 19 2007, 10:43 AM
Tallahassee Democrat contributor Sally Butzin, president and executive director of the Institute for School Innovation opines, "It's not too late to return to the original intent of NCLB and fine-tune it. It would be a shame to return to the old days of low expectations and one-size-fits-all teaching. But NCLB as currently being administered and implemented must be fixed before all our creative teachers leave in disgust, and more children drop out of the system altogether. Public education is at a crossroads. I hope our leaders will have the wisdom to keep the good in NCLB, fix the bad, and throw out the ugly."
School choice would help fix No Child law
Monday March 19 2007, 10:13 AM
News-Leader contributor Cal Thomas opines, "A serious school choice program, not more money to subsidize underachievement, is one answer to poor performance. Competition improves everyone's product and service. It's working in those states and localities that have managed to nominally free themselves from the teachers unions, which seek to maintain the education monopoly for political influence. Paying bonuses to the best teachers is another good idea. There is another point no one in government will address. It is that not all children are equally intelligent."
Off the Hook
Sunday March 18 2007, 9:51 AM
Washington Post opines, "Contrary to the claims of its critics, No Child Left Behind is having, in its fifth year of operation, a positive impact on American education. Before it was implemented, school districts could use the performance of high-achieving students to hide the fact that they were failing students from families with low incomes, minority students, English-learners and students with disabilities. These students had been made invisible, and as a result little attention was paid to improving their performance. No Child demanded that districts show progress for these subgroups as well as overall; as a result, there are encouraging gains in student learning on the elementary level."
The Center May Not Hold for NCLB
Saturday March 17 2007, 6:22 PM
US News & World Report writes, "Republican leaders no longer stand strongly behind the Bush administration on education. But the mutiny is against more than Bush. It is also against the law itself. In just five years, the law has transformed public education, giving the federal government more say over what and how children learn than perhaps ever before. To maintain federal funding, all levels have had to change practice: States have had to develop detailed math and reading standards for third through eighth grade, teachers have had to devote weeks of their school year to testing those standards, and schools have had to live by the tests' consequences, facing sticks like forced restructuring or mandatory after-school tutoring if their students don't perform."
4 IPS schools must convert to year-round
Saturday March 17 2007, 11:04 AM
Indianapolis Star reports, "Students and teachers at four of the worst-performing [Indianapolis]city schools will have to cut their summer vacations short this year. Indianapolis Public Schools will require Donnan Middle School, Marshall Middle School, Longfellow Middle School and School 44 to hold classes an extra 25 days and convert to a year-round calendar. Those schools are in danger of being disbanded after failing to meet federal benchmarks on student testing for at least five years in a row. 'We have four schools struggling to achieve adequate yearly progress, and IPS feels this extended school year will provide students with the kind of instruction they need to have academic success,' spokeswoman Mary Louise Bewley said. The school year would start for the 1,900 students in those schools on July 23. Students would have a shorter summer break than students at other schools but would have the same winter and spring breaks as other students."
GOP Bills Would Relax Test Requirements of 'No Child' Law
Friday March 16 2007, 8:51 AM
Washington Post reports, "White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said that Bush supports giving states and school systems more flexibility but that the bills introduced yesterday would go too far. 'We can't return to the time where there were no consequences for failing to educate children and accountability for federal education funding,' Stanzel said."
Thursday March 15 2007, 9:38 AM
Eduwonk is a blog written by Andrew Rotherham, co-founder and co-director of Education Sector.
Dozens in GOP Turn Against Bush's Prized 'No Child' Act
Thursday March 15 2007, 9:11 AM
Washington Post reports, "More than 50 GOP members of the House and Senate -- including the House's second-ranking Republican -- will introduce legislation today that could severely undercut President Bush's signature domestic achievement, the No Child Left Behind Act, by allowing states to opt out of its testing mandates."
State Implementation of Supplemental Educational Services under the No Child Left Behind Act
Thursday March 15 2007, 8:48 AM
This CEP report was written by Angela Minnici, CEP senior research associate, and Alice P. Bartley, CEP research intern."Key Findings: Limited capacity to monitor -- Many states (38) are unable to monitor 'to a great extent' the quality and effectiveness of SES providers; only 10 states reported being able to do so. The greatest capacity challenges for states in meeting this federal SES monitoring requirement are insufficient numbers of staff and inadequate federal funding. Use of criteria in law -- Almost all (between 47 and 49) of the state education agencies we surveyed reported using the criteria required by NCLB law and federal guidance to review and approve applications from potential supplemental service providers. These criteria are intended to ensure that providers are financially sound, have a record of effectiveness, use research-based strategies, provide services consistent with district instruction, and adhere to health, safety, and civil rights laws. w Frequent updating. NCLB requires states to promote maximum participation of SES providers so that parents have as many choices as possible. Therefore, it is important for states to provide parents and school districts with a current and accurate list of SES providers that they can choose from. On our survey, 20 states said they review new SES provider applications more often than once a year (the minimum required by the NCLB law), and 22 states reported updating their SES provider lists more than once a year. Different reapplication policies -- The reapplication process varies widely by state. In 13 states, SES providers never have to formally reapply, and in 12 states, SES providers have to reapply every year." Nancy Kober, a CEP consultant, edited the report. Jack Jennings, CEP’s president and CEO, and Diane Stark Rentner, CEP’s director of national programs, provided advice and assistance.
States Lax in Overseeing NCLB Tutoring
Thursday March 15 2007, 8:37 AM
U.S.News & World Report Elizabeth Weiss Green reports, "Each SES provider uses the money differently, setting the hours it will serve each student according to the fees it will charge the district. So while one company might charge under $20 per student and provide 80 hours of service, another will charge nearly $80 and provide 21 hours. The Chicago study found that expensive and inexpensive tutoring companies generated about the same gains. Private companies draw different conclusions, boasting widespread satisfaction and report cards lifted whole letter grades higher. Education Station, a major private provider, says its pre- and post-tests show that just 30 hours of instruction during the 2003–2004 school year produced gains of 28 percent improvement in math and 13 percent in reading. But the law calls on states, not school districts and companies, to monitor the programs' effectiveness, and the state administrators charged with that task say they are ill-equipped to fulfill it. Few, if any, have conducted studies on the programs' performance effects, and few are likely to be able to do so in the future, the CEP study found. Reasons cited by school districts include insufficient staff and inadequate federal funding."
'No Child' education act under review
Wednesday March 14 2007, 8:58 AM
Washington Times reports, "Mr. Hoekstra and other Republicans plan to introduce a bill later this week that would free states and schools from some of the law's federal regulations. And the House Education and Labor Committee's top Republican, Howard P. 'Buck' McKeon of California, introduced a bill yesterday that would give parents money to place their child in a private school, if their public school is given a failing grade for five consecutive years. Mr. McKeon conceded it probably won't go anywhere because of strong opposition from Democrats and groups such as the NEA, but said he still intends to fight for it -- arguing that it is critical to improving education."
Prepared Opening Statement for U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings Before the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education
Tuesday March 13 2007, 9:57 AM
EXCERPT: Our budget provides 500 million dollars for school improvement such as hiring more teachers or if necessary, reinventing the school as a charter school. We've also included nearly 200 million dollars to attract our most effective teachers to work in high-need schools and reward them for results—an approach that's been shown to help students and schools improve. In addition, we offer immediate choices and options for families, including 250 million dollars in Promise Scholarships and 50 million dollars in Opportunity Scholarships for those who want to transfer to better-performing public or private schools, or receive free intensive tutoring.
ACLU weighs lawsuit against Palm Beach County schools over graduation rate
Tuesday March 13 2007, 8:45 AM
Sun Sentinel reports, "If the ACLU files a lawsuit, the district could be a test case for the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, which holds school systems accountable for graduation rates. The ACLU claims the Palm Beach County graduation rate is 46.6 percent, based on figures from the nonpartisan Urban Institute, while the district uses a state calculation of 69.3 percent."
Public schools are doing quite well
Monday March 12 2007, 10:29 AM
Buffalo News Lionel S. Lewis writes, "There are clearly numerous burdens or distractions in the lives of a great many students that keep them from their studies and learning, from learning basic facts and absorbing societal norms and values. In light of this, the achievements of the public schools and their teachers seem remarkable. The public schools have been slow in complying with the requirements set forth by the No Child Left Behind Act, and it is too soon to assess if its sticks and carrots can work to improve them. The schools have been doing quite well, and they probably couldn’t “do a much better job” no matter how many more resources were made available. In short, a principal goal of the No Child Left Behind Act of 'improving teacher quality' would appear not to be a pressing problem, because a basic premise that too many teachers are incompetent and underqualified is clearly a slander."
Las Vegas-area schools offer cash to students who test
Sunday March 11 2007, 4:46 PM
AP reports, "Some Las Vegas-area high schools will be offering incentives, including cash awards, to students who show up for required standardized tests, school officials said. 'Money seems to motivate them,' Randi Friedman-Macosko, assistant principal of Basic High School, told the Las Vegas Sun in Saturday editions. Basic will have drawings for $10 bills for students who take the Nevada High School Proficiency Exam later this month."
Panelist speaks on No Child revisions
Sunday March 11 2007, 7:10 AM
Virginia Daily Progress reports, "The panel held 12 public hearings in 2006 around the country, at which parents, teachers, principals and state department of education officials presented their concerns. Although Congress has said it plans to revise the No Child law later this year, Pughsley [panelist] said that realistically, the issue probably won’t be resolved until 2008 - an election year. However, he hopes politics will not cloud the commission’s ultimate goal - equipping America’s students with skills to be among the world’s best."
Counting progress: Arkansas participating in No Child Left Behind Act pilot program
Saturday March 10 2007, 12:05 PM
Northwest Arkansas Times reports, "Participation in a pilot program will allow Arkansas schools to count students ’ yearly progress towards requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, rather than simply measuring whether they are hitting the mark. The concept of the growth model was brought up during a recent visit by Sen. Blanche Lincoln, who was on a tour of the state meeting with educators about the No Child Left Behind Act, which is set to expire this year. Arkansas was able to become one of 10 states to participate in the program because it was ahead of the curve in testing, said Julie Johnson Thompson, director of communications for the Arkansas Department of Education."
Where have the students gone?
Saturday March 10 2007, 10:04 AM
The State Journal-Register (Illinois) reports, "The dwindling high school population isn't just a problem this year. From 2003 to 2006, Lanphier High School lost so many black students in one class that the federal No Child Left Behind Act didn't count the 42 remaining students as a subgroup in the recently released scores for last year's state tests. The NCLB measures the academic performance of subgroups, such as minorities, students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals and students who receive special-education services. But to be measured, a subgroup must take in at least 45 students. The disappearance of Lanphier's subgroup of black students led Springfield School Board member Judy Johnson to ask, 'Where are all the black students at Lanphier?' during a school board discussion Tuesday night."
NCLB and the Future of Federal Education Policy
Saturday March 10 2007, 9:09 AM
View webcast or download podcast of this Cato Institute event featuring Martin A. Davis, Jr., Senior Writer and Editor, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation; Dan Lips, Education Analyst in Domestic Policy Studies, Heritage Foundation; Andrew J. Rotherham, Co-Director, Education Sector; Dick Armey, Chairman, FreedomWorks, former House Majority Leader; Susan B. Neuman, Professor in Educational Studies, University of Michigan, Former Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education; Neal McCluskey, Policy Analyst, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute; and Andrew J. Coulson, Director, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute.
Congressman to Introduce No Child Left Behind Alternative
Thursday March 08 2007, 2:39 PM
CNSNews.com news reports, "Under [Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.)] his proposal to be introduced next week, the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success Act of 2007, states would no longer be required to follow regulations tied to federal funding, and it would allow them to 'assume full responsibility for the educational needs of its students.' But Andrew Rotherham, co-director of the education think tank Education Sector and a member of the Virginia State Board of Education, said, 'The reason we're in the jam we're in is in no small part because of the states.' Rotherham said the federal government has had to intervene to improve equity in America's school systems as well as the quality of education."
NCLB School Reform Deserves Renewal, and It's Not Enough
Thursday March 08 2007, 11:23 AM
Mort Kondracke, Executive Editor of Roll Call writes, "The state with the best academic achievement records of all -- Massachusetts -- could boast only that about half of its students scored proficiently on the National Assessment of Education Progress. At the bottom was Washington, D.C., with proficiency ratings barely above 10 percent. The chamber hopes to equip its state affiliates and member businesses to confront state legislatures, local school boards and teachers unions to demand reform. It's a worthy purpose. And it could use some help from a presidential candidate who'll call for a grand trade -- professional level pay for teachers in return for professional accountability, pay-for-performance and an end to rigid union work rules. Also, equalization of funding between rich and poor school districts, a longer school day and a longer school year and more investment in early childhood education. Republicans resist spending more. Democrats chronically do the bidding of the teachers unions. America's kids and the country's future need a president who'll break that rancid mold."
Schools cut truancy by half
Wednesday March 07 2007, 9:20 AM
Savannah Morning News reports, "In addition to showing up for the tests and performing well, a school's pass-fail rate can hinge on attendance, according to Dana Tofig, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Education. 'If students aren't in school, they probably are not keeping up with schoolwork and they are less likely to do well on curriculum exams,' Tofig said. 'Attendance can directly impact AYP, but it's also something school systems can focus on with a great deal of success.' Lockamy said he isn't just satisfied with simply ensuring students are in their desks each day. He wants to know why students stray from the classroom in the first place."
Wyoming seeks help on NCLB education law
Tuesday March 06 2007, 10:42 AM
Star-Tribune reports, "The federal government should give Wyoming's department of education more money to help the state's school districts improve, be more flexible with rules about teacher certification, and judge school districts by whether students make personal progress, not by whether they meet arbitrary test scores, [state Superintendent of Public Instruction] McBride said in the letter and at a press conference Monday."
Massachusetts toughens rules about high school graduation rates
Monday March 05 2007, 9:13 AM
Sentinel and Enterprise report, "High schools in Massachusetts must now graduate 55 percent of their students within four years in order to meet Adequate Yearly Progress, a standard that measures schools' success under the federal No Child Left Behind Act."
Reaching a deal on education
Monday March 05 2007, 9:00 AM
Jewish World Review Michael Barone writes, "The fact is that our schools are not as good as they could be. This doesn't hurt kids from affluent, stable, book-filled households too much — they're mostly going to do well even if they go to mediocre schools. But it does hurt kids from low-earning, single-parent, bookless households who fall behind in poor schools and too often never reach their potential. It would help them if these Democrats and Republicans could once again reach a deal. Let's hope the insiders are wrong on this one."
Some children left behind? National educational initiative encounters opposition
Sunday March 04 2007, 10:26 AM
Daily Freeman reports, "Corrective action under the law includes replacing school staff members who are relevant to the failure to make adequate yearly progress; instituting a new curriculum; or extending the school year or day. A NUMBER of schools in the Hudson Valley are continually affected by the No Child Left Behind Act."
D.C. Saturday Academy to help students meet grade levels
Saturday March 03 2007, 10:30 AM
Washington Times reports, "D.C. Public Schools officials are offering students extra help in reading and math to reduce the number of students performing below grade level."
'No Child Left Behind' report spotlights Yough
Saturday March 03 2007, 7:51 AM
TRIBUNE-REVIEW reports, "'We picked (Yough)[Pennsylvania] because we wanted to showcase a rural, small community with a districtwide approach to complement the research we had on urban and suburban areas,' said Jennifer W. Adams, spokeswoman for the Commission on No Child Left Behind."
President Bush Discusses No Child Left Behind Reauthorization
Friday March 02 2007, 8:25 PM
Silver Street Elementary School, New Albany, Indiana. READ SPEECH HERE:
Helping Children Move from Bad Schools to Good Ones
Thursday March 01 2007, 7:10 PM
Richard D. Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation, 6/15/2006. A guide for specific changes to the No Child Left Behind Act that would provide the opportunity for more children to attend economically integrated middle-class public schools.
Experts: Expand teaching methods
Thursday March 01 2007, 9:19 AM
Courier News reports, "National education experts are urging school districts to drop what they call a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to teaching and replace it with a student-by-student plan developed by educators. 'We need a change in how we approach the governance of public education,' said Andrew Rotherham, former education adviser to President Bill Clinton."
Hard recovery for failed US schools; The last phase of the reform timeline outlined by No Child Left Behind poses challenges for underperformers.
Thursday March 01 2007, 7:50 AM
Christian Science Monitor reports, "'What we're finding is that school districts that implement a variety of changes are more likely to improve their test scores than those that implement only one change, such as changing [a school's] staff,' says CEP's president and CEO Jack Jennings. It's good that NCLB is no longer allowing officials to turn a blind eye to low-performing schools, he says, but improving schools 'is a very challenging task ... and we should have a little bit of humility when it comes to telling schools how to bring about changes.'"
NCLB Gets Name Change
Thursday March 01 2007, 7:40 AM
La Canada Valley Sun reports, "The No Child Left Behind Act [NCLB] is going through a name change. The State of California will soon be referring to the program as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act [ESEA]."
Statement by Secretary Spellings Regarding Report on States' Educational Effectiveness
Wednesday February 28 2007, 8:28 PM
"The report underscores what we already know—student achievement is not where it should be. That's why President Bush has called for more rigorous state academic standards to close the achievement gap, particularly in our nation's high schools, and prepare students for college and the workplace."
U.S. details funds at risk if Virginia English learners aren't tested
Wednesday February 28 2007, 2:34 PM
AP reports, "The U.S. Department of Education has detailed how much money Virginia school divisions could lose if they disobey a law that requires children who are trying to learn English to take the same reading tests as their native-speaking peers, state officials said Wednesday."
Massachusetts sets four-year graduation benchmark; 55% is called a start for urban high schools
Wednesday February 28 2007, 2:21 PM
Boston Globe reports, "The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires that all states track graduation rates, as well as standardized test scores and other measures. Schools that do not make adequate yearly progress toward these measures, including graduation rates, face sanctions. If they do not improve, they could eventually be candidates for state intervention. If the standard were set at the state average of 80 percent, at least 84 schools, a quarter of the state's 330 public high schools, would have missed the bar."
Dramatic rise in California schools falling behind on 'No Child' goals
Wednesday February 28 2007, 12:20 PM
San Francisco Chronicle reports, "The architects of the federal No Child Left Behind Act hoped that showering schools with extra money and expert advice over several years would make them succeed. But a new study released today shows that only 10 out of hundreds of low-scoring California schools facing severe consequences under No Child Left Behind have improved enough to get off of a state watch list this year -- including Sobrante Park Elementary in Oakland."
No Child Left Behind? Well, Maybe Just a Few
Tuesday February 27 2007, 8:22 AM
Bloomberg.com columnist Andrew Ferguson writes, "Already proposals are being made to rope 12th-graders into the No Child law's elaborate system of federally mandated tests, which means that high schools would finally be held accountable for graduating poorly educated seniors. The most recent of these proposals, by the Aspen Institute, received a favorable response from reformers, including within the administration. Indeed, the administration has tried before to extend the No Child law to upper grades, with no luck. Stopping it was the usual anti-reform stonewall of teachers' unions and congressional Democrats, along with an astonishingly powerful vocational-school lobby."
No Child Left Behind is working because it provides accountability
Tuesday February 27 2007, 8:04 AM
Cincinnati Inquirer contributor Kristine Cohn, secretary of education's regional representative for the U.S. Department of Education, Region V (Chicago) writes, "In 1965, President Johnson signed into law the first federal aid program for high-poverty school districts. It lacked one core ingredient, however: accountability. A year later, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy asked, "What happened to the children? Do you mean you spent a billion dollars and you don't know whether they can read or not?" The No Child Left Behind Act is America's answer to that question. In five years, it has committed unprecedented new resources to public education in exchange for true accountability for results. It has given schools a reliable yardstick to measure students' progress in learning fundamental reading and math skills so that they can succeed in school and in life."
Massachusetts leading national effort for longer school days
Monday February 26 2007, 9:16 AM
AP reports, "While Massachusetts is leading in implementing the longer-day model, lawmakers in Minnesota, New Mexico, New York and Washington, D.C., also have been debating whether to lengthen the school day or year. In addition, individual districts such as Miami-Dade are experimenting with added hours in some schools."
Massachusetts students achieve despite hardship
Sunday February 25 2007, 9:26 AM
The Enterprise reports, "[Principal]Henderson attributed the improvement in attendance to a special program that the school has in place. “We run an attendance incentive program daily, and each month we have a theme,” Henderson said. For example, January was 'Winter Wonderland,' where the kids built snow men from 15 different parts on their bulletin boards. Each time a class had perfect attendance, they received a part of the snowman. Of 15 classes, five different classes with the most parts won that month's incentive."
Tracking students with ID number a key step to lower the dropout rate
Sunday February 25 2007, 9:01 AM
AP reports, "Forty-one states have set up or are in the process of establishing a way to track individual students. The National Center for Educational Accountability said Florida is the only state to include all the elements it considers essential for a complete data system that measures where students go. Two years ago, the 50 governors signed a pact agreeing to use a common calculation method, but that, too, has been slow to develop. A bipartisan commission earlier this month submitted a list of 75 recommendations to President Bush and Congress on reforming No Child Left Behind and suggested making a common calculation method mandatory under the law, along with high-quality student tracking systems."
SCHOOLS MAY GET MORE TIME ON THEIR SIDE: No Child Left Behind law could lead to longer days for students
Sunday February 25 2007, 8:52 AM
AP reports, "Although Massachusetts is leading in putting in place the longer-day model, lawmakers in Minnesota, New Mexico, New York and Washington also have debated whether to lengthen the school day or year. In addition, individual districts such as Miami-Dade in Florida are experimenting with added hours in some schools."
Democrats Pledge: No Vouchers in NCLB
Saturday February 24 2007, 3:17 PM
Heartland Institute School Reform News Dan Lips writes, "On January 23, Bush announced plans to include expanded school choice options in NCLB, including: requiring underperforming schools to offer scholarships to low-income students, to allow them to transfer to the private or out-of-district public schools of their choice; providing federal funds for school boards to expand local school choice options for low-income families; and using federal funds to make sure schools inform parents about choice options in their communities in a timely manner."
Connecticut -- Testing, funding questioned as No Child law faces reauthorization
Saturday February 24 2007, 3:10 PM
AP reports, "With the five-year education act set to expire on Sept. 30, Lieberman, I-Conn., hosted a forum Friday at the state Capitol on ways to improve the rules before Congress votes on reauthorization this summer or fall. Among the concerns voiced: an emphasis on constant testing, inadequate funds to meet mandates, the lack of consistent methods to track and compare progress, and a perception that some states get more latitude than Connecticut to excuse large numbers of special-education students from testing."
Spotlight on Tennessee School Attendance
Friday February 23 2007, 7:19 PM
Newschannel9.com reports, "Principals say they are under an enormous amount of pressure to meet the attendance goals, especially during test time when a certain percentage must be in school to meet the No Child Left Behind standards. But kids can't learn the material if they're not in school. When attendance goes down, tests scores likely follow creating a whole another set of problems for educators."
Feingold's constituents raise Iraq, immigration issues -- NCLB
Friday February 23 2007, 9:29 AM
Tomah Journal reports, "Feingold voted against NCLB and said its implementation has been flawed. He agrees with conservatives who contend NCLB erodes local control of education."
Statement by Secretary Spellings on 12th-Grade Achievement Reports Released by the Nation's Report Card
Friday February 23 2007, 9:03 AM
Secretary Spellings, "The consensus for strengthening our high schools has never been stronger. It is unacceptable that only half of our African American and Hispanic students graduate from high school on time when nearly 90 percent of our nation's fastest-growing jobs require post-secondary education or training. The President's new proposals include: a $1.2 billion increase in Title I funds for high schools; an additional $1 billion over five years for Academic Competitiveness Grants for low-income students who take on a rigorous high school course load; and $365 million for the American Competitiveness Initiative to strengthen math and science instruction."
United Church of Christ (UCC) education advocate questions 'No Child Left Behind'
Friday February 23 2007, 7:46 AM
Religion News Service reports, "The National Council of Churches will sponsor a national conference March 9 in Arlington, Va., on 'fixing' the No Child Left Behind education act. Although the event will include secular participants, the involvement of the nation's largest ecumenical religious organization signals a growing grassroots concern about the 2002 law, which is scheduled for reauthorization by Congress this year."
U.S. Sen. Hatch critical of immigration, No Child
Friday February 23 2007, 7:38 AM
Daily Herald reports, "U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch criticized Congress's approach to immigration reform on Wednesday and said the federal government should adequately fund the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. 'We're a nation of laws, but we're also a nation of immigrants,' said Hatch, R-Utah, while addressing the Utah Legislature. 'Or to put it the other way, we're a nation of immigrants, but we're also a nation of laws.'"
Feds will withhold funds if Virginia English learners aren't tested
Friday February 23 2007, 7:33 AM
AP reports, "A top U.S. Department of Education official said Thursday that Virginia school divisions will lose federal funding if they do not comply with a federal law that requires children struggling to learn English take the same reading tests as their native-speaking peers.'
Century Foundation NCLB link
Thursday February 22 2007, 5:45 PM
InSight on Education
Thursday February 22 2007, 4:24 PM
InSight on Education's Marianne Potter hosts a roundtable discussion with guests Maria DeWald, President of the New York State PTA; Dick Iannuzzi, President of New York State United Teachers; Rick Karlin of the Times Union's Capitol Bureau; and Lori McKenna, Director of Federal and State Programs for the Schenectady School District. Airdate: Thursday, February 22, 2006 at 7:30pm Repeat: Sunday, February 24, 2006 at 12:00am
Local Pennsylvania school board debating truancy
Thursday February 22 2007, 10:56 AM
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, "School districts across the state have been mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to come up with policies dealing with chronic truancy and tardiness. The new mandates address the Federal No Child Left Behind outcomes, which include attendance records as well as measures for math and reading."
Beyond 'No Child'
Thursday February 22 2007, 8:02 AM
USA Today opines, "NCLB is the primary driver of improvement in the nation's schools — particularly to provide equal opportunity, regardless of economic status. But it can only provide the incentive to change, not the means. That's up to individual schools and districts. The real reward from the law is the innovative and successful practices that have sprung up to address demands for improvement."
Now's the time to test standardized tests
Thursday February 22 2007, 7:44 AM
Christian Monitor reports, "The nation remains uneasy about this strong federal hand in local education but also worried about how undereducated workers are affecting its economic future. Whether to impose testing is no longer the issue, but rather how such tests are done, and whether these measurements are used to improve education for all children."
Educators React to No Child Left Behind
Wednesday February 21 2007, 8:51 PM
NPR reports, "Joel Packer, director of education policy and practice with the National Education Association, offers reaction from educators to recent proposed changes to No Child Left Behind."
A Better Answer for Education: Reviving State and Local Policymaking Authority
Wednesday February 21 2007, 8:45 PM
Heritage Foundation Lecturen #994 by the Honorable John Cornyn and the Honorable Jim DeMint says, "What we're asking is that states have the option to stay under the No Child Left Behind regime or choose to take the accountability and standards of that regimen but have the flexibility to accomplish the goals in a different way. This would do what welfare reform did. If you remember, welfare reform did not start at the federal level, but by giving states the flexibility to create laboratories for change. Then the federal government saw what was working, and we did some things to allow more states to do that, and we changed the system. We need to do that for education, because, first of all, what we're doing is not working."
US Sen. Ted Kennedy visit focuses on 'No Child' program
Wednesday February 21 2007, 8:38 PM
Cape Cod Times reports, "In addition to addressing the No Child Left Behind reauthorization, he spoke with Times editors about the proposed Head Start for School Readiness Act. According to Kennedy, fewer than 50 percent of children eligible for Head Start participate because their families do not have access to Head Start programs. The legislation would raise Head Start funding from $6.9 billion to $7.3 billion in the next fiscal year, to $7.5 billion in fiscal year 2009 and $7.9 billion in 2010."
Arkansas educators take time with senator
Wednesday February 21 2007, 8:31 PM
Jonesboro Sun reports, "Some 50 higher education and K-12 [Arkansas] educators skipped school Monday to converse with U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln about education, in particular the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001."
NEA: 'No Child Left Behind' Act/ESEA
Wednesday February 21 2007, 5:29 PM
NEA is in the forefront of the effort to improve the federal education law. We have developed a comprehensive "Positive Agenda for the ESEA Reauthorization" that spells out detailed recommendations to make the law better.
Local North Carolina educators to U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville: revamp No Child Left Behind
Wednesday February 21 2007, 4:25 PM
Citizen-Times reports, "The lesson from the school superintendents Tuesday morning was simple: we need Congress to rework the No Child Left Behind legislation. And U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, heard the message loud and clear. Shuler met with superintendents from 19 Western North Carolina school systems, as well as special education teachers and administrators, Tuesday morning at the A-B Tech’s Enka campus."
February 5-9: Dianne Piché vs. Mike Petrilli vs. Joel Packer on No Child Left Behind
Wednesday February 21 2007, 4:09 PM
Now five years old, the landmark federal law is up for reauthorization. Is it working? What needs to change? This three-way exchange features: Dianne Piché, Executive Director of the Citizens' Commission on Civil Rights; Mike Petrilli, Vice President for National Programs and Policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation; Joel Packer, ESEA policy manager for the National Education Association.
The Pending Reauthorization of NCLB: An Opportunity to Rethink the Basic Strategy
Wednesday February 21 2007, 10:12 AM
By Daniel Koretz, Harvard Graduate School of Education. "This paper argues that debating possible modifications of many NCLB provisions obscures more important problems that the civil rights community cannot afford to ignore. These problems include the lack of knowledge about how to hold schools accountable, key aspects of NCLB that are inconsistent with the current accountability evidence, and the illusion of progress generated by NCLB through its reliance on state assessments."
Domesticating a Revolution: No Child Left Behind Reforms and State Administrative Response
Wednesday February 21 2007, 9:58 AM
Sunderman, G. L., & Orfield, G. (2006). Domesticating a revolution: No Child Left Behind reforms and state administrative response. Cambridge, MA: The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. "This report shows striking good faith at the state administrative level to implement the NCLB requirements but also a striking lack of resources and knowledge to accomplish the extraordinary goals of NCLB. States focused on some of the requirements—data, assessments, and the procedural parts of the law—because these were areas where they had expertise and could actually control. For the most ambitious goals of improving school performance, the law provided few resources, and the previous experience of the states in dealing with much smaller numbers of schools and districts did not prepare them for the size and scope needed under NCLB. When NCLB comes up for re-authorization, the findings from this report would suggest that Congress needs to design a policy that recognizes both the realities of policy possibilities as known by educational professionals and the necessity in a federal system of leading by persuasion and incentives more often than by threats and negative sanctions."
Report: Districts Unprepared for Education Bill
Wednesday February 21 2007, 9:38 AM
Harvard Crimson reports, "The report, 'Domesticating a Revolution: No Child Left Behind Reforms and State Administrative Response,' was published in this winter’s Harvard Educational Review just as the law comes up for reauthorization in Congress this year. It identifies budgetary limitations, constraints on human resources, and limitations on state governments’ capacities to intervene in individual schools and districts as some of the problems states face in implementing No Child Left Behind. The report was authored by Sunderman and Gary A. Orfield, a professor of education and social policy and the co-founder and director of the Civil Rights Project. "
Sen. Clinton on NCLB in Liberty City, FL
Wednesday February 21 2007, 7:57 AM
AP reports, "On education, the New York senator and former first lady said more needs to be done to prepare children for school and to get parents involved with their children's' learning."
No Child Left Behind as an Anti-Poverty Measure, Teacher Education Quarterly, Spring 2007
Tuesday February 20 2007, 7:06 PM
In the article, Jean Anyon, a professor of educational and social policy and Kiersten Greene, a doctoral student, both with the Doctoral Program in Urban Education of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York.demonstrate that there are significant economic realities, and existing public policies, that severely curtail the power of education to function as a route out of poverty for poor people."
Wisconsin teachers push for changes to No Child Left Behind
Tuesday February 20 2007, 6:09 PM
"[Wausau School District curriculum director ]Rindo said he would like to use other assessments rather than a single test to measure students' success and have students evaluated based on the progress they make. 'Is it realistic to have all kids make the same amount of progress each year?' he said. Last week, the Aspen Institute released a report on needed changes for the law. Former Gov. Tommy Thompson co-chaired the study. To access the study, visit http://www.aspeninstitute.org."
Virginia high-immigrant schools decry NCLB rule for English learners
Tuesday February 20 2007, 8:44 AM
AP reports, "Officials in high-immigrant school districts are taking issue with the U.S. Department of Education's requirement that children still trying to learn English take the same reading tests given to their native-speaking classmates."
Stop Pandering on Education
Wednesday February 14 2007, 10:52 AM
Newsweek Jonathan Alter writes, "It's time to move from identifying failing schools to identifying failing teachers. Sounds obvious, but it hasn't happened in American education."
Wednesday February 14 2007, 7:58 AM
Commission on No Child Left Behind concludes, "The Commission believes that it is time to ask all teachers to demonstrate their effectiveness in the classroom rather than just their qualifications for entering it. This is a significant change and must be implemented in a way that is fair to teachers. Teachers who are held to this higher standard need and deserve more support. Effective Teachers for All Students, Effective Principals for All Communities."
Commission on NCLB Final Recommendations
Tuesday February 13 2007, 8:14 AM
Aspen Institute Webcast -- presentation begins 20 minutes, 39 seconds into video. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes, Co-Chairs of the the Commission will be joined by: Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman, Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Senator Mike Enzi, Ranking Member, Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Congressman George Miller, Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor; Congressman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, Ranking Member, Committee on Education and Labor.
The Children Neglected by No Child Left Behind
Thursday February 01 2007, 9:06 AM
Duke News reports, "As the language of the law suggests, NCLB focuses on the education and support of all children. However, the law has been misinterpreted by many states and school systems in a manner that has been both detrimental and exclusionary to gifted and talented students. No child, regardless of ability, should be left behind."
Intelligence in the Classroom
Tuesday January 16 2007, 6:30 AM
Wall Street Opinion Journal contributor Charles Murray, W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute opines, "I am among the most emphatic of those who think that the importance of IQ in living a good life is vastly overrated. My point is just this: It is true that many social and economic problems are disproportionately found among people with little education, but the culprit for their educational deficit is often low intelligence. Refusing to come to grips with that reality has produced policies that have been ineffectual at best and damaging at worst."
Empower, support Rochester city teachers to give students their best effort
Tuesday January 16 2007, 6:26 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle contributor Adam Urbanski, president, Rochester Teachers Association opines, "What is to be done? Here are some suggestions based on the collective wisdom of city teachers: Improve school safety and student discipline. There can be no effective teaching or learning in an atmosphere of fear, disorder and chaos. The perception of city schools as unsafe and disorderly is the major reason why families and 'highly qualified' teachers avoid them. Stop ignoring the needs of city kids. Too many city kids do not get the services they so desperately need. There are not enough alternative programs for students who cannot function effectively in the regular settings. Treat teachers as professionals. Growing numbers of city teachers complain that their administrators treat them with disrespect and disregard. The most important dynamic in education is what occurs between teacher and student. All else, and everyone else, must serve to support this. So, if the administrators' role is to serve and support teaching and learning, teachers should have a yearly opportunity to affirm their administrator's leadership or to fail to affirm it. And logical consequences should ensue. Let teachers teach. City teachers are saddled with prepackaged instructional programs that micro-manage teaching and rob teachers of much of their professional prerogative. 'Highly qualified' teachers do not want to be educational sales clerks who are not trusted to make instructional decisions for their own students."
No Child: 5 years of frustration
Monday January 15 2007, 11:34 AM
Missoulian ROB CHANEY writes on NCLB, "There's an old joke about the optimist child who's shown a room filled with horse manure and immediately starts digging, exclaiming 'There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!' Five years after federal No Child Left Behind rules were imposed nationwide, Montana educators are still digging. But optimism is fading."
Sunday January 14 2007, 3:10 PM
When asked why some larger districts in the county have a higher percentage of qualified teachers, Fashano said there are not as many job openings at rural schools, and prospective employees apply to larger districts first and then smaller ones second. Fashano said teacher candidates in Jamestown go through a ‘pretty extensive interview process’ and must teach a lesson in front of a committee. ‘'We found that if you spend more time up front and getting good quality candidates, your turnover rate becomes less,’ he said. Maria Neira, New York State United Teachers union vice president, said the Chautauqua County region is ahead of other parts of the state when it comes to teacher quality for a number of reasons. ‘One of the reasons is because you have a stable teaching force,’ she said. ‘You do not have a high turnover rate and the conditions tend to be better.'’’
New policy on NCLB testing is flawed
Sunday January 14 2007, 7:12 AM
Uticaod.com opines, "It's not wrong to expect the best of every student. But applying a blanket standard to school districts, especially those whose English-speaking and special education populations vary significantly, is like producing a universal windshield and then wondering why it doesn't fit every car."
The Achiever: January 2007 • Vol. 6, No. 1
Saturday January 13 2007, 9:12 PM
What's inside... Fifth Anniversary for No Child Left Behind, Empowering Parents, Spellings Speaks on International Education, Around the Country, Calendar, Q & A Glossary, News Show Celebrates No Child Left Behind, New Design for FREE Web Site. Source: U.S. Department of Education, The Achiever, [January 2007].
National standards under review as lawmakers prepare to take up No Child Left Behind law
Saturday January 13 2007, 3:42 PM
AP NANCY ZUCKERBROD reports, "Among educators, there is a concern national standards would become outdated and that changing them would be difficult and bureaucratic. Brenda Dietrich, a superintendent in the Topeka, Kan., area, said she has not formed an opinion on national standards, but does see a logic to them. 'If we're all going to be held to a standard, it certainly would be nice if it were the same standard,' Dietrich said. That is probably going to be the winning argument, says Michael Dannenberg, who directs education policy at the Washington-based New America Foundation, which recently held a forum on national standards. 'My view is that the country is on an inexorable march toward national standards, and the question is not if but when and how,' he said."
For Teachers, Being 'Highly Qualified' Is a Subjective Matter
Saturday January 13 2007, 10:22 AM
Washington Post reports, "Legal loopholes and uneven implementation by states and the U.S. Department of Education have diluted the law's impact on the teaching workforce, some education experts say. They say that meeting the standards of quality is more about shuffling paper than achieving two vital goals: ensuring that teachers are prepared to help students succeed and reducing the teacher talent gap between rich and poor schools."
No Child law a tough act
Saturday January 13 2007, 9:10 AM
Jacksonville.com reports, "[Nassau County, Florida school]Officials said No Child Left Behind, which President Bush signed into law Jan. 8, 2002, has had a definite impact on school districts across the country, not just locally. It makes every school district accountable for students' annual progress, measures all students' progress in reading and mathematics, and requires students to be tested annually as a way of ensuring they are proficient in academic subjects when they graduate. But it also requires school districts to dissect teacher certifications annually for the subjects they teach, provide teacher training, and provide supplementary tutoring for students needing more help. Districts must take money out of their federal fund allocation to do it, shifting resources they count on to serve the vast majority of students."
Bush-Democrat alliance on education law feared
Friday January 12 2007, 3:43 AM
Washington Times reports, "Mr. Bush is urging Congress this year to renew one of his biggest domestic accomplishments, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law of 2002, which aims to increase student achievement through more testing and by tracking results of schools and holding them accountable. Democrats, who now control the House and Senate, are demanding some changes to the law, most notably a significant boost in funding levels. The option of adding high school reform to this year's 'to-do' list hasn't been publicly discussed lately, but Mr. Bush included the makings of such a plan in his budget proposal last year. The NCLB law focuses on grade school and requires testing just once in reading and math from grades 10 to 12. His plan from last year would have expanded high school testing to all three years."
In Education Debate, Congress Must Talk Money
Thursday January 11 2007, 7:16 AM
NPR: One of the issues the new Congress will deal with is the renewal of the No Child Left Behind Act. Commentator Andrew Rotherham says that any reconsideration of education legislation will need to consider changes in the way it is funded. Rotherham is co-founder and co-director of Education Sector, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. He serves on the Virginia Board of Education and writes the blog Eduwonk.com.
Leaving Schools Behind
Thursday January 11 2007, 5:25 AM
Post-Standard opines, "[Immigrant] Children struggling to fit in to a strange new environment will have their spirits badly shaken, and their failure on the tests will keep the school on the state's list of deficient schools. A better way to help H.W. Smith [Syracuse elementary school] and other schools that are doing remarkable things with newly arrived immigrant children would be to provide them with realistic goals and the expert outside help and funding to achieve them."
Albany Capital Region's schools want to leave this list behind
Thursday January 11 2007, 4:54 AM
Times Union reports, "Because it is so easy to get on the list, school officials have complained that it unfairly tars them. For example, schools can generally be listed if 95 percent of their 'subgroups' aren't tested. But that can be hard for small schools with just a handful of minority students or those with disabilities; one or two absences on test day can skew the results. 'God forbid there is an outbreak of the flu ... and they don't make their 95 percent participation rate they can be put on the list,' said Maria Neira, vice president of the New York State United Teachers, the state's major teachers union, which has long criticized NCLB on several fronts. Additionally, Neira said, the requirement that test scores rise year after year -- even for schools that are already doing well -- seems to set up a lot schools for failure."
Schools in Flunk Funk
Thursday January 11 2007, 4:51 AM
NY Post David Andreatta reports, "Until last year, the city had enjoyed incremental decreases in the number of failing schools since hitting a peak of 497 in 2003. Officials had hailed the declines as evidence that the Bloomberg administration's education reforms were working. City and state education officials yesterday took pains to point out that the latest results were based largely on scores from new statewide tests introduced in grades 3 through 8 last school year. Previously, schools were judged only on the performance of their fourth- and eighth-graders."
506 TITLE I SCHOOLS AND 56 DISTRICTS STATEWIDE ARE “IN NEED OF IMPROVEMENT” UNDER NCLB; 193 SCHOOLS ALSO IDENTIFIED UNDER SEPARATE STATE RULES
Wednesday January 10 2007, 6:11 PM
NYSED PRESS RELEASE: A total of 506 schools and 56 districts have been identified by the State Education Department as “In Need of Improvement” under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Of these, 73 schools and 14 districts were newly identified this school year. In addition, 52 schools and 8 districts have been removed from the Title I improvement list because they have made Adequate Yearly Progress for two consecutive years in all areas for which they were identified. Forty-five of the newly identified schools and 27 of the newly removed schools were in New York City. All of these 506 schools and 56 districts receive Title I funds and must take a variety of actions under federal law. A total of 193 schools have also been identified as “Schools Requiring Academic Progress” (SRAP). These schools did not receive Title I funds for the number of years required to be identified as schools “In Need of Improvement” under federal NCLB rules. Of these, 17 schools—6 in New York City—are newly identified. These schools are required to develop a plan for improvement in the area(s) for which they are identified. Thirty-three schools—12 in New York City—in SRAP status in 2005-06 made sufficient progress to be placed in good standing.
Complaining all the way to education successes in the nation's schools
Wednesday January 10 2007, 8:44 AM
Journal News opines, "A critical review of NCLB is overdue. Nationwide and locally, some schools and districts are still making sense of the accountability game (see staff writer Leah Rae's Sunday article about "erasure analysis" - a necessary tool for uncovering teachers and schools that, unfortunately, look for the easy way out on standardized tests; to whit, they cheat). And we'll have more to say later on about what specifically is right and wrong about NCLB. But we think there is more than anecdotal evidence to suggest that Congress should get behind NCLB, preferably one that is improved, better funded and up to the very hard challenges that remain."
Adding up teachers
Wednesday January 10 2007, 6:24 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle opines, "The state's teacher data give high marks to most local suburban districts and a lower grade to the City School District. Rochester officials said Tuesday the information is flawed and that the district has more "highly qualified'' teachers than they're getting credit for. For example, the numbers show 44 percent of the city's reading teachers are below the standard. The city says they're all highly qualified. Let's get the numbers right, but with the knowledge that, even when they are right, they don't tell the whole story. Only a good teacher-child-parent relationship can fill in the gaps."
Student portfolios seen as way of the future to educators, not standardized tests
Wednesday January 10 2007, 6:07 AM
Journal News reports, "The biggest point of contention boils down to whether portfolios can or should be used to measure student achievement in the place of a common assessment. The question has been debated for some time, yet the intensity of the discussion has increased since the creation of the federal No Child Left Behind education law, which mandates annual mathematics and English testing in grades three through eight."
'No Child Left Behind' Law Up for Renewal
Tuesday January 09 2007, 11:17 AM
NPR Larry Abramsom reports, "The Bush administration is using the law's fifth anniversary to urge reauthorization without changes. But the process won't be as simple as the adminstration once hoped."
A Principal's View of 'No Child Left Behind'
Tuesday January 09 2007, 11:14 AM
NPR Steve Inskeep reports, "What sort of impact has the No Child Left Behind Act had on one high school in Baltimore? Tajah Gross, principal of Northwestern High, talks with Steve Inskeep."
Teacher quality issues remain
Tuesday January 09 2007, 6:26 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "School districts across the state are increasing the percentages of highly qualified teachers. However, a study by the state Education Department released Monday shows that in most core subjects, Rochester has the lowest percentage of 'highly qualified' teachers of large urban districts in the state. Overall, 89 percent of core courses in the Rochester School District in the 2005-06 school year were taught by 'highly qualified' teachers — meaning they have mastered the subjects they teach — according to the Education Department. "
Bush, Lawmakers Meet on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Education Bill
Tuesday January 09 2007, 6:12 AM
Washington Post reports, "The No Child Left Behind law has pushed some states to weaken their standards to avoid consequences that arise when schools miss annual targets."
New York Risks Losing Fed Bucks for Education
Tuesday January 09 2007, 4:56 AM
NY Post David Andreatta reports, "More New York state public-school teachers than ever are "highly qualified" - but the state could lose millions in federal education aid unless all of its teachers meet the standard by July. State Education Commissioner Richard Mills acknowledged that the deadline, set by the No Child Left Behind law, would be tough to meet, in spite of significant progress over the last year."
Grades up for New York City teachers
Tuesday January 09 2007, 4:34 AM
NY Daily News reports, "City education officials credited the jump to the lead teacher program - in which veterans train new hires - as well as the Partnership for Teaching Excellence, a training program with NYU and CUNY. Teachers union President Randi Weingarten credited salary increases, but added, 'In order to increase teacher quality even more, we must lower class size, vigilantly promote safety and create a more cooperative relationship between teachers and principals.'"
Spellings Celebrates Fifth Anniversary of No Child Left Behind Act with Speech to Education and Business Leaders
Monday January 08 2007, 8:02 PM
The address also reminded the audience of the administration's efforts over the past five years, why the law was so needed then, and why she and the President are pushing for renewal this year. "When President Bush first came to Washington back in 2001, the nation was ready for reform," Spellings said. "The President made No Child Left Behind his first priority, from his first day and his first week in office. And so did members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. Later today, we'll be back in the Oval Office with the President and Congressional leaders to talk about building on the progress we've already made. Renewing NCLB is one of the President's top priorities and I'm confident that Chairman Kennedy, Senator Enzi, Chairman Miller, and Representative McKeon will continue to be strong supporters.
Crystal Apple: Education Insiders’ Predictions for No Child Left Behind’s Reauthorization
Monday January 08 2007, 3:37 PM
Thomas Fordham Foundation, Coby Loup and Michael J. Petrilli write, "January 8, 2007, is No Child Left Behind's fifth birthday. This isn't just another milestone to be celebrated (or mourned). It also marks the time that the law is due for an update from Congress. But will NCLB be reauthorized on schedule? And what changes are likely? No one knows for sure, but some might be in a better position than others to cast prognostications: the ubiquitous 'Washington insiders.' So we asked for their predictions. While not a 'representative sample' of thousands, these experts do have inside knowledge and bring a variety of perspectives. They span the ideological and political spectrum and work as lobbyists, association leaders, think tank analysts, and scholars."
NEW DATA SHOW: NEW YORK STATE RAISES PERCENT OF HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHERS IN EVERY SUBJECT EXCEPT ARTS
Monday January 08 2007, 3:30 PM
NYSED PRESS RELEASE: The gap narrowed especially at the elementary school level, from a 16 percent gap in 2004-05 to a 7 percent gap in 2005-06. In middle and high school, the gap narrowed by 1.7 percent, to a 15.5 percent gap. New York City especially improved, with more highly qualified teachers in every subject. Despite the improvement, several of the Big 5 Cities still have relatively high percentages of teachers in some subjects who are not considered highly qualified under the federal rules of the No Child Left Behind Act
From the Desk of Jean C. Stevens, Interim Deputy Commissioner
Monday January 08 2007, 9:07 AM
New York State Education Department (NYSED) Public Announcement of District/School Data: During the week of January 8, the Department will release to the media and the public a list of public schools and districts in improvement status for the 2006-07 school year and the percentage of core courses taught by teachers who were highly qualified in 2005-06 in each public school district and charter school. Providers of NCLB Supplemental Educational Services: The next application period to become a New York State-approved supplemental educational services provider begins January 19, 2007. On behalf of the Board of Regents, the Department notifies districts of location, public schools, and nonpublic schools in the same geographic area of any actions that the Board of Regents has taken related to charter schools as well as the receipt of any new proposed charter applications, proposed renewal applications, or proposed revisions. The notified districts of location, public schools, and nonpublic schools are encouraged to comment on the proposed action and solicit comments from the community through a public hearing on the proposed action. (Read more announcements here)
Next round begins for No Child Left Behind
Sunday January 07 2007, 10:59 PM
Christian Science Monitor reports, "One change that seems likely to get traction is a shift toward a "growth" model of assessing schools, in which schools with students who come in far below grade level get credit for helping them make big strides, even if they still fall short of proficiency - so long as, the Department of Education emphasizes, they do get students to a proficient level eventually. The department has already approved pilot programs in five states, and wants Congress to include such a model in NCLB. Still, some critics want far more sweeping changes. A coalition called the Forum on Educational Accountability now has more than 100 groups - including the NAACP and the National Education Association - which have signed a list of 14 requested changes to the law. They include lowering the current proficiency targets, providing more assistance to failing schools, getting rid of sanctions with less record of improvement, and encouraging testing designed to measure higher thinking skills and performance throughout the year."
U.S. Teachers Endorse National Math, Science Standard
Sunday January 07 2007, 10:45 PM
Bloomberg.com reports, "States already can abstain from compliance with the current No Child Left Behind law if they want to forego their share of more than $20 billion in federal education aid, though in practice none have."
Education reform law -- No Child Left Behind (NCLB) up for fixes
Sunday January 07 2007, 7:20 AM
CONTRA COSTA TIMES reports, "Bush has invited Miller, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to meet in the Oval Office on Monday, the law's fifth anniversary, to talk about potential changes, said Danny Weiss, Miller's chief of staff. The meeting resembles a 2001 gathering at which members of Congress and the then-new president unveiled a draft of the education initiative Bush signed into law the following year."
No Child Left Behind Act flawed but likely to stay
Saturday January 06 2007, 2:31 PM
sbsun.com reports, "Before he was a teacher in Inglewood, Sanders was a black kid growing up in Birmingham, Ala., in the era of Jim Crow laws. His mom had a seventh-grade education, and his dad was illiterate. But his family valued education, and he worked hard in school. Sanders says No Child Left Behind unfairly blames schools and teachers for poor student performance. He says the law should do more to address societal issues affecting children in urban areas, including poverty and what he describes as a lack of parental interest in education."
OEA (Ohio Education Association): It's Time to Keep the Promise of No Child Left Behind
Friday January 05 2007, 8:34 PM
PR Newswire reports, "The OEA strongly supports the stated goals of NCLB: improving student achievement and closing student achievement gaps that persist among rich and poor, ethnic and minority groups and among school districts that have huge variations in resources. The OEA is a strong advocate of the National Education Association's Positive Agenda for improving the NCLB Act and addressing its flaws."
'No Child' Law on Track, Spellings Says
Thursday January 04 2007, 3:35 AM
The Washington Post reports, "The Forum on Educational Accountability -- a coalition that includes education, religious, civil rights and disability rights groups -- said yesterday that the law overemphasizes standardized tests and arbitrary academic targets. The coalition also criticized penalties the law imposes on schools that fail to meet standards."
Baltimore, Maryland classroom aides on move
Wednesday January 03 2007, 8:02 AM
Sun Reporter reports, "As the Baltimore school system scrambles to meet a provision of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, it is transferring more than 150 classroom assistants to different schools next week. Assistants considered qualified under the law are being moved to high-poverty schools, while those considered not qualified are moving to schools serving wealthier children. The transfers are prompting outrage among many of the assistants and the teachers and others who work with them. They say the system didn't plan adequately and now is disrupting the lives of the assistants and the relationships they have built with children."
It takes a village to teach a child to read
Wednesday January 03 2007, 6:29 AM
Ithaca Journal contributor and reading teacher Carol Cedarholm writes, "I don't mean to minimize the importance of teaching method on reading success. In fact the best teacher won't be successful using an ineffective method. Neither will an excellent teacher be successful using Direct Instruction/Reading Master if the child is hungry, hasn't slept, hasn't been read to, can't focus, has only 30 minutes of reading instruction four times a week, etc."
One Reason (Among Many) That No Child Left Behind Cannot Work
Tuesday January 02 2007, 11:23 PM
Huffington Post, Gerald Bracey writes, "NCLB comes up for reauthorization in 2007. Its flaws have become apparent even to many of its supporters (see the December 9 post, 'Things Fall Apart'), but reworking it will be contentious and controversial and will not likely happen before the elections of 2008. While we wait for those elections, more and more schools and districts will be labeled as failing, and penalized with increasingly severe sanctions. This will happen because each year as we approach the 100% requirement of 2014, a larger and larger proportion of students must be 'proficient.'"
Wichita, Kansas district's tutoring bill so far tops $400,000
Tuesday January 02 2007, 8:23 AM
Wichita Eagle reports, "The Kansas State Department of Education's application for providing supplemental services requires that tutoring firms 'have a demonstrated record of effectiveness in increasing student academic achievement' and provide services that are 'high quality and researched based.'"
Test scores for Pennsylvania special education students on rise
Tuesday January 02 2007, 8:18 AM
Herald-Standard reports, "Test scores for special education students in the state's 501 school districts are reportedly on the rise with local educators lauding the efforts of inclusion implemented in January under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The law was revised to include a special emphasis on the achievement gap for all states that accept Title 1 federal grants that provide funding for remedial education programs for poor and disadvantaged children in public schools and in some private programs. A class action lawsuit filed against the Pennsylvania Department of Education also determined that starting last January special education students be integrated into the regular education classroom for instruction where the special education teacher and regular education teacher co-teach."
NYSED Update on Limited English Proficient/English Language Learner (LEP/ELL
Tuesday January 02 2007, 8:09 AM
New York state education Commissioner Mills has issued a field memorandum regarding the Regents and Department's efforts to advocate for change in the federal policy that requires all English language learners (ELLs) who have been in this country for more than one year to take their state's English language arts tests. Even as the Department works to change the U.S. Department of Education's policy, we must follow the law and implement the policy during this coming year. The field memorandum identifies a number of additional steps the Department has undertaken at various levels to help our ELL students.
Plattsburgh fears for funding
Tuesday January 02 2007, 6:24 AM
Press Republican reports, "Wachtmeister [Plattsburgh City School Board member] stressed that he is not saying New York City schoolchildren don't need more money, but "the bottom line is New York City is fabulously wealthy." Yet, he said, the people who dominate the power elite are not going to want to pay the taxes. 'Rich people in New York City send their kids to private schools, and that is one of the major reasons New York City doesn't spend as much as it ought to on its own students, because there is no interest in doing so. But they can afford to, given the income and property wealth in New York City.'"
Conservatives Call for National Education Curriculum
Monday January 01 2007, 3:10 PM
NPR Larry Abramson reports, "There's a long tradition of 'local control' over U.S. public schools. In the past, Republicans have fiercely resisted any kind of national curriculum. Now some of the loudest calls for national testing are coming from the right."
Hawaii middle school to pilot elite curriculum
Monday January 01 2007, 9:47 AM
Honolulu Advertiser reports, "By this fall, Mew expects Niu Valley Middle to become the first Hawai'i public school to pilot the International Baccalaureate program, an elite curriculum that's gaining momentum on the Mainland as public schools seek to ramp up the rigor of their offerings to meet No Child Left Behind goals."
Hawaii teachers' extra hours studied
Monday January 01 2007, 9:36 AM
The Honolulu Advertiser reports, "But there's a long way to go to reach agreement on whether teachers deserve extra money for what Hawai'i State Teachers Association president Roger Takabayashi calls the hundreds of extra hours they put in every year chiefly because of federal mandates under the No Child Left Behind Act."
A New Year for School Reform
Sunday December 31 2006, 9:46 AM
NY Times opined, "With the easy achievement gains already behind us, the next level of progress will require rigorous systemic change. The states, for example, will need to adopt rigorous examinations that track the federal test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, more closely. They will have to crack down on state teachers colleges that turn out poor graduates, and devise ways — including differential pay — to persuade highly qualified teachers to work in failing schools that they have historically avoided. To move forward, the country must also find new ways to support and transform failing schools, beyond labeling them failures and presuming that the stigma will inspire better performance."
Cyber schools: High costs, low scores
Wednesday December 27 2006, 2:09 PM
The York Dispatch reports, "Hoover [PA Distance Learning Charter School CEO] said that in addition to students who are looking to escape from violence at school, cybers offer a refuge to students who are pregnant, those who need to work full-time jobs and need flexibility, and those who are bullied or have learning problems. Hoover said the cyber school administrators are able to monitor the number of hours students are logging. Parents log the hours their child spends working in a textbook in order to make sure the child meets the state's criterion to be educated 180 days per school year. He said the Department of Education closely monitors the cyber schools. 'We are probably held to a higher standard than even the public schools,' he said."
Truancy can spell trouble for Colorado parents
Wednesday December 27 2006, 10:52 AM
Cortez Journal reports, "'Parents may be surprised to hear that if they do not support their children in their education and their children account for too many unverified absences, the parents could face hefty fines and could go to jail. 'Truant' is defined by Webster's II New Riverside Dictionary as 'one who avoids doing work or fulfilling a duty, especially one who is absent from school without permission.' Under this definition and the No Child Left Behind Act signed by President Bush in 2002, which calls for every child not only to be enrolled in school but also to pass achievement tests, truant would include not only students who do not attend school, but also those who don't complete their schoolwork and receive below-average grades."
Change in the air for California schools
Wednesday December 27 2006, 8:27 AM
AP reports, "Scott [Sen. Jack Scott, chairman of the Senate Education Committee] said the state's first priority in considering changes should be teacher quality. It should ensure that all students have access to the best teachers, rather than having them concentrated in wealthier schools that already have high achievement rates, as they are now. 'I'm working very hard on this matter because it may be the key civil rights issue of the 21st century: What are we doing to address the unequal quality of teaching?" he said. "Here we have the students in the low-performing schools, many of them are English-language learners, they come from poverty homes, and yet we haven't distributed our teachers in such a way that the best teachers are teaching in those schools.'"
Bumping in Schools
Wednesday December 27 2006, 3:41 AM
NY Times opines, "The United States has a long and shameful history of dumping its least effective, least qualified teachers into the schools that serve the neediest children. The No Child Left Behind Act requires the states to end this practice. But the states are unlikely to truly improve teacher quality — or spread qualified teachers more equitably throughout the schools — until they pay more attention to how teachers are trained, hired, evaluated and assigned. To get control of the assignment process, districts will need to abandon union rules that basically guarantee senior teachers the right to change schools whenever they want — even if the principal of the receiving school does not want them — by bumping a less senior teacher out of his or her job."
Immigrant Children Shielded From State Tests, but for Whose Protection?
Wednesday December 27 2006, 3:37 AM
NY Times reports, "Like Mr. Noguera [professor of sociology at Steinhardt School of Education at New York University], Diane Ravitch, the education historian, says she thinks testing students after one year may not be a bad idea, but is concerned about how the scores are used. Comparing this year’s Port Chester fourth graders with last year’s based on the upcoming test will put this year’s students and the schools needlessly to shame because last year’s classes did not have many immigrant children tested. But comparing how well students do this school year with how those same students do a year later, Ms. Ravitch said, would provide a telling reflection of the school’s progress. The federal government has started a pilot program in such so-called “growth model” comparisons in Tennessee and North Carolina. What many experts seem to agree on is that No Child Left Behind testing policy lacks a fine enough filter for the nuances of immigrant education."
Colleges may have something to prove
Tuesday December 26 2006, 8:51 AM
Express-News reports, "Gov. Rick Perry [Texas] has said he wants more scrutiny of university budgets and has floated the idea of an exit test for college students, and possibly tying funding incentives to the test and other performance measures. That kind of talk has some educators fearing that a kind of No Child Left Behind, President Bush's sweeping public school overhaul that stresses standardized testing, will be imposed on colleges. It's an approach critics say could end up rewarding universities for pushing out students, many of them low-income, who don't perform as well on standardized tests as more affluent students do."
Congress should fix, not nix, No Child Left Behind measure
Saturday December 23 2006, 9:43 AM
The Press Democrat reports, "Some critics have called the very notion of 100 percent proficiency an oxymoron - something that, if proficiency is to have any meaning, can't be achieved. And since the states themselves define proficiency and set their own standards, some, such as Wisconsin, have lowered their standards to make the targets. California, which has among the highest standards in the nation, is not one of them, despite some legislative efforts to water them down. But as seemed evident from the start, the federal mandate on schools to get students in all ethnic, economic and educational subgroups to full proficiency is a near impossibility, especially for learning disabled students and immigrants who have been in U.S. schools for three years - or perhaps five years - or less."
A Baltimore School Seeks to Avoid Failure
Friday December 22 2006, 9:02 AM
NPR Larry Abramsom reports, "Thousands of schools around the country are labeled as 'needing improvement' under the terms of the No Child Left Behind Act. One Baltimore school is struggling against poverty, absenteeism, and years of academic decay to try and turn itself around."
Rating 'No Child Left Behind' a failure
Thursday December 21 2006, 6:23 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle contributor Howard Maffucci, superintendent, East Rochester School District opines, "Actually, we've been down this road before. In 1983, when the report A Nation at Risk was published, public schools were blamed for every social, economic and military ill that faced our nation. Thirty years later, America is the world's only leading military power and our economy is second to none. That report was a fraud then, as No Child Left Behind is a fraud now. The No Child Left Behind law doesn't need to be reformed. It needs to be abolished."
Schools deserve much more
Saturday December 16 2006, 10:04 AM
San Jose Mercury News writes, "No Child Left Behind's testing requirements are concentrated in elementary and middle school. With the law already under siege, it's unlikely that Congress will expand testing in high schools. U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings acknowledged that during a meeting with the San Jose Mercury News editorial board this week. However, there is more that the federal government could do to promote fundamental changes in high schools. It could create incentives for teachers willing to work in the toughest schools and fully fund extended days and Saturday schools in low-income areas. It could fund programs to entice engineers to teach math and science part time to ease the impending teacher shortage."
Election results push AFT legislative agenda closer to passage
Friday December 15 2006, 8:51 AM
New York Teacher reports on "a working people’s agenda" and revamping the No Child Left Behind Act. "Other AFT legislative goals include: Securing federal assistance to help districts modernize and rebuild schools; Winning greater national investment in education, health care and job training; Reversing the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling that allows employers to deny union rights to workers by classifying them as 'supervisor'; Raising the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, indexed to inflation; Protecting retirement security for all workers; Expanding access to college by halving interest rates for student loans and raising the maximum Pell grant award to at least $4,500."
Special-Ed Changes To Get Trial Run
Thursday December 14 2006, 12:53 PM
Washington Post reports, "The pilot program, called hours-based staffing, is part of an urgent effort around the region to rethink special education, or risk widespread failure under the federal mandate. Poor performance by special education students is the leading reason Maryland schools have not made 'adequate yearly progress' toward proficiency levels all students are supposed to meet by 2014. Special education was the sole factor for half of the 38 Montgomery schools that missed the targets this year."
North Carolina will study tutoring companies
Thursday December 14 2006, 9:33 AM
News-Record reports, "The N.C. Department of Public Instruction hopes to have some answers next year. In October, the department hired the Center for Research in Education Policy at the University of Memphis to start evaluating about 50 tutoring companies that work with schools that have repeatedly failed to meet federal testing measures. The contract, at a cost of almost $94,000, ends in fall 2007. Although the state approves tutoring providers, it has not evaluated their work as required by the 5-year-old No Child Left Behind Act."
New Jersey student database raises concerns
Thursday December 14 2006, 8:57 AM
The Reporter writes, "'It is quite clear that New Jersey has not built in any legal safeguards for the data,' [Joel Reidenberg, professor of law and director of the Center on Law and Information Policy at Fordham University] he said, noting that under current federal law, schools must preserve their students' privacy in certain ways, including a date for deletion, or risk losing their federal funding. There is no information about how long the state will keep the data. 'That means it becomes a statewide adult database as soon as the kids turn 18,' he said. The state has also said that third parties can view the data with permission, but not about what third parties those will be, he said, speculating that one of them will be the state Department of Health and Senior Services, given the health questions in the voluntary data set. One organization has already received federal funding to study the information in data warehouses similar to New Jersey's database, he said."
Virginia schools superintendent asks feds for NCLB deadline extension
Tuesday December 12 2006, 1:17 PM
AP reports, "Virginia's superintendent of public instruction made a direct appeal to federal education officials to give the state a year to implement new reading tests for children who are learning English."
Congressional Democrats outline education agenda priorities
Tuesday December 12 2006, 12:53 PM
AP reports, "Congressional Democrats say when they take the gavel from Republicans next month, they will put money in the pockets of college students and closely examine a law reforming elementary and secondary schools."
Achievement gap seems to be widening even as scores rise
Sunday December 10 2006, 10:11 AM
Louisiana Weekly contributor Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League writes, "It is partially our responsibility as parents and members of the community to ensure that future generations acquire the skills needed to thrive in a dynamic and competitive world economy and to hold the powers that be accountable for their obligation to provide a good public education to all - regardless of color, religion or economic class."
No Child Left Behind applied behind bars
Saturday December 09 2006, 8:59 AM
Baltimore Sun reports, "The Eager Street Academy is a Baltimore public school behind bars, with the most troubled student body in the city. Nonetheless, its staff has the impossible job of complying with the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Located in the Baltimore City Detention Center, the school's approximately 130 students - ages 14 to 17 - are charged as adults in some of the city's most notorious killings and other crimes. Many of them had dropped out of school before landing in prison, and about a quarter come in reading at a second-grade level."
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT Education’s Data Improvement Efforts Could Strengthen the Basis for Distributing Title III Funds
Friday December 08 2006, 1:45 PM
GAO 07-140 recommends: To address issues related to Title III allocation, we recommended that Education (1) include clear instructions about how to provide correct and complete state data on the number of students with limited English proficiency assessed annually for proficiency in English; (2) develop and implement a transparent methodology for determining the relative accuracy of the two allowable sources of data—ACS or state data on the number of students with limited English proficiency assessed annually—for Title III allocations to states; and (3) seek authority to use statistical methodologies to reduce the volatility associated with the ACS data.
Arizona schools shorted millions in federal funding
Friday December 08 2006, 1:32 PM
Douglas Daily Dispatch reports, "Arizona schools are being shorted millions of dollars because of how federal officials parcel out funds to help students with limited English proficiency, according to a new report."
Why the Achievement Gap Persists
Friday December 08 2006, 3:41 AM
NY Times opined, "It’s impossible to brand No Child Left Behind as a failure, because its agenda has never been carried out. The law was supposed to remake schools that serve poor and minority students by breaking with the age-old practice of staffing those schools with poorly trained and poorly educated teachers. States were supposed to provide students with highly qualified teachers in all core courses by the beginning of the current academic year. That didn’t happen."
The Charter State Option: Charting a Course Toward Federalism in Education
Wednesday December 06 2006, 5:40 PM
Dan Lips, Education Analyst, Evan Feinberg, Research Assistant in Domestic Policy Studies, and Jennifer A. Marshall, Director of Domestic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation conclude, "Beginning in 2007, policymakers should steer a course toward restoring state control of education by enacting a charter state option. Congress should allow all states to enter into an alternative contractual arrangement with the federal government in which they would be freed from federal program mandates while taking responsibility for results. Such federalism would create an environment in which promising state and local education strategies can flourish."
Alabama advances new way to track students
Wednesday December 06 2006, 7:53 AM
The Birmingham News reports, "The U.S. Department of Education recently granted permission to North Carolina, Tennessee, Delaware, Arkansas and Florida to use the "growth" model - tracking each student year-to-year - as a pilot program to determine their progress toward state and federal goals."
Florida Gov. Bush vows national school reform
Tuesday December 05 2006, 11:20 AM
"Miami Herald reports, "Flanked by Bloomberg, New York City schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein and Florida Education Commissioner John Winn, Bush said the 5-year-old federal law created by his big brother, President George W. Bush, needs to take after his A-Plus plan. The law is up for renewal by Congress next year."
Amendments to Commissioner's Regulations 120.4 regarding Supplemental Educational Services (SES)
Tuesday December 05 2006, 9:56 AM
The New York State Education Department invites you to comment on proposed amendments to Commissioner’s Regulations 120.4 regarding Supplemental Educational Services which have been filed with the Department of State for publication in the State Register on December 6, 2006. The amendments, in their entirety, are available for your review here.
Can calculators help Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS)?
Tuesday December 05 2006, 8:45 AM
East Valley Tribune reports, "Educators and parents pleaded with the state [Arizona] Board of Education on Monday to let students use calculators on the high-stakes AIMS test. But state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne says use of the instruments could cause hundreds of Arizona schools to fail the No Child Left Behind law because federal officials won’t allow calculators to be used on state exams. Not everyone in the standingroom-only crowd agreed, however, with some East Valley educators saying Horne and the state board need to take responsibility for helping children succeed on the math test."
Systems Struggling to Address Student Health
Tuesday December 05 2006, 8:26 AM
Washington Post reports, "Leonard Turkel couldn't believe his ears when he learned what happened to the results of eye screenings of thousands of Miami-Dade County public school students. Although the tests are mandated by the state, the businessman-turned-philanthropist discovered that nobody was actually using the scores to ensure that kids could see the blackboard in class."
Trolling for students with prizes as the lure
Tuesday December 05 2006, 5:34 AM
Times Union reports, "Inducements are increasingly common in the emerging tutoring industry, in which companies compete for kids and the public dollars behind them. Now, New York state officials want to know what rewards are being offered, and they want to be able to approve or deny them."
Fixing Failing Schools
Monday December 04 2006, 3:47 PM
American Enterprise Institute (AEI) hosts a conference during which original research about NCLB remedies will be presented and discussed. WATCH VIDEO OF CONFERENCE AND READ BRIEFS PRESENTED.
Bloomberg Travels South To Meet with Miami Mayor, Florida Governor
Monday December 04 2006, 3:29 PM
NY1 reports, "Mayor Michael Bloomberg will join Florida Governor Jeb Bush in Miami today to lobby for changes to the federal No Child Left Behind Law."
Education New York Reader Writes....
Monday December 04 2006, 1:00 PM
"I truly thought that an act about the school system was a great idea. I thought it was time to change the system. However the child that I was tutoring has started to fall through the cracks. Is this not what this act was in place for! I didn't think that it was when a child couldn't pass our tests that we would send them else where...? This is a frustrating process, that I really believe is not working. There should be more done for the children who work more with their right brain."
How the No Child Left Behind Act Punishes Schools with Disadvantaged Students
Monday December 04 2006, 11:14 AM
This column asks whether NCLB accomplishes its objective, based on a recent study of Kansas and Missouri by William Duncombe, Anna Lukemeyer, and John Yinger, "As discussed in my previous column, a state can lower the share of its schools that are subject to federal sanctions by lowering its student performance targets. This strategy will not, however, save schools with high concentrations of disadvantaged students, which are, for reasons outside their control, the schools most likely to be sanctioned. However, a state could help to resolve the unfair treatment of schools with concentrated disadvantage by altering its own aid formulas. Existing state aid formulas do not adequately recognize the higher cost of education in these schools, but they could easily be adjusted to do so. The federal government could also encourage this type of response by revising NCLB to reward the states that do the best job of focusing their aid on the neediest school districts. Another possible reform to NCLB would be to increase both the amount of federal funds and the extent to which these funds are focused on the schools with the highest concentration of disadvantaged students."
FREE US ALL FROM UNFAIR AND CORRUPT ED. SYSTEM
Sunday December 03 2006, 8:57 AM
NY Post Ryan Sager writes, "When companies have to compete, consumers win. Yet when it comes to one of the most important products any of us will ever purchase - a child's education - we treat parents (at least the nonrich) as prisoners instead of as consumers. The reason? Because a corrupt education monopoly - consisting of the teachers' unions, the principals' unions, and public-school administrators - doesn't want to have to compete."
NEA stands against real reform to help students
Saturday December 02 2006, 9:04 AM
Chicago Sun-Times contributor David White, adjunct scholar at the Lexington Institute, a public policy research organization based in Arlington, Va. writes, "The number of high school dropouts is reaching crisis proportions. Today, nearly half of all blacks and Latinos fail to graduate. Dropouts earn about $260,000 less over the course of their lives. They're 72 percent more likely to be unemployed. Among prisoners, 80 percent don't have a high school degree. The National Education Association just issued a much-ballyhooed 12-point plan to eradicate this problem. But don't hold your breath. The misguided plan is more about shifting resources to the NEA's power base than doing what it takes to ensure that more students will finish school."
Connecticut NAACP gets permission to join No Child suit
Saturday December 02 2006, 8:09 AM
AP reports, "Blumenthal [Connecticut attorney general] said Friday night that although the state and NAACP are technically on opposite sides of the case, they share the desire for better student achievement, equal access to high-quality schools and other education improvements."
Study says localities curb ed reform
Friday December 01 2006, 8:52 AM
The Boston Globe reports, "Under the No Child Left Behind law, schools that fail to meet minimum testing standards for two consecutive years must let students transfer to a different school in the district, then pay for tutoring in the third year. Schools eventually could face the removal of their leaders. Several of the studies mentioned the low rate of parents accepting the transfers or tutoring, in part because many schools don't tally their test results until the subsequent school year."
Teaching - the solution is as simple as that
Friday December 01 2006, 7:53 AM
Community Press contributor and testing coordinator in the Princeton City School District writes, "The good news - we have control over teaching quality as opposed to controlling poverty, ethnicity, culture or environment. At Princeton, more time and effort has gone into hiring top notch teachers than ever before. They are interviewed extensively and complete a battery of screening tests. We screen for people with demonstrated competency in working with groups from very diverse backgrounds that can be flexible in meeting the needs of our students. More time and money has been spent on training and retraining than ever before. Why all the extra effort with hiring, training and teacher collaboration? Because we believe those efforts are critical to our ability to provide the very best teachers for our students. The very best teachers are those who understand the need to continue their professional learning, and who are willing to implement research-based practices to do whatever it takes to help their students be successful."
Parents claim Newark district violates federal school law
Thursday November 30 2006, 1:05 PM
AP Jeffrey Gold reports, "Parents of Newark public school students are asking a federal judge to force New Jersey's largest school district to comply with a law aimed at offering children educational help, including the chance to switch schools. Under the No Child Left Behind law, children in failing schools are entitled to free tutoring and the right to transfer to other schools, but Newark has denied those rights, the parents charged in a lawsuit announced Thursday. The lawsuit asserted that more than 30,000 of the district's 43,000 students are in failing schools."
Yale prof honored for work in education
Thursday November 30 2006, 1:01 PM
The Courier-Journal reports, "In the era of the federal No Child Left Behind law -- and its mandate to boost student achievement -- raising test scores has become the focus in public schools. But that is a mistake, according to leading child psychiatrist James P. Comer, who says schools need to take a more 'whole child' approach, focusing on helping children develop socially, emotionally and intellectually."
At Ease: Hey! Leave those teachers alone
Wednesday November 29 2006, 9:34 AM
Gaylord Herald Times writes, "Teacher accountability and performance cannot be completely and accurately measured by student performance, for a litany of reasons which I don't have the space to get into. But there's a lot going on in those 16 other hours of the day that affect test results."
Montana school officials defend new student ID numbers
Wednesday November 29 2006, 9:22 AM
Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports, "Every [Montana] student will get a unique nine-digit number, so that their achievement on statewide reading and math tests can be tracked, and those results can be broken down by gender, race or ethnicity, and whether the student is low-income and qualifies for free and reduced-cost lunches. Special education, limited English and migrant status will also be recorded. That should make it easier for OPI to report on students' progress, information sought both by the Montana Legislature and by the federal government, under the No Child Left Behind Act. Quinlan said it should help schools figure out, for example, if a new reading program is working, how well low-income American Indian fourth-graders are performing, and better track graduation and dropout rates. School officials are still subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which protects the privacy of student records, Quinlan said."
As it collects student data, New Jersey wades past resistance
Wednesday November 29 2006, 9:13 AM
Star-Ledger reports, "The new system would mesh information from individual districts into a central clearinghouse so officials can follow students across school and district lines. That would mean better information on developments like dropout rates and more insight into which school programs are working."
A Slide Toward Segregation
Wednesday November 29 2006, 8:14 AM
Washington Post Ruth Marcus writes, "A half-century after Brown v. Board of Education, it's come, amazingly, to this: The Supreme Court, in the name of preventing race discrimination, is being asked to stop local schools from voluntarily adopting plans to promote integration."
Schools, teachers fight No Child Left Behind in court
Tuesday November 28 2006, 4:24 PM
CNN reports, "School districts in three states and the nation's largest teachers union asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to revive a lawsuit challenging the way government-mandated programs are funded. The National Education Association and districts in Michigan, Vermont and Texas had sued to block the No Child Left Behind law, President Bush's signature education policy. They argued that schools should not have to comply with requirements that aren't paid for by the federal government."
Grant bolsters Hawaiian education
Tuesday November 28 2006, 8:48 AM
The Star Bulletin reports, "The University of Hawaii has won $3.8 million in federal grant money over the next five years for improving and enhancing native Hawaiian education."
Group challenges No Child Left Behind
Tuesday November 28 2006, 7:33 AM
The Journal News reports, "No Child Left Behind is up for reauthorization in the coming year. The collaborative's report devotes more than six pages to recommendations on how to improve the law. Chief among them is funding changes: the group is calling on the federal government to fully fund NCLB mandates, to earmark funds for after-school programs for low-performing schools, and to reimburse school districts for the costs of scoring exams. The collaborative also advocates changes to the testing regimen, recommending that tests be conducted on alternate years instead of each year, and for additional measures - such as portfolio assessments and classroom participation - to be used in measuring whether a student has met state and national standards. The report said, on the local level, government officials and residents can also play a role in improving student performance. Affordable housing, early childhood education programs, adult literacy programs and child-health programs could all contribute to the success of children in public schools, the report said."
‘Value added’ assesses Pennsylvania students, schools
Monday November 27 2006, 7:46 AM
Times Leader reports, "Under the federal 'No Child Left Behind,' law, all schools must have 100 percent of their tested students scoring proficient or better by 2014. Under this system, whether or not a school makes 'progress' is measured by how all students are doing collectively on the test. Value added assessment opts, instead, to look at how much each student improves, regardless of whether he is 'proficient.”'
No Child Left Behind law deemed a burden on schools
Monday November 27 2006, 6:19 AM
The Journal News reports, "Although Cornell and her report praise the good intentions of NCLB - which seeks to give all children a quality education on a level playing field - Cornell said she saw no evidence that the law had actually done any good in that direction since its enactment in 2002. Instead, she recorded evidence that the law seems to broaden the differences between rich and poor, creates barriers to schools trying to educate children with diverse needs, and costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars as schools put programs in place to help struggling students with almost no reimbursement from the federal government that requires them."
school's comeback formula: Expel cynicism, stress reform
Sunday November 26 2006, 1:28 PM
Boston Globe reports, "Randolph Community is one of 57 Massachusetts schools now in "restructuring" under the state's school accountability system, and its attempts to improve student performance underscore the urgency, and the difficulty, involved as low-performing schools demand previously unattainable results . The school's reform campaign, though unusual in its scope, illustrates how the pressure to raise test scores is forcing many schools to adopt new strategies to get students up to speed. In Randolph, school officials blamed a culture of low expectations and mediocrity for students' weak performance, and set out to destroy it. By making students feel more connected to the school, educators hope to instill a sense of purpose and responsibility that will improve focus and behavior."
No Child Left Behind law may be flawed, but it should not be abolished
Saturday November 25 2006, 8:44 AM
The Mountain Press opined, "Schools that can't teach children to read at grade level are failures. They are failing the students entrusted to them to teach. Setting reasonable standards and making teachers and administrators work hard to meet those standards is neither unrealistic nor unfair. However there are flaws in the No Child Left Behind law, to be sure. It makes little distinction between regular and special-education children. It does not allow flexibility for children with established reading and learning difficulties and disabilities. And it sets the guidelines for what degrees and experience teachers must have to teach certain subjects. It's not always easy to find good math and science teachers these days. Those legitimate concerns should lead to reforms of the law, not the killing of it."
Troubled Schools Try New Lures for Better Teachers
Thursday November 23 2006, 10:40 AM
NPR Larry Abramson reports, "Superintendents around the country have long insisted they need to be able to transfer the best teachers to troubled schools. Union contracts often prohibit that kind of action. But in right-to-work states like North Carolina, it is an option."
Only the Bathwater -- Or the Baby, Too?
Wednesday November 22 2006, 5:46 PM
Teachers College Columbia University reports, "TC Professor Amy Stuart Wells provided historical context for that question in the Symposium's opening presentation, in which she noted that unlike many other developed nations, the U.S. has traditionally focused on educational achievement as a primary means to better the lot of the economically disadvantaged. Where other nations have established broad social welfare systems, Wells said, the U.S. has historically 'laid the task of rectifying societal inequalities at the schoolhouse door.'"
Virginia Gov. Warner aids in education testing
Tuesday November 21 2006, 9:59 AM
Dailypress.com reports, "Sen. John W. Warner, R-Va., sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings asking her to give Virginia more time to develop a new test to meet the demands of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Warner's letter comes a month after the state board of education approved changes to the state's testing program to comply with the law."
Indiana University groups recommend new test for special-education students
Tuesday November 21 2006, 6:20 AM
AP reports, "The recommendation by the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community and the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy focuses on a federal law's requirement that special-education students pass annual achievement tests at the same rate as other students."
"Photo Finish: Which Teachers Are Better? Certification Status Isn't Going to Tell Us
Monday November 20 2006, 7:47 PM
Economists Thomas J. Kane of Harvard University, Jonah E. Rockoff of Columbia Business School, and Douglas O. Staiger of Dartmouth College, in Education Next, 2007 No. 1 answer the question of whether certification ensures highly effective teachers in the classroom. Researchers write, "The results of our study of New York City public school teachers confirm a simple truth: some teachers are considerably better than others at helping students learn. For example, elementary-school students who have a teacher who performs in the top quartile of all elementary-school teachers learn 33 percent of a standard deviation more (substantially more) in math in a year than students who have a teacher who performs in the bottom quartile. Yet as we embrace this piece of conventional wisdom, we must discard another: the widespread sentiment that there are large differences in effectiveness between traditionally certified teachers and uncertified or alternatively certified teachers. The greatest potential for school districts to improve student achievement seems to rest not in regulating minimum qualifications for new teachers but in selectively retaining those teachers who are most effective during their first years of teaching. "
The No Child Left Behind Act: Have Federal Funds Been Left Behind?
Monday November 20 2006, 1:57 PM
"The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) imposes new requirements on state education systems and provides additional education funding. This paper estimates education cost functions, predicts the spending required to support NCLB standards, and compares this spending with the funding available through NCLB. This analysis is conducted for Kansas and Missouri, which have similar education environments but very different standards. We find that new federal funding is sufficient to support very low standards for student performance, but cannot come close to funding high standards without implausibly large increases in schooldistrict efficiency. Because of the limited federal funding and the severe penalties in NCLB when a school does not meet its state’s standards, states have a strong incentive to keep their standards low. NCLB needs to be reformed so that it will encourage high standards." *The authors are Professor of Public Administration, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University; Associate Professor of Public Administration, University of Nevada at Los Vegas; and Professor of Public Administration and Economics, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University, respectively. We are grateful to David Sjoquist for helpful comments. 1 1. Introduction The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) both imposes mandates on states and gives them more federal education funding. The authors are William Duncombe, Anna Lukemeyer and John Yinger, Professor of Public Administration, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University; Associate Professor of Public Administration, University of Nevada at Los Vegas; and Professor of Public Administration and Economics, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University, respectively.
How the No Child Left Behind Act Undermines Education Standards
Monday November 20 2006, 1:36 PM
EFAP Director John Yinger, in a monthly column writes, "The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has brought unprecedented federal involvement in elementary and secondary education. More specifically, NCLB imposes strict new requirements on state education systems and provides additional education funding."
Tax credits for private school tuition? No
Sunday November 19 2006, 7:10 PM
NY Daily News contributor Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers writes, "Our children need and deserve smaller classes where teachers can give them more individual attention. They need and deserve schools that are safe, and they need and deserve teachers who are highly qualified. But we must not forget that our obligation is to help all children - not just a few."
English teachers seek to reform No Child Left Behind law
Saturday November 18 2006, 4:35 PM
The Tennessean reports, "The group, which has 50,000 members, also wants to see that multiple assessments be used to measure student progress accurately and that teachers and schools are credited with progress made by students even if they miss the federal benchmarks mapped out by the law."
After 4 Years of Roosevelt School Takeover, Debate on Its Effect Still Rages
Saturday November 18 2006, 6:49 AM
NY Times reports, "The state’s [New York] ultimate success or failure in turning around the district will have implications far beyond this small suburb on Long Island, since troubled districts throughout New York State and beyond face the prospect of takeovers prescribed by the federal No Child Left Behind Act."
Is there too much testing?
Friday November 17 2006, 3:51 PM
NorthJersey.com reports, "Forum/Survey: Are standardized tests a fair gauge of student achievement? Standardized tests have been a necessary evil in public education for decades. But since the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, students are being asked to sit for more exams than ever. Nevertheless, educators remain divided about the tests' value."
Statement by Secretary Spellings on the 2005 NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment on Science
Friday November 17 2006, 3:19 PM
Excerpt: While urban school districts are making good progress, much work remains before all students perform at grade level. The results point to the need for states to add science assessments into accountability for NCLB for the 2007-08 school year.
Bush Official Rules Out National Standard for School Testing
Thursday November 16 2006, 5:59 PM
Bloomberg News reports, "The Bush administration has no intention of backing a single nationwide testing standard when it works with Congress to rewrite the No Child Left Behind law, a top Education Department official said today. David Dunn, the department's chief of staff and acting undersecretary, ruled out the idea one day after it was endorsed by the Council of the Great City Schools, representing 66 of the nation's largest urban school districts."
Most Students in Big Cities Lag Badly in Basic Science
Thursday November 16 2006, 3:33 AM
NY Times DIANA JEAN SCHEMO reports, "At least half of eighth graders tested in science failed to demonstrate even a basic understanding of the subject in 9 of 10 major cities, and fourth graders, the only other group tested, fared little better, according to results released here Wednesday. The outcome of those tests, part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called the nation’s report card, showed that student performance in urban public schools was not only poor but also far short of science scores in the nation as a whole."
NCLB Achieves Its Top Goal—Accountability
Wednesday November 15 2006, 4:52 AM
This op-ed excerpt by Secretary Spellings appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal on November 14, 2006, "Accountability is NCLB's first pillar of reform. The law represents the latest renewal of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was intended to ensure a quality education for all in exchange for increased federal funding. For 40 years, however, few paid much attention. There was no accountability for student achievement and virtually no consequences for not following the law. Today, thanks to NCLB, Wisconsin and 49 other states have accountability plans in place, holding schools responsible for improved student achievement. Every state measures student performance annually in grades 3-8 and once more in high school. And every state separates student information by student group so parents and teachers can learn who is falling behind and needs extra help. This is especially critical when it comes to reading. Reading is the key that unlocks every other subject."
Schools to lobby against English testing change
Monday November 13 2006, 5:55 AM
The Journal News reports, "Before this school year, students who spoke little English had up to three years to work on their proficiency before taking the standard reading and writing test that others take in grades 3 to 8. Now, students have just one year's exemption. That will hurt the children and their schools, critics say."
ELECTION AFTERMATH AMERICA: WHAT’S AT STAKE
Sunday November 12 2006, 11:05 AM
San Francisco Chronicle reports, "Bottom line: The Democrats say the Republican Congress underfunded No Child Left Behind by $15 billion this year, and that the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act calls for the federal government to pay for 40 percent of states' special education costs. Currently, federal funding is at less than 20 percent."
Classroom without boundaries offers alternatives in NCLB era
Sunday November 12 2006, 9:51 AM
Delta Democrat Times reporter Patrick L. Ervin writes, "When mothers and fathers place their reluctant, timid children in front of a church congregation to say a simple Easter speech or make church announcements, public speaking, articulation and presentation skills are sharpened. When a tutor or mentor takes an hour or two to really reinforce a skill or introduce a child to helpful information not necessarily learned under the auspices of a state benchmark, higher level thinking skills are developed. We have to make our children fall in love with knowledge by encouraging learning outside the classroom."
Massachusetts high school experimenting with lures to boost attendance
Sunday November 12 2006, 9:38 AM
Boston Globe reports, "Students and parents unfamiliar with the nuances of the school calendar year is just one of the many challenges facing urban school districts like Chelsea as they try to improve their attendance rates -- as mandated by federal education laws, Orlov [high school principal] said."
Report spells tighter controls for public colleges
Sunday November 12 2006, 8:03 AM
New York Teacher reports, "Another sorely received agenda item in the Spellings report is a 'No Child Left Behind' approach to higher education that could lead to standardized testing similar to that already mandated by NCLB in elementary and middle grades."
New York City Mayor Bloomberg won't blockade military from schools
Saturday November 11 2006, 8:28 AM
NY Daily News reports, "Despite some protests against them, the city won't ban military recruiters from public high schools, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday."
Mahopac schools save money in renegotiated teachers' contract
Friday November 10 2006, 6:19 AM
The Journal News reports, "In addition, the contract will provide an evening school where high-schoolers can receive academic intervention services. Also, the agreement calls for expanding professional-development opportunities for teachers by establishing the Mahopac Academy for Learning. 'Professional development is the key to continuous improvement,' Reidy said in a press release. 'The Academy will also help us meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind. More importantly, the Academy will help us move toward our goal of becoming better every day.'"
First We Take Your Money, Then We Take Your Schools
Thursday November 09 2006, 8:31 AM
Neal McCluskey, policy analyst at the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom writes, "Regrettably, the reality is that George Bush has not been a good Federalist. When it comes to education, he has repeatedly flouted the Constitution and expanded the scope of federal power. If he continues to do so for the next two years, his legacy will not be what he had hoped."
NCLB education law punishes honesty
Wednesday November 08 2006, 10:26 AM
The Bulletin (Idaho) reports, "Thus, if a school expels more than one student per 100 student body members for violent crimes and the like, it earns the 'dangerous' list. Jefferson County expelled a dozen kids out of 675 in the last school year, including three for possession of weapons other than guns. Like school districts across the state, the district headquartered in Madras has a zero-tolerance policy where violence and weapons are concerned. It's a good policy, too, if what you care about is student safety. It's less helpful when being used as a measure of educational quality under NCLB, for it's not the policy being used across the nation."
Kozol calls for education reform
Wednesday November 08 2006, 9:02 AM
The Northern Light (Alaska) reports, "Kozol frequently urged teachers to teach students in ways that celebrated learning, life and love, and not to be 'drill instructors for the state.' He said that NCLB misses the point of what teaching is really about. 'You won’t find the words love, joy, spontaneity or compassion in NCLB – I’ve looked,' he said."
Paterson Schools chief has plan to succeed and he's sticking to it
Monday November 06 2006, 11:04 AM
NorthJersey.com reports, "Since being appointed schools superintendent by the state Board of Education in July 2005, Glascoe has unveiled an aggressive vision that includes academic and administrative change: to enhance student achievement; to improve inadequate, and in some cases, crumbling school infrastructure; and to better engage the school district with the entire community."
Separating the Sexes
Monday November 06 2006, 7:18 AM
The UCSD Guardian reports, "The new regulations are such that one sex can have its own school, as long as there is a 'substantially equal' co-ed equivalent. This means it is acceptable for an all-boy school to be started - without an all-girl school - so long as there is a co-ed school in the area. This raises many questions about equality of opportunities for the genders. In theory the rules are designed to adhere to Title IX, but in practice this design seems a little too similar to 'separate but equal.' History clearly shows that separate almost never guarantees equal."
Author of No Child Left Behind defends its impact
Friday November 03 2006, 7:46 AM
The Brownsville Herald reports, "Kress, the author of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, points to 13 years of progress since the accountability system was built into the education system and a handful of other statistics to prove his point."
Symbol of hope
Monday October 30 2006, 7:56 AM
Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "To upgrade instruction, she [Adderly, a hands-on principal] tapped two of the school's best teachers to be math and literacy leaders and to coach other teachers. Every day, the coaches and Adderly work with teachers from a different grade and brainstorm how to help struggling students. Because many students also come to school with family, emotional and behavioral problems, Adderly set up three meetings a week to deal with them. For those meetings, Adderly introduced videotaping to capture students' classroom behavior. The tapes are shown when counselors, parents and teachers meet to devise plans to help."
Are Single-Sex Classrooms Legal?
Sunday October 29 2006, 7:46 AM
U.S.News & World Report writes, "But on October 24, the Department of Education announced new Title IX regulations based on the guidelines of a No Child Left Behind amendment. Old regulations allowed for same-gender classes only in rare cases like physical education and human sexuality classes. But lawmakers in 2001 wanted to make those rules more flexible, and so the new ones expand that option to any class or school that can prove gender separation leads to improved student achievement. The change could lead to a wave of single-sex classrooms and even schools in public systems across the country. But it will also likely lead to legal challenges."
NYSUT calls for federal relief for new English learners
Saturday October 28 2006, 8:07 AM
New York Teacher reports, "The union [NYSUT] believes the new testing would be a violation of the 1974 landmark civil rights Supreme Court decision Lau v. Nichols. 'It is our opinion that using the same ELA tests designed for, validated and normed on English-proficient students to measure the ELA performance of their ELL peers is to blatantly deny them the civil rights protected under this decision,' Neira [NYSUT Vice President and UFT representative] said. 'It is our opinion that in the United States using the same test is not equal treatment for our ELL students.'"
Pittsfield (Massachusetts) Public Schools not making the cut
Thursday October 26 2006, 5:41 PM
Capital News 9 reports, "The Pittsfield [Massachusetts] School Committee now faces questions from concerned parents. Some wonder why they have not been included in school improvement plans. 'One thing that seems to be missing out of those school improvement plans is the word parent. The word parent is missing from many of those plans,' concerned parent Tricia Farley-Bouvier said. For the past four years, the school district has failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress required by the No Child Left Behind Act. Now the district is being placed into 'corrective action.'"
All-year school an intriguing idea for East Ramapo
Thursday October 26 2006, 6:15 AM
Journal News opined, "The practical gains offered by an all-year academic calendar are particularly enticing for a district like East Ramapo. Students who are just mastering English are not left for two months without speaking their new language. Certainly, this means they lose less ground and test better in their new language. In New York state, those new English speakers must take standardized tests after just a year of instruction."
An education gap: Arizona scores higher
Wednesday October 25 2006, 6:33 PM
East Valley Tribune reports, "Arizona Learns does not factor certain groups of students into its equations. The performance of some special education students doesn’t count, and neither does the performance of English learners who have been in the country for less than than three years."
The No Family Left Behind Amendment
Wednesday October 25 2006, 7:59 AM
Seattle Times contributor Richard Slettvet, a special-education teacher working in the Edmonds School District opined, "Acknowledging the role that families play in the educational success of their children, Congress today enacted the No Family Left Behind (NFLB) Amendment to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. The NFLB will increase standards of accountability for Congress and the president to ensure that all families achieve high socioeconomic status (SES). Congressional districts that fail to achieve adequate yearly progress (AYP) will be subject to corrective action."
Federal Rules Back Single-Sex Public Education
Wednesday October 25 2006, 3:16 AM
NY Times DIANA JEAN SCHEMO writes, "To open schools exclusively for boys or girls, a district has until now had to show a 'compelling reason,' for example, that it was acting to remedy past discrimination. But a new attitude began to take hold with the passage of the No Child Left Behind law in 2002 when women senators from both parties came out in support of same-sex education and asked the Education Department to draft guidelines to permit their growth. The new rules, first proposed by the Education Department in 2004, are designed to bring Title IX into conformity with a section of the No Child Left Behind law that called on the department to promote single-sex schools."
Tips for dealing with No Child Left Behind
Tuesday October 24 2006, 10:52 AM
Macon Telegraph prints Washington Post story, "A recent study by the public interest law network Appleseed, based in Washington, found many flaws in how schools deal with parents under the No Child Left Behind law. The report, 'It Takes a Parent,' reached five conclusions." Most of the conclusions were related to communication with parents. READ REPORT ON EDUCATION NEW YORK ONLINE, EDUCATION POLICY PAGE, NCLB FOLDER.
Company led by Bush's brother getting No Child money
Monday October 23 2006, 7:53 PM
AP reports, "At least 13 school districts are using money from President Bush's signature education law, No Child Left Behind, to buy products from a company run by his brother and partly owned by their parents, a newspaper reported."
Louisiana public schools show improvement
Monday October 23 2006, 2:13 PM
KATC reports, "But dozens of schools in hurricane-damaged areas -- including many of the state's lowest performing schools in Orleans Parish -- weren't included in the results because they were shut down for days and months, in some cases. The results were based on individual student scores on high-stakes tests, attendance rates and dropout rates."
Schools may isolate some foreign students
Sunday October 22 2006, 9:02 AM
Sun-Sentinel reports, "Some St. Lucie County [Florida] children speaking languages other than English at home may find themselves at an immersion institute next year to boost their literacy skills. But some parents say the plan smacks of segregation for foreign-born kids. Top testing, finance and facilities officials are working on key details of the plan that effectively might pool some Hispanic and other foreign children together and keep their FCAT scores off some schools' books. If the plan moves forward, it could change based on funding and classroom space."
The American Competitiveness Initiative: The Education Revolution Begins
Friday October 20 2006, 4:05 PM
Baltimore Times reports, "With the announcement of American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI), low-income and minority students have an excellent opportunity to prepare themselves for well-paid careers in science and technology. However, this federal assistance program will best benefit students of color, only if their parents are aware of the initiative's goals, areas of focus and the criteria to qualify for financial aid to support secondary education."
Changing direction for Philadelphia schools
Friday October 20 2006, 8:20 AM
Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "At the Philadelphia schools, one of the goals on their 'balanced scorecard' centers on attendance. McDaniel, a 525-student school in a city neighborhood with one of the highest rates for shootings that occur during the school day, failed to meet "adequate yearly progress" under the No Child Left Behind law last year, in part because its attendance fell below 90 percent."
State education officials looking for more leeway in 'No Child Left Behind' law
Wednesday October 18 2006, 8:36 AM
WCF Courier reports, "Focused strictly on education policy, the task force [Under the auspices of the Council of Chief State School Officers],did not address what many critics see as the most urgent problem facing No Child Left Behind: the lack of federal funding for it. In 2006, Iowa received only 59 percent of the $171 million it was authorized to obtain under the act, according to the National Education Association."
Alabama school catches up with attendance 'glitch'
Tuesday October 17 2006, 8:04 AM
The Huntsville Times reports, "In late August, the state Department of Education [Alabama] cited the school on Carter's Gin Road for failing to maintain at least 95 percent daily attendance last year. Assistant Principal Melanie Barkley attributed the problem to a bookkeeping error: Students who arrived late for class were being marked absent when they should have been counted as tardy. Employees combed through attendance logs and found late-arriving students were mistakenly marked absent 403 times last school year, Barkley said. Giving those kids credit for coming to class late bumped Sparkman Middle's daily attendance from 94.42 percent to about 96 percent - comfortably above the state's goal."
'No Child Left Behind" law gets review
Monday October 16 2006, 3:30 PM
Sacramento Bee reports, "The law is scheduled to be reauthorized by Congress next year, and educators are starting to strategize on how to lobby lawmakers to change it. 'As we begin the conversation about reauthorization, one thing we thought really important was that, to the extent possible, California speak with one voice,' said Rick Miller, a spokesman for the state Department of Education, which organized the meetings this week for teachers, administrators and parents to weigh in."
A step backward
Friday October 13 2006, 6:37 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle opined, "There's no acceptable way to sugarcoat the latest math test scores coming out of the City [Rochester] School District. Overall, the performance was troubling. This was a step backward in the city's effort to raise standards and to prepare kids in basic academic skills."
Education panelists: Lobby for No Child Left Behind changes
Friday October 13 2006, 12:29 AM
The Desert Sun reports, "'We need a growth model,' said Barbara Kerr, president of the California Teachers Association. 'It’s the only measure that makes sense.' A growth model, which North Carolina and Tennessee are piloting this year, measures student performance based on how much each individual improved from the beginning of the school year. No Child Left Behind, on the other hand, measures student performance based on prescribed goals that all students are required to meet each year."
No Undergrad Left Behind
Thursday October 12 2006, 8:27 AM
Heritage Foundation fellow and former deputy secretary of education during President Bush’s first term, Eugene Hickok writes, "One of No Child Left Behind’s hallmarks is transparency. Today parents know more about the performance of their children’s schools than ever before. This same principle needs to be applied to higher education. Colleges and universities need to be able to explain why they charge the tuition they charge, what their graduation rates are, what they feel constitutes an educated person and how they propose to get first year students from here to there. The various college rating systems and publications are entertaining and interesting to read, but they don’t provide the sort of objective data tuition payers need to make informed decisions."
Conference on School Safety
Thursday October 12 2006, 12:24 AM
The White House: Welcome to "Ask the White House" -- an online interactive forum where you can submit questions to Administration officials and friends of the White House. Visit the "Ask the White House" archives to read other discussions with White House officials.
Schools bridge culture gap
Wednesday October 11 2006, 6:15 AM
The Journal News reports, "The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires school districts to work on parental involvement and to devote 1 percent of Title I funding toward such efforts. For immigrants and other parent groups, the efforts go beyond the traditional PTA structure into new kinds of organizations. All the efforts have grown out of research that ties parental involvement to academic performance."
Despite a Doctorate and Top Students, Unqualified to Teach
Wednesday October 11 2006, 3:40 AM
NY Times reports, "Under California law, a teacher must successfully complete a certification program to fulfill the mandate of No Child Left Behind that there be a “highly qualified” instructor in every classroom. Marilyn Errett, an administrator with the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing, said California did offer a fast-track route for experienced teachers in the core subjects of English, science and math, as well as a path that combined a teaching internship with 100 hours of college course work."
Florida's Gov. Bush joins New York City mayor to push education changes
Tuesday October 10 2006, 10:44 PM
AP reports, "Bush and Bloomberg are also campaigning for measures that connect teacher pay with performance, with rewards for progress. Bush noted that Florida will begin rewarding its teachers next year with merit bonuses, and Bloomberg said New York City is considering the idea."
President Bush's Radio Address
Saturday October 07 2006, 12:57 PM
Office of the Press Secretary, October 7, 2006: "As we work to keep our classrooms safe, we must also ensure that the children studying there get a good education. I believe every child can learn. So when I came to Washington, I worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, and I was proud to sign it into law. The theory behind this law is straightforward: We expect every school in America to teach every student to read, write, add, and subtract."
The Accuracy and Effectiveness of Adequate Yearly Progress, NCLB's School Evaluation System
Friday October 06 2006, 7:06 PM
William J. Mathis writes, "Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is the key element of the accountability system mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). This report reveals that AYP in its 2006 form as the prime indicator of academic achievement is not supported by reliable evidence. Expecting all children to reach mastery level on their state’s standardized tests by 2014, the fundamental requirement of AYP, is unrealistic. The growth model and other improvement proposals now on the table do not have sufficient power to resolve the underlying problems of the system. In addition, the program, whether conceived as implementation costs or remedial costs, is significantly underfunded in a way that will disproportionately penalize schools attended by the neediest children. Further, the curriculum is being narrowed to focus on tested areas at the cost of other vital educational purposes." Mathis, William J., Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union, University of Vermont.
CSRQ Center Report on Middle and High School Comprehensive School Reform Models
Friday October 06 2006, 8:31 AM
This Comprehensive School Reform Quality Center report "serves as a consumer guide that will help decision makers sort through claims about which school reform approaches could truly meet the needs of students. The report is the first comprehensive review of middle and high school whole-school reform models ever issued. To prepare this report, the CSRQ Center screened nearly 1,500 documents and reviewed 197 studies on 18 widely implemented middle and high school models. We used rigorous standards that are aligned with the requirements for scientifically based research established by NCLB. Each model is rated on a number of dimensions, including evidence of raising student achievement. The reviews of the individual models provide education decision makers with profiles of each model and the evidence needed to make decisions to meet locally defined needs."
President Bush Says He'll Strengthen Education Policy
Friday October 06 2006, 7:22 AM
LA Times reports, "The president said that parents are not necessarily getting information about students' progress quickly enough to switch a child's enrollment to another school if they think a change is necessary." Bush suggested school districts were not appropriate in their use of federal funds provided for tutoring.
Fact Sheet: The No Child Left Behind Act: Challenging Students Through High Expectations
Thursday October 05 2006, 6:03 PM
The No Child Left Behind Act Is A Historic Law - It Is Working, And It Is Here To Stay. When he came to Washington, President Bush worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), and he was proud to sign it into law. Today, President Bush discussed the progress made under NCLB and areas where we can look to improve.
President Bush Discusses NCLB Reauthorization at the Education Department
Thursday October 05 2006, 6:00 PM
We strongly believe in setting high standards for all students and we strongly believe that in order to make sure those standards are met we must measure to determine whether or not the schools are functioning the way we expect them to function, and the way the parents expect them to function, and the way the taxpayers expect them to function.
75 New York School Districts Identified for Low Performance Among Students with Disabilities
Thursday October 05 2006, 5:46 PM
New York State Education Department Press Release: The State Education Department has identified 75 school districts as “In Need of Assistance or Intervention” because of low performance among students with disabilities, Commissioner Richard Mills announced today.
Feel-good flags proposed for Nevada public schools
Thursday October 05 2006, 12:39 PM
Las Vegas Sun reports, "The flag proposal corresponds with a request by Nevada officials - backed by no less than the state's congressional delegation - to measure the Silver State's schools differently. Rather than having to achieve hard targets, schools would be assessed by the percentage of improvement demonstrated over the prior year's test scores. The federal Education Department must approve the request."
Conservatism’s Big Test
Wednesday October 04 2006, 8:32 AM
National Review Michael J. Petrilli writes, "Parents need the information yielded by standards and tests for the education marketplace to function efficiently. But most states have proven unable to develop these tools and current federal policy is pushing them in the wrong direction."
Strides being made to meet NCLB Act
Monday October 02 2006, 4:52 PM
Connecticut Post opined, "Still, the overriding problem for Connecticut to fully comply with meeting NCLB standards for high schools largely resides in schools located in cash-poor urban areas where there is a diverse student population that is heavily minority and where large pockets of poverty exist."
Experts argue North Carolina tests need elevated standards
Monday October 02 2006, 1:46 PM
The Sun News reports on raising standards, "Raising standards creates a political dilemma, however. Fewer students are likely to pass, and more schools could face sanctions under the federal No Child Left Behind law. 'It will be a shock to the system,' state board Chairman Howard Lee says. 'But I think the citizens and parents have a right to know the truth.' National comparisons In many quarters, North Carolina's tests are viewed as too easy. In July, editors of the education journal Education Next gave North Carolina an 'F' for the rigor of its testing program.
No favorable statistic left behind in federal law
Sunday October 01 2006, 7:33 AM
Columnist George Will writes, "No Child Left Behind supposedly promotes education accountability by mandating reliable data to measure progress. But Washington looks like an untrustworthy manipulator of data when it uses the phrase 'instruction-related activity' to draw a bull's-eye around the status quo."
Saturday September 30 2006, 10:16 AM
The Washington Post Michael Grunwald reports on Reading First, "The centerpiece of the new research-based approach [NCLB goal] was Reading First, a $1 billion-a-year effort to help low-income schools adopt strategies 'that have been proven to prevent or remediate reading failure' through rigorous peer-reviewed studies. 'Quite simply, Reading First focuses on what works, and will support proven methods of early reading instruction,' the Education Department promised. Five years later, an accumulating mound of evidence from reports, interviews and program documents suggests that Reading First has had little to do with science or rigor."
Let's Really Throw Open Doors to Higher Education
Friday September 29 2006, 8:39 AM
The Houston Chronicle Op-Ed contributor Margaret Spellings, a former Houstonian and U.S. secretary of education writes, "Higher education is a public as well as a private good. Parents, students and taxpayers pick up the vast majority of the tab for higher education. Over the years, we've invested tens of billions of dollars and just hoped for the best. It's time to ask what we are getting for our money."
Is Your Child’s School Effective? Don’t rely on NCLB to tell you
Friday September 29 2006, 8:10 AM
Hoover Institute Education Next writes, "It must also be admitted that most states could not have used growth scores when NCLB was enacted, simply because most states had not constructed the tracking system Florida has put together. Congress may have done all that it could in 2002. But since other states are now beginning to build their own warehouses of data that follow the progress of individual students, the time has arrived when a legislative fix should be feasible." Paul E. Peterson, professor of government at Harvard University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and Martin R.West, assistant professor at Brown University both serve as editors of Education Next.
More Clout Sought for Social Studies in U.S. Law
Friday September 29 2006, 3:57 AM
The Washington Post reports, "With unprecedented requirements for annual testing in reading and math, a 2002 federal law put a premium on student achievement in those subjects. But some Virginia educators contend that No Child Left Behind has left a vital field behind: social studies."
Tackle Utah education disparity
Friday September 29 2006, 1:12 AM
Deseret Morning News editorial writes, "The report ["Closing Educational Achievement Gaps for Latina/o Students in Utah,"] points out the inadequacy of Utah's school funding in terms of per pupil expenditures, Utah's large school and class sizes as well as data that show that Utah funds districts with the highest percentage of minorities at lower rates. The researchers contend that while the methodology of the latter point could be disputed, 'the fact remains that districts with higher percentages of students of color, in fact, need more funding than (other) districts in order to move from 'equality' to 'equity.'"
Is the Feds' Lesson Plan Working? YES: Expectations + Rigor = Promising Results
Friday September 29 2006, 12:19 AM
Op-ed by Secretary Margaret Spellings, in the San Francisco Chronicle on September 26, 2006, "Going forward, we are working closely with states to help them comply with NCLB. States that follow the 'bright lines' of the law—assessing students regularly, disaggregating data, hiring highly qualified teachers and informing parents about their options—may qualify for flexibility in measuring and reporting their results. We prefer collaboration to confrontation. Many states, including California, clearly have room to improve. But the bottom line remains the same. No Child Left Behind has added a fourth 'R' to reading, writing and 'rithmetic—results. We are beginning to see those results. And soon the world will, too."
Connecticut Lawsuit Is Cut Back
Thursday September 28 2006, 1:23 AM
NY Times reports, "A federal judge yesterday dismissed much of Connecticut’s closely watched legal challenge to President Bush’s education law, No Child Left Behind, but allowed the state to go forward with its claim that Washington treated the state unfairly in negotiations over how to carry out the law."
It Takes a Parent: Transforming Education in the Wake of the No Child Left Behind Act
Thursday September 28 2006, 1:07 AM
"With the goal of demonstrating the importance of parental involvement as a key strategy for improving student success, this report provides recommendations for education leaders and policymakers. It focuses on three major strands that are crucial to effective parental involvement: 1. Information: The opportunities and challenges of parental awareness about student and school performance; 2. Engagement: The importance of meaningful parental engagement with school officials and teachers; and 3. Advocacy: The critical role that effective parent advocacy, based on good information and informed engagement, plays in student and school performance." The report was produced by Appleseed, in coordination with several other key law firms and groups. Law firm, Holland & Knight, coordinated and carried out much of the research and drafted the final report, with assistance in two states from volunteers from DLA Piper. The National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP played key roles in gathering and assessing information.
Data Proposals Threaten Education and Civil Rights Accountability
Wednesday September 27 2006, 8:14 AM
The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University concludes, "Data tracing trends over time is, of course, a central requirement of the No Child Left Behind Act, essential for judging compliance with various civil rights court orders, and required by the special education law. In some states, the change will make it appear that individual racial groups suddenly are performing substantially better or worse on some achievement tests even when nothing has changed about actual test results. One must not confuse the increases and losses in proficiency levels with actual achievement. In fact, policymakers would do well to be wary that the proposed guidelines do not result in unfair and arbitrary sanctions on schools and districts since the changes do not reflect actual improvements or losses in achievement levels."Lee, C. and Orfield, G. (2006). Data Proposals Threaten Education and Civil Rights Accountability. Cambridge, MA: The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University.
They’re All Federal Educators Now
Tuesday September 26 2006, 8:11 AM
Neal McCluskey, policy analyst at the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom writes, "As Congress moves inexorably closer to next year's scheduled reauthorization of NCLB, conservatives must reject calls for federal standards and tests, and remember the principles that they once held dear. Politically compromised, big-government policies will simply never provide the education our children need and deserve. Only pulling government out of education, and empowering parents and families with school choice, will do that."
NCLB's flaws cast Binghamton High in bad light
Tuesday September 26 2006, 6:33 AM
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin contributors Donald Loewen, assistant professor of Russian and Dale Tomich, professor of sociology at Binghamton University write, "Students who move out of the area are still considered Binghamton's responsibility if they don't officially register at another school. And students who move into Binghamton are considered the school's responsibility immediately, even if they show up a week before a mandatory test and the school has no chance to prepare them."
'No Child Left Behind' commission
Monday September 25 2006, 6:10 AM
Herald Tribune reports, "States have widely different standards for how they are measuring school progress under the law, and testing can be skewed by students with disabilities and those whose first language isn't English. 'Most groups felt they were not fully involved with writing the initial legislation, so now they want to have their say,' said Jack Jennings, director of the Center for Education Policy."
Education goal is unrealistic
Monday September 25 2006, 6:02 AM
Kim Littel, director of pupil services for Viroqua Area School, Wisconsin, writes, "Two questions need to be considered when dealing with NCLB re-authorization: Will improving test scores reduce our prison population? Will improving test scores make people more successful in life?"
Now read this
Monday September 25 2006, 5:56 AM
Journal News opined on New York State Education Department results of English Language Arts test, "State Education Commissioner Richard Mills worried Thursday about the slacking off in literacy instruction. It apparently begins in fifth grade — not the abrupt nosedive New Yorkers had come to expect in eighth. Said Mills: 'Adult literacy scores are too low, but this is where it begins.' So must the response, starting with unplugging students from electronics, and plugging them into reading books, writing clearly and speaking their minds, coherently."
Grim Minority Report Card on New York City Teachers
Monday September 25 2006, 4:28 AM
NY Post David Andreatta reports, "Christopher Brown, an executive with the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, said the federal No Child Left Behind law has hampered recruitment of minorities because teaching licenses are now not as easily transferable from state to state. 'The majority of blacks in this nation attend traditionally black colleges, most of which are in the South,' Brown said. 'We're seeing an increasing number of teacher candidates remaining in the states where they earned their degrees, because that's where they get certified.'"
Norwich Free Academy's club's initiative informs students about recruitment privacy rights
Sunday September 24 2006, 8:50 AM
Norwich Bulletin reports, "The federal government's No Child Left Behind Act stipulates school administrators must share a range of student information with the state and federal governments, including high school students' contact information for military recruiters."
15 State & National Groups Launch Coalition to Recruit 1,000 New Teachers of Color for Florida's Schools
Sunday September 24 2006, 12:13 AM
Miami, FL (PRWEB) writes, "Florida faces a severe teacher shortage crisis, with a need for tens of thousands of new teachers every year. Additionally, the percentage of teachers of color in Florida is not representative of the percentage of students of color. Fifty two percent of the state’s students are Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian or multiracial but only 25 percent of teachers are individuals of color."
Secretary Spellings encourages free tutoring program
Friday September 22 2006, 9:45 AM
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH reports, "Spellings said some school districts haven’t been forthcoming enough about parents’ options, perhaps because the districts pay for the tutoring with the federal funding it receives."
The No Child Left Behind Act: Are We Saving or Ruining Our Public Schools
Friday September 22 2006, 9:25 AM
Law.com contributor Danielle Holley-Walker, assistant professor of law at the University of South Carolina School of Law writes, "With NCLB the federal government took on the daunting task of increasing student achievement. While the law has wrought change, the ongoing question is whether this or other federal government initiatives are effective in assisting schools in the day-to-day struggle to improve a child's reading level, math skills and scientific knowledge. Thus far, NCLB has provided more questions than answers, and it is up to Congress to take the next step."
Major Changes Needed to Boost K-8 Science Achievement
Friday September 22 2006, 8:57 AM
Kansas City InfoZine reports, "The commonly held view that young children are simplistic thinkers is outmoded, the report [by the National Research Council] adds. Studies show that children think in surprisingly sophisticated ways. Yet much science education is based on old assumptions, and it focuses on what children cannot do instead of what they can. All children have basic reasoning skills, personal knowledge of the natural world, and curiosity that teachers can build on to achieve proficiency in science."
New York State Department of Education: Grade 3-8 Tests For First Time Show
Thursday September 21 2006, 2:57 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 21, 2006: For the first time, students this year took State tests in Grade 3-8. Those results, released today, showed a steady and relatively higher level of achievement in the elementary grades and lower achievement starting in Grade 6 and continuing through Grade 8. They also showed that student achievement overall in Grade 3-8 ranged from about 50 percent meeting all the standards in Urban High Need Districts to about 69 percent in Average Need Districts to 83 percent in Low Need Districts. There are substantial differences in performance among the Big 5 Cities. New York City was highest in Grade 3, with 62 percent meeting al the standards, and at Grade 8, with 37 percent meeting all the standards. Yonkers was not far behind in those grades. New York City and Yonkers both had about 51 percent of all students throughout Grade 3-8 meeting all the standards.
Data is driving education now
Thursday September 21 2006, 8:25 AM
South Idaho Press contributor Mike Chesley, superintendent of the Cassia Joint School District (Idaho) writes, "Across America, educators, parents and students are swimming in data. Over the past decade, education based on academic standards has become the norm. This has fueled the push for data to show how students are doing and to guide efforts to improve. The trend has only grown since the early 2002 signing of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, mandating all students in public schools (Cassia School District #151 included) be proficient in math and reading by 2014. Guess what? It is a good thing."
California academic standards bill vetoed
Thursday September 21 2006, 8:14 AM
Sacremento Bee reports, "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation Wednesday that proposed an instant fix for students failing to meet California's standard for proficiency: redefine proficiency. Schwarzenegger concluded that changing a few words won't solve academic woes. 'Redefining the level of academic achievement necessary to designate students as 'proficient' does not make the students proficient,' his veto message said."
'Dangerous' special ed controversy
Thursday September 21 2006, 4:57 AM
NY Daily News reports, "Parent leaders and educators are steamed about a state list that labels three special education schools in Queens 'persistently dangerous.' They charge the report is inaccurate and has needlessly upset parents."
Why We Need a National School Test
Thursday September 21 2006, 3:55 AM
Washington Post Op-Ed contributors William J. Bennett, education secretary under President Ronald Reagan and Rod Paige, education secretary under President George W. Bush write, "As both of us have long argued, Washington should set sound national academic standards and administer a high-quality national test. Publicize everybody's results, right down to the school level. Then Washington should butt out."
Oregon reapplies to pilot way of assessing students
Wednesday September 20 2006, 10:53 PM
AP reports, "Oregon has some key selling points in pitching itself as a candidate for the pilot program, including the development of a statewide database that allows for the tracking of a student's academic progress, even if they switch school districts."
Area New York BOCES play key role in ensuring no child is left behind
Wednesday September 20 2006, 6:18 AM
The Journal News reports on changes at BOCES, "The biggest changes began about five years ago, when the federal education law dubbed 'No Child Left Behind' took effect. The law, among other things, required that schools provide highly qualified teachers, demanded that states create English and math accountability tests for all children from third through eighth grades and insisted that special-needs students be given the same academic tests as other students."
'Lite' Choice in School Reform
Wednesday September 20 2006, 12:07 AM
The Washington Post reports, "Under-performing schools in Prince George's, Baltimore and elsewhere across the nation have seized on the turnaround specialist as a quick fix that satisfies the federal No Child Left Behind directive, which requires chronically low-performing schools to choose some form of alternative governance, such as a new staff or management by a private company. The report by the Center on Education Policy cites the Prince George's system as emblematic of a national trend: When school systems are forced to take corrective action, they tend to chose the least radical -- and least corrective, it says -- option."
The schoolyard bully
Tuesday September 19 2006, 12:16 PM
Dick Iannuzzi, President, New York State United Teachers writes, "President Bush and his supporters in Congress have used NCLB as a weapon to punish schools instead of as a tool to improve them. Now they've turned that weapon on children with disabilities and children trying to learn English and adapt to a new culture." Iannuzzi additionally criticizes New York State Education Department (SED).
Teacher colleges get low marks
Tuesday September 19 2006, 11:56 AM
The Honolulu Advertiser writes, "Don Young, interim dean of UH's College of Education [University of Hawaii] that produces most of Hawai'i's new teachers each year, called the report [Educating School Teachers] 'broad-brush charges' not particularly applicable to Hawai'i where student teachers have been receiving standards-based education for the past five or six years, as well as extensive hands-on classroom experience." The university has launched new courses that address challenges such as No Child Left Behind requirements. UH was not pinpointed in the Levine study.
Sen. Schumer presses for more school aid
Monday September 18 2006, 12:10 PM
Buffalo News reports, "'I think the plan is to have public schools fail so we can start shifting more and more money to charter schools and voucher programs,' Sloan Superintendent James P. Mazgajewski said. 'I think what they're trying to do is break down the system.'"
Rural schools officials lobby for timber payments
Monday September 18 2006, 11:44 AM
AP reports, "'Rural children need to have equal opportunity to learn,' said Douglas, superintendent of Tehama County schools in Northern California. 'If this bill is not reauthorized, the promise of No Child Left Behind will be a hollow campaign promise in the forest counties of America and not a promise of opportunity.'"
Missouri teachers’ credentials checked
Monday September 18 2006, 11:35 AM
The Kansas City Star reports, "Last month, the department essentially flunked Missouri and several other states over the mandate, putting them at risk of having school aid withheld. Kansas earned high marks for satisfying all six criteria. The big challenge in Missouri is proving compliance among veteran educators who earned their certification before a 1988 state requirement that teaching candidates pass a subject-matter test before earning a license."
NEA Launches NCLB Reform Effort
Monday September 18 2006, 10:17 AM
Education World reports, "Reg Weaver, president of the NEA, talked with Education World about the union's proposals for reforming NCLB, and why he thinks changes are urgently needed."
Maine education head to challenge ruling on SATs
Monday September 18 2006, 9:26 AM
Statehouse Reporter reports, "The federal government wanted more proof that the SAT was aligned with the curriculum, in general, and found it didn’t adequately measure progress in math. A second test will be added at the high school level measuring science and math next year."
Social Studies Goes to the Back of the Class
Sunday September 17 2006, 8:53 PM
NPR Liane Hansen discusses the importance of math and reading with Fred Risinger, former coordinator of Social Studies Education at the School of Education at Indiana University.
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA [NCLR] APPLAUDS U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION’S POLICY ON ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS
Sunday September 17 2006, 7:16 PM
“Getting the No Child Left Behind law (NCLB) right is critical for Latino students, nearly half of whom are ELLs,” stated Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “The Department’s regulations strike a balance which ensures that ELLs get the attention they deserve but have often not received, while at the same time giving states time to help ELLs learn English and improve in other important subjects.”
Rochester District advice council to meet
Sunday September 17 2006, 7:10 PM
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "All parents and guardians of district students are welcome to attend. Topics will include a review of the opening of schools and organizing standing committees. DACT works with state and national coalitions supporting programs under the federal No Child Left Behind Act."
Feds reverse ruling on Nebraska's assessment program
Saturday September 16 2006, 9:46 AM
AP reports, "Two months after rejecting Nebraska’s assessment system under the No Child Left Behind law, the U.S. Department of Education has reversed itself. Federal officials told Nebraska Friday that its system for testing students met standards."
New York State Education Department News and Notes
Friday September 15 2006, 8:50 AM
Education news from the Desk of Jean C. Stevens, Interim Deputy Commissioner.
Kansas to explore abandoning No Child Left Behind law
Friday September 15 2006, 8:23 AM
Lawrence Journal-World reports, "The education board [Kansas] has been sharply divided between moderates and conservatives on numerous issues, but it has agreed within the next couple of months to take a look at what the impact would be if the state disengaged from NCLB and refused the federal funding associated with it. The board also will explore trying to get Congress to change the law."
Onteora limits in-school recruitment
Friday September 15 2006, 1:17 AM
Daily Freeman reports, "'The No Child Left Behind Law states that you must allow military recruiters on your school grounds on the same basis that you allow any other recruiters on school grounds, and if you don't allow them, you're going to lose your (federal) Title I funding,' he [board President Marino D'Orazio] said."
Secretary Spellings' Prepared Remarks to the National Conference of Editorial Writers Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Thursday September 14 2006, 11:04 PM
"When I [US Department of Education Secretary Spellings] hear people say things like some children just can't learn, I say, 'Whose child are they talking about?' Not mine, I hope, because as a mom, I don't think it's too much to ask that my child leave the third grade reading and doing math at the third grade level. And I'm pretty sure almost all parents feel that same way—regardless of where they live or how much money they make."
Buffalo special education program a "major problem'
Thursday September 14 2006, 11:04 AM
Buffalo News reports, "Williams [superintendent] said his staff is preparing to seek bids from outside consultants to assess the system and make recommendations for reform. He did not set a timetable, but called special education his "No. 1 priority" now that a three-year academic improvement plan is taking hold. About 20 percent of Buffalo's students have special education designation, far more than other local school districts and one of the highest rates in the state."
Federal cuts concern Oneonta schools
Thursday September 14 2006, 7:53 AM
The Daily Star reports, "The funds are used to help pay for a remedial reading program that employs about 10 teachers and licensed teaching assistants, Shea [superintendent] said. If the funding does not keep pace with the increasing costs of the program, 'it will have to be evaluated,' he said."
Educate us about violence, New York City Chancellor Klein tells schools
Thursday September 14 2006, 7:51 AM
NY Daily News reports, "The directive came more than a week after the teachers union accused the Education Department of inaccurately recording school crime and began testing an online system that will allow teachers to report violence. The union's criticism was prompted by a state report that classified only 14 of the city's 1,400 schools as 'persistently dangerous.'"
228 New York High Schools Are Identified As Needing Improvement
Wednesday September 13 2006, 9:25 PM
A total of 228 high schools have been identified by the State Education Department as needing improvement under federal and state rules. Of these, 18 high schools were newly identified this school year. In addition, 29 schools have been removed from the list because they have made Adequate Yearly Progress for two consecutive years in all areas for which they were identified. An additional 75 high schools made AYP last year and will be removed from the list if they make AYP in 2006-2007.
Desegregation, Test Score Mandates Leave Schools In Lurch
Wednesday September 13 2006, 8:31 PM
WRAL.com. reports on local North Carolina schools and NCLB, "Nationwide, 293 school systems are under desegregation orders. The U.S. Department of Education said Wednesday that nothing in the No Child Left Behind Act provides a school district with the authority to violate an applicable desegregation plan. On the other hand, they said the regulation clear clearly states that the existence of such a plan doesn't permit a district to avoid providing public school choice."
Rochester area schools shorted $44M by fed
Wednesday September 13 2006, 5:16 PM
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "The Rochester area is being shorted $44 million in federal school aid promised under the No Child Left Behind Act, Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said today while announcing a report detailing statewide school funding shortfalls."
Secretary Spellings Announces Final Limited English Proficiency Regulations
Wednesday September 13 2006, 5:11 PM
The new Title I Regulation is intended to help recently arrived Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students learn English and other subjects while giving states and local school districts greater flexibility on assessment while continuing to hold them accountable under No Child Left Behind.
Binghamtom High School still needs improvement
Wednesday September 13 2006, 7:20 AM
Press & Sun-Bulletin reports, "While most subgroups made adequate progress for the 2005-06 year, students with disabilities did not, Cahill [assistant superintendent of instruction] said. Cahill outlined several strategies to raise scores, including giving teachers more training to help students with disabilities, providing programs for students not reading at grade level and helping educators teach reading in various subjects."
Nine local Mid-Hudson school still get failing marks
Wednesday September 13 2006, 7:00 AM
Times-Herald Record reports, "The list is more than name-calling. Districts have to pour resources into the problem areas — resources that local taxpayers often have to pay for. In the long run, teachers and principals might be fired if the failures continue. The federal No Child Left Behind Law sets the rules. It covers not only scores but the performance of various racial, ethnic, and other special groups."
'Low'down on New York City High Schools
Wednesday September 13 2006, 5:06 AM
NY Post David Andreatta reports, "Fewer city high schools got a failing grade from the state this year compared with last, but the dreaded roster included a handful of small schools and its first charter school - both high priorities of Bloomberg's administration."
Eleven More New York City schools Fail to Meet State Criteria
Wednesday September 13 2006, 1:42 AM
NY Times reports, "The designations mean that students in the schools, including a Manhattan charter school, two schools for recent immigrants, in Manhattan and Queens, which are open only to students with limited English skills, and a Brooklyn school that has won wide acclaim for its work with students at serious risk of dropping out, now have the right to ask for a transfer to a better school."
Nearly 1 in 5 Massachusetts schools not making adequate yearly progress
Tuesday September 12 2006, 1:42 PM
AP reports, "In Massachusetts, the progress is measured using attendance rates, graduation rates and participation of and performance on the state's MCAS math and English/language arts tests."
U.S. Spends More on Education, Gets Worse Results, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Finds
Tuesday September 12 2006, 7:32 AM
Bloomberg reports, "The U.S. spent about $12,000 per student, second only to Switzerland among the 30 OECD countries based on 2003 figures, the OECD said today in its annual report on education. The U.S. outperformed only five of the 30 countries on an OECD test given to 15-year-olds, ranked 12th in high school completion rates and averaged 23 students per class, higher than the average of 21."
Oregon disabled students' tests jettisoned
Monday September 11 2006, 8:17 AM
The Oregonian reports, "Oregon is being forced to scrap tests given to some disabled students because the tests do not meet the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act."
Massachusetts principal wary of changing military recruitment policy
Sunday September 10 2006, 11:49 AM
The Boston Globe reports, "The federal No Child Left Behind law requires schools to provide the military the same access to students that is available to other potential employers and higher-education institutions. The law also gives military recruiters access to students' names, addresses, and telephone numbers, although parents and students can request that such information not be released."
Using Data To Drive Policy
Sunday September 10 2006, 11:24 AM
The School Administrator, Terri Duggan Schwartzbeck writes, "Until more states have the data systems that can truly track student growth and all the factors involved, including courses taken and graduation/dropout information, policymakers in Washington will remain hampered by gaps in the data. How do we ever truly know what students know? That’s the million-dollar question."
Maine To Add To SAT Test To Meet NCLB Standards
Friday September 08 2006, 10:48 PM
AP reports, "The federal government threatened to withhold more than $100,000 because of what it viewed as shortcomings with the SAT."
Highly Qualified, Highly Confusing
Friday September 08 2006, 10:41 PM
Gilroy Dispatch (California) reports on NCLB and high qualified teachers, "Here's the sticky part: an intern teacher who has yet to spend a day in the classroom but has passed the CSET is considered qualified under the law, while a woman who spent the past 20 years teaching middle school English, but has a single subject credential in history is not."
Secretary Spellings Announces Partnership with 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
Friday September 08 2006, 10:33 PM
According to the agreement, the U.S. Department of Education will seek "to fully engage the African American community and its leaders in the successful implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act as it relates to school choice, charter schools, supplemental services, parent report cards, and all of the benefits and options provided to parents with students in schools in need of improvement."
New York Education Department unveils new student database
Friday September 08 2006, 6:58 AM
Times Record reports, "Teachers are all for the new system if it is used to help students learn, said Ron Simon, president of the New Paltz Teachers union. But he has concerns. 'Are we using it to hold students accountable for their learning, or are we using it to pinpoint teachers?' Simon asked. 'We would hate to see this one day being used to promote things like merit pay'."
New York schools test scores made easy for parents
Friday September 08 2006, 5:22 AM
Times Union Rick Karlin wites, "'These reports are designed to be parent-friendly,' Martha Musser, coordinator of information and reporting systems for the Education Department, said Thursday as the agency unveiled the new reports. They also will allow parents to track how their children are doing on standardized tests over time, said Acting Deputy Commissioner Jean Stevens."
Dayton, Ohio schools want parents to know tutoring choices
Friday September 08 2006, 12:39 AM
Dayton Daily News reports, "No Child Left Behind requires districts that accept federal money for low-income children to set aside 20 percent of those funds to pay up to $1,600 per child for tutoring each year at schools not making the grade under NCLB."
D.C. Schools Fall Short of Test Goals, Superintendent Says
Thursday September 07 2006, 6:29 PM
The Washington Post reports, "The number of District schools that failed to make academic benchmarks increased this year, according to test results D.C. School Superintendent Clifford B. Janey plans to release today. At the same time, he plans to cut the equivalent of almost five instructional days to accommodate more teacher training."
Behind the statistics
Thursday September 07 2006, 8:46 AM
The Providence Journal reports, "It [NCLB} doesn't capture a child's speaking and listening skills,' Furia [principal] said. 'Our students can understand what's being read and answer an inferential question. That's an "Aha" moment that isn't captured here.'"
Arizona State School Superintendent Tom Horne gives local educators his views on state of schools
Thursday September 07 2006, 8:40 AM
Sierra Vista Herald reports on NCLB, "Horne said the feds changed the rules in the middle of the game, setting more schools up for “failure” — a word he eschews — in three ways: by giving English language learners only one year to pass the AIMS tests in English, instead of the original three years; by dismissing adaptive assistance to testing of special education students, essentially throwing them out of the count; and by adding more grade levels in computation of total scores."
Four Million Children Left Behind
Thursday September 07 2006, 7:26 AM
WSJ Opinion Journal Op-Ed contributor Clint Bolick, president and general counsel of the Alliance for School Choice opined on NCLB, "The Polling Company surveyed Los Angeles and Compton parents whose children are eligible to transfer their children out of failing schools. Only 11% knew their school was rated as failing, and fewer than one-fifth of those parents (just nine out of 409 surveyed) recalled receiving notice to that effect from the districts--a key NCLB requirement. Once informed of their schools' status and their transfer rights, 82% expressed a desire to move their children to better schools."
New York state schools told to reach out to at-risk kids
Thursday September 07 2006, 6:26 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "Johnson, [assistant secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education in the Bush administration], before serving as keynote speaker for a United Way fundraiser at Rochester Country Club on Wednesday, said improving education in urban districts can happen with a rigorous curriculum that applies to all students, excellent teaching, and comprehensive and diagnostic student assessments."
Feds decrease education grants to Connecticut
Wednesday September 06 2006, 7:07 PM
AP reports, "Federal grants for programs and services required under the No Child law are based on U.S. Census poverty figures, so many New England states have seen their grants drop because of their relative affluence compared with other parts of the country, state education officials said."
Arizona educators see NCLB as good but cumbersome
Wednesday September 06 2006, 1:17 PM
Eastern Arizona Courier reports, "As a group, the school administrators also conveyed the message that there needs to be better communication between federal and state education agencies and between those agencies and the public schools."
Education system needs reform, not a billion dollars
Tuesday September 05 2006, 3:56 PM
Las Vegas Business Press contributor Chuck Muth, president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. writes, "A BILLION (!) dollars more for education? That's a lot of dough. But if it comes with spending offsets and serious education reforms that break the government-school monopoly on education, it might be worth considering. The only thing apparently standing in the way is: the teachers unions."
Louisiana leading in improving teacher quality
Tuesday September 05 2006, 8:43 AM
The Shreveport Times reports, "A recent U.S. Department of Education study singled out nine states for having assembled complete plans to accomplish the goals of the federal No Child Left Behind law. A team of 31 education experts hired by the department reviewed every state's plan and found that Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina and South Dakota met all standards"
NCLB Title III Institute Part I: Ensuring Academic Success for English Learners
Monday September 04 2006, 4:58 PM
December 4-6, 2006, Sacramento, CA. Robert Linquanti, Project Director for WestEd's English Learner Evaluation and Accountability Support (ELEAS) services, Linda Carstens, Senior Research Associate for WestEd's ELEAS services, and Ivannia Soto-Hinman, Assistant Professor at Biola University, will lead a three-day institute on ensuring success for English learners. They will be joined by California Department of Education Consultants Cathy George, Judy Lambert, and Marcela Rodriguez.
NCLB Title III Institute Part I: Ensuring Academic Success for English Learners
Monday September 04 2006, 4:55 PM
November 27-29, 2006. Fresno, CA. Robert Linquanti, Project Director for WestEd's English Learner Evaluation and Accountability Support (ELEAS) services, Linda Carstens, Senior Research Associate for WestEd's ELEAS services, and Ivannia Soto-Hinman, Assistant Professor at Biola University, will lead a three-day institute on ensuring success for English learners. They will be joined by California Department of Education Consultants Cathy George, Judy Lambert, and Marcela Rodriguez.
NCLB Title III Institute Part I: Ensuring Academic Success for English Learners
Monday September 04 2006, 4:51 PM
November 13-15, 2006. The Mission Inn , Riverside, CA. Robert Linquanti, Project Director for WestEd's English Learner Evaluation and Accountability Support (ELEAS) services, Linda Carstens, Senior Research Associate for WestEd's ELEAS services, and Ivannia Soto-Hinman, Assistant Professor at Biola University, will lead a three-day institute on ensuring success for English learners. They will be joined by California Department of Education Consultants Cathy George, Judy Lambert, and Marcela Rodriguez.
D.C. School Superintendent Janey Proposes Year-Round Classes to Aid Ailing Programs
Monday September 04 2006, 9:35 AM
The Washington Post reports, "D.C. School Superintendent Clifford B. Janey is proposing year-round classes at five mainly low-achieving schools in an effort to give students more time in the classroom by shortening the long summer break."
Data on New Jersey and Pennsylvania school safety lacking
Sunday September 03 2006, 9:03 AM
Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "Many Pennsylvania districts did not report common offenses, such as bullying or fighting. Philadelphia left out thousands of incidents, including those in which no one was caught or the offender was not a student. In New Jersey, one in five districts reported no violence. The state became suspicious when 19 districts, including Camden and Trenton, reported dramatically lower in-school violence. It is conducting an investigation to verify the numbers."
Rochester district to boost security measures: Two 'dangerous' city high schools take extra safety steps
Sunday September 03 2006, 7:51 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "As required by the No Child Left Behind Act, the district sent letters to parents and guardians of the more than 2,000 students in both schools to alert them that students can transfer if they wish. The district received about 60 transfer requests before those letters were sent."
National School Testing Urged: Gaps Between State, Federal Assessments Fuel Call for Change
Saturday September 02 2006, 10:23 PM
Washington Post Jay Mathews reports, "The growing talk of national testing and standards comes in the fifth year of the No Child Left Behind era. That federal law sought to hold public schools accountable for academic performance but left it up to states to design their own assessments. So the definition of proficiency -- what it means for a student to perform at grade level -- varies from coast to coast."
Where's the courage in education reform?
Saturday September 02 2006, 9:07 AM
Scrippsnews contributor Star Parker writes, "According to NCLB, students in failing schools must be notified and permitted to transfer to another school. We have found that 250,000, about 30 percent, of the students in the LA system are eligible for such transfers, yet notification is not being given and there have only been only slightly more than 500 transfers."
New York State English test scores delayed
Saturday September 02 2006, 8:54 AM
The Journal News reports, "Under the federal No Child Left Behind Law, students who score '1' or '2' on a four-point scale are required to receive extra help, called 'academic intervention services' for the following year." Chambers said the district would rely on its own assessments for extra help when school starts, and then readjust its program when the scores are released."
California Bill Renews Debate Over Helping English Learners
Friday September 01 2006, 9:42 AM
LA Times reports, "While the legislation has gained wide support, it has also become a symbol of the fierce philosophical clash over English instruction in California, with many opponents, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, insisting that the option would lead to lower standards and segregation of students based on English ability."
Charters boost Philadelphia's schools' showing
Friday September 01 2006, 9:04 AM
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on charter schools, "Five of the 22 schools run by Edison made the goal, down from seven last year. One Victory school qualified, down from three. Overall, 11 of the 43 schools run by Edison, Victory, Foundations Inc., Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Universal Companies met goals, down from 15. Only Foundations added a school. Vallas said the district would consider the test results as part of an internal evaluation of the outside managers."
Education Secretary Spellings spotlights early literacy
Friday September 01 2006, 8:50 AM
The Providence Journal reports on funds granted, "The $3.6-million Reading First grant will be used to train childcare workers at four Providence daycare centers: Federal Hill House, West End Community Center, Genesis Center and John Hope Settlement House. The grants will also help the centers buy books and other materials to prepare children for kindergarten and first grade. The $3.3-million professional-development grant will pay for 250 hours of training in early childhood literacy for 200 childcare workers."
New York Teachers union opposes new mandate for English language learners
Friday September 01 2006, 8:30 AM
New York Teacher reports, "Until now, students who have attended school in the United States for less than three years were not required to take the ELA exam. The recent ruling by the U.S. Depart-ment of Education contradicts the state's policy and NYSUT is investigating possible actions."
Back to better NCLB schools in Arizona
Thursday August 31 2006, 10:12 PM
Eloy News, JON KYL, United States Senator, Arizona writes, "I recently had the privilege of honoring one of Arizona's most talented teachers with the Department of Education's American Stars of Teaching award. In its third year, the American Stars of Teaching program is a component of the Teacher-to-Teacher initiative, which seeks to honor excellence in the classroom. This year, Mr. Brian Fuller, of Peoria High School, was chosen to receive this award. Mr. Fuller exemplifies the kind of teachers Arizona schools must attract and retain."
North Carolina to Pilot 'No Child Behind' Program
Thursday August 31 2006, 8:07 PM
The Pilot reports, "With the pilot project, schools entering their first year of Title I School Improvement in these seven districts must offer supplemental educational services to eligible students. If these schools continue not to make AYP, they must offer public school choice next year, while continuing to offer supplemental educational services. The piloting districts were selected based on geographic diversity, unique district characteristics and demographics, interest shown by the district and the projected numbers of Title I schools in the district that might be entering year one of Title I School Improvement in 2006-07."
Massachusetts Gov. Romney applauds student measurement in No Child Left Behind
Thursday August 31 2006, 7:42 PM
AP reports, "Romney [Gov.], addressing a commission taking testimony in preparation for a congressional reauthorization debate scheduled for next year, said testing identifies problematic schools that can then be helped through funding, teacher training and student programs."
CALIFORNIA API AND AYP SCORES RELEASED TODAY HIGHLIGHT API’S FLAWS AS A SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY MEASUREMENT
Thursday August 31 2006, 7:36 PM
California Business for Education Excellence (CBEE) again denounced the state’s Academic Performance Index (API) today as failing to accurately report student academic achievement and hold schools accountable. “The API growth targets are minimal, the scoring is confusing, and worst of all there is no accountability linkage to subgroup API scores making it much more likely that ethnic minority students, disadvantaged students and English Language Learners will continue to fall through the cracks,” said Jim Lanich, Ph.D., president, CBEE.
No cure-all seen in bonus for principals
Thursday August 31 2006, 12:26 PM
The Baltimore Sun reports, "In education, principals' positions are becoming harder to fill, particularly in low-performing schools. As hundreds of principals in Maryland approach retirement, the federal No Child Left Behind Act is requiring states to impose penalties on schools that don't make adequate progress on standardized tests. That means principals could be putting their jobs at risk for taking on the toughest assignments."
Tweaking of 'No Child' Seen
Thursday August 31 2006, 8:57 AM
The Washington Post reports on NCLB, charter schools, and a national student "unit" tracking system, "Saying that the federal government has 'done about as much' as it can in many ways, Spellings [US Department of Education Secretary] noted that states need to do much of the remaining work on NCLB in order to meet the goal of reading proficiency by 2014."
Late exam results test city parents' patience
Thursday August 31 2006, 8:22 AM
NY Daily News ERIN EINHORN and CARRIE MELAGO report, "'When the data are finally released, schools will get the information electronically, which Dunn [state Education Department spokesman] argued would make it 'more useful to them in helping children.' Parents also will be given user-friendly reports that explain how their child fared, he said."
Education Secretary Spellings: No Child act needs no changes
Wednesday August 30 2006, 6:16 PM
AP reports, "Spellings said her job is to present Congress with good data to help lawmakers do their job. She said she is open-minded about ways to improve the law. But when asked if she meant the law is truly '99.9 percent' close to working properly, she said, 'I think it is that close.'"
$23 Million in Emergency Response Grants Awarded to 26 States
Wednesday August 30 2006, 6:04 PM
As part of the No Child Left Behind education reforms, local school districts must provide assurances that they have plans that outline how they are working to keep their schools safe and drug free.
Fitness can be a stretch in Rhode Island
Wednesday August 30 2006, 7:57 AM
The Providence Journal reports, "'It only takes a couple of minutes, but it can really refocus the student and get them ready to learn,' Ranaldi [teacher] said. 'Everyone keeps looking at the core content areas of NCLB, like reading and math, but if you really want your child to be successful, they also need to keep their mind and body stimulated.'"
Back to School: Performance data driving education now
Tuesday August 29 2006, 10:17 AM
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on data-driven education, "While the use of data can help to improve instruction, an ongoing problem is getting data quickly enough that it can be used effectively. State test results, for example, aren't available until well after the school year ends."
Bush's Education Reforms Falter
Tuesday August 29 2006, 8:54 AM
Forbes.com writes on NCLB, "Some public policy fields exhibit high rates of technical success and political prestige. However, most public policy innovations enjoy lower success rates because: -- the technical knowledge required for the successful delivery of particular policy outcomes is not available; -- politicians, interested parties and voters typically contest a policy's principles, objectives, instruments, costs, or effectiveness; and -- adoption of all public policies implicitly or explicitly defines some winners and losers. U.S. education policy exhibits all three of these characteristics and is, accordingly, politicized."
More Arizona schools miss performance measure
Monday August 28 2006, 9:56 PM
AP reports, "However, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne said the increase is due to new rule changes by the Bush administration, not diminished performance by Arizona students. Horne cited changes in federal rules dealing with English-learning students, accommodations for special education students and the counting of more grades' test results."
Alabama teacher coaches students, teachers
Monday August 28 2006, 11:27 AM
The Dothan Eagle reports, "In recent years the Alabama Reading Initiative and the No Child Left Behind Act have popularized the reading coach concept in schools."
Transfers? Columbus, Ohio students’ options few
Monday August 28 2006, 11:19 AM
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH reports, "More than half of the Columbus Public Schools will be forced to let students transfer to better district schools this year. That’s good news for parents who want to send their kids to a school with a better track record in reading and math. Just one problem, though: There are few buildings — especially at the elementary level — from which parents can pick."
School test aid could cost Hawaii millions more
Monday August 28 2006, 10:14 AM
Honolulu Advertiser reports, "The Department of Education spent $7.9 million in contracts with three educational assistance providers last year and that amount could rise to an estimated $15 million this year as twice as many schools face the most severe sanctions of the No Child Left Behind Act."
Bottom Line is kids graduate: Rules alone may not cut Boston schools absenteeism
Monday August 28 2006, 10:05 AM
Boston Herald Op-Ed contributor James Alan Fox, Lipman Family Professor of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University opined, "Bottom Line, funded through private donations and grants, each year counsels hundreds of children from immigrant or poor families, assisting them with the college search, the daunting application and financial aid processes, as well as the adjustment to college life. Achieving a remarkable college acceptance rate of 98 percent, Bottom Line is only limited by its own bottom line of fund-raising. Moreover, it demonstrates how creative thinking outperforms rules and regulations in keeping students in school."
A focus on needs of school 'tweens: As classes begin today, Baltimore educators turn to middle school, the often forgotten grades
Monday August 28 2006, 9:32 AM
Baltimore Sun reports, "The sweeping changes at the Baltimore County school reflect a growing movement among school systems across the country, which have long sought to boost elementary and high school performance and are now turning their attention to the youngsters in between."
Louisiana leads in quality efforts: Plan ready for No Child Left Behind.
Monday August 28 2006, 8:50 AM
The Daily Advertiser reports, "A recent U.S. Department of Education study singled out nine states for having assembled complete plans to accomplish the goals of the federal No Child Left Behind law. A team of 31 education experts hired by the department reviewed every state's plan and found that nine states met all standards, Louisiana being one of them."
A tally to avoid?
Sunday August 27 2006, 9:31 AM
The Journal News opined, "The violence-reporting process is more than five years old in New York, and wrought with problems — challenges complicated by the added federal performance requirements of No Child Left Behind, instituted three years ago. Still, New York remains only in a 'training' phase, with its Education Department continuing to clarify criteria and teach local administrators how properly to report violent incidents. Even the state Comptroller's Office is involved now, looking anew over shoulders because random audits of schools earlier this year found reporting compliance abysmal."
For rural schools, hurdles are huge: Kentucky options to improve test results are limited
Sunday August 27 2006, 9:13 AM
HERALD-LEADER reports, "In reality, some NCLB sanctions don't hold a lot of weight in rural, lower-income districts. 'The law can sound tough, fire the teachers, fire the principals, take over the schools,' said Jack Jennings, president of the Center on Education Policy. 'But the practicality of the situation is that more likely than not, you are left with just improving the curriculum and retraining the teachers you have already. That's the practical side of all this.' Jennings said a community's attitudes also have a direct effect on student achievement."
Exploding the Charter School Myth
Sunday August 27 2006, 8:23 AM
NY Times opined on charter schools, NCLB and teacher quality, "One advantage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 was the wave of education studies it started. They offer hope that Congress will look at the record when it considers reauthorizing the law next year. If it does, lawmakers will back away from the part of the act that offers charter schools as a cure-all. They should instead home in on the all-important but largely neglected issue of teacher training and preparation — which trumps everything when it comes to improving student achievement."
Good news in public education
Sunday August 27 2006, 8:16 AM
The PressRepublican opined on school choice, "Private schools have long argued that New Yorkers should have a choice in the schools they attend. They do have a choice, but the law provides a free education in a public school. It doesn't provide subsidies for schools that could drain money from the public system. Nor should it. School choice is a luxury, not a necessity."
Shed light on exams: New York should be more parent-friendly in explaining tests
Sunday August 27 2006, 8:02 AM
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle opined, "A lot of this information is now available on the Education (New York) Department's Web site. But getting to it requires weeding through a lot of dense education-speak. The site, which should be regarded as a prime information source for literally millions of New Yorkers, lacks clarity and readability — two standards, by the way, of writing that the state purports to measure."
Saturday August 26 2006, 7:27 PM
AP reports on No Child Left Behind and tutoring, "School districts: provide yearly notice to parents about how they can enroll their children and which tutors are available; must use clear language."
Stealth Students Test Tolerance of the Affluent
Saturday August 26 2006, 9:14 AM
NY Times reports, "Just as Mexicans sneak into California because that’s where the better jobs are, students sneak into Greenwich because that’s where the better schools are. Greenwich, one of America’s wealthiest towns, has not yet surrounded itself with a chain-link fence and National Guard troops. But it has its own version of a border patrol. A private eye, the kind who might be expected to snoop around motels, has been hired to check out tips of juvenile border crossings."
Plenty kids left in failing New York City schools
Saturday August 26 2006, 8:30 AM
NY Daily News Erin Einhorn reports, "Nearly 11,000 city kids attending rotten public schools applied for emergency transfers to better schools under the federal No Child Left Behind law - but many of them will have to stay put, officials said yesterday."
Gov. Jeb Bush helps hand out $157.6M to schools for good grades
Friday August 25 2006, 10:14 PM
AP reports, "The money can be used to give teachers and staff bonus pay, hire temporary help to assist in improving student performance or spend on such things as new educational equipment."
Agassi Prep offers kids of Las Vegas a reason to learn
Friday August 25 2006, 8:22 AM
USA Today reports on Agassi charter school, "'Picture every year, all the time that you see sort of these evolutions of the children themselves,' he [Agassi] says. 'All of a sudden, they're ninth graders. You think, 'You were third graders. Look at you. You're standing taller than me, speaking better than I speak, having more of a plan for your life than I have for mine.' The kids are the best part of this.'"
DC Students Face New Learning Standards
Thursday August 24 2006, 4:02 PM
The Washington Post reports, "The learning standards, outlining what students should know and be able to do at each grade level, are among many new policies and initiatives slated to be launched this year. The changes, school officials say, are intended to boost student achievement, increase the level of parental involvement in the schools and improve efficiency for teachers and administrators."
New York City Mayor Bloomberg and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush discuss accountability in public schools
Thursday August 24 2006, 12:51 PM
The Association for a Better New York will host a breakfast meeting on Tuesday, August 29, 2006 where New York City Mayor Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg and Florida Governor Honorable Jeb Bush will discuss increasing accountability and results in public schools. Register today.
LOWBALLING SCHOOL VIOLENCE...
Thursday August 24 2006, 7:16 AM
NY Post editorial opined on school violence, "Regardless of the actual number of dangerous schools - 14, 140, or otherwise - zero tolerance on violent behavior must be the policy."
Mandated tutoring leaves some New Jersey special ed students behind
Wednesday August 23 2006, 2:38 PM
Daily Record reports, "In suburban districts, including several in Morris County, schools are facing sanctions under No Child Left Behind because of students with disabilities scoring poorly on standardized tests. Yet these students are not necessarily economically disadvantaged and can't tap into the help offered under the federal Title I law."
3 local Syracuse schools still on state list
Wednesday August 23 2006, 9:11 AM
The Post-Standard reports, "No local schools landed on the state's new list of 'persistently dangerous schools,' but 17 schools elsewhere in the state did, Education Commissioner Richard Mills announced Tuesday. But three Syracuse schools that went on the list a year ago - Fowler High and Shea and Grant middle - remain there, the state said."
Two Rochester city schools on 'dangerous' list
Wednesday August 23 2006, 8:55 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "Thomas Jefferson High School showed a drop in the number of violent incidents from 87 to 58 in those years. During the same period, the number of violent incidents at Charlotte High School increased from 65 to 68."
State's list of dangerous schools grows: Berkshire Farm, Philip Livingston Magnet among 23 targeted after comptroller's critical audit
Wednesday August 23 2006, 8:25 AM
Times Union reports, "Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, parents are supposed to be able to transfer their children out of a dangerous school if another school in their district has room to enroll them. Mills said that releasing the data Tuesday, about two weeks before the new school year starts, should give parents time to seek alternatives. For many parents and students, though, alternative schools are filled up. Students attending Berkshire's school are doing so under court order."
CLASS-KICKERS: 'DANGEROUS' SCHOOLS SOAR - AND N.Y. MAY BE LOWBALLING COUNT
Wednesday August 23 2006, 8:00 AM
NY Post DAVID ANDREATTA and LEONARD GREENE report, "'Since the school system no longer shares incident data, no one really knows the true state of safety in our schools,' said United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. 'But we do know that having only 14 [city] schools on the 'persistently dangerous' list doesn't make sense.'"
ROSY REPORT ADDS UP TO NONSENSE
Wednesday August 23 2006, 7:53 AM
NY Post columnist Ryan Sager writes, "The answer is to give all parents - the people who know whether or not they feel their kids are safe enough at school - a choice. Open more charter schools, give parents vouchers and/or tuition tax credits, open up public-school choice to all families. Then persistently dangerous (and persistently incompetent) schools will be held accountable."
Scrap voucher plan, fully fund No Child law
Tuesday August 22 2006, 5:01 PM
USA TODAY Op-Ed contributor E. Jane Gallucci, President, National School Boards Association writes, "And contrary to Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings' assertion that vouchers 'complement' the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, they actually would render the law obsolete because private schools receiving tax dollars at the expense of public schools would not face the rigid public accountability standards to which public schools must adhere."
Majority Of State's Most Dangerous Schools Are In New York City
Tuesday August 22 2006, 4:35 PM
NY1 reports, "Eleven of them (persistently dangerous) are schools for special education students and city sources say those schools are usually exempt from list."
Rome Free Academy joins state's 'watch list' for potentially dangerous schools
Tuesday August 22 2006, 4:24 PM
Observer-Dispatch CARA MATTHEWS reports, "Another 17 schools, including two in Rochester, have been added to the Education Department's list of 'persistently dangerous' institutions after recording a large number of serious incidents for two consecutive years, Commissioner Richard Mills announced."
Seventeen New York Schools Named As "Persistently Dangerous" Under NCLB,
Tuesday August 22 2006, 3:57 PM
As required by NCLB: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, AUGUST 22, 2006. Persistently dangerous list includes NYC schools, Rochester, Buffalo charter school, and Berkshire Junior-Senior High School. New York State Education Department press release, "An additional 10 schools have been placed on a 'watch list.'" NYC, Buffalo, Rome, Wyandanch, Greenburg-Graham on "watch list."
The 38th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools
Tuesday August 22 2006, 10:47 AM
(September 2006) By LOWELL C. ROSE executive director emeritus of Phi Delta Kappa International and ALEC M. GALLUP, co-chairman, with George Gallup, Jr., of the Gallup Organization, Princeton, N.J. "In probing the public’s opinions of NCLB, the PDK/Gallup poll finds that there is widespread support for the law’s goals -- closing the achievement gap between African American and Latino students and their white peers and improving educational outcomes for all students -- but broad disagreement with its specific strategies. When asked whether testing students in only English and math, as currently required by NCLB, can give a fair picture of a school, 81% of the public say no. And 78% are worried that the law’s focus on these two subjects will mean less emphasis on other subjects. The poll finds that two-thirds of those surveyed oppose measuring school success by the percentage of students passing a single statewide test, while 81% prefer measuring the improvement that students make during the year."
After Four Years, the Public Judges the No Child Left Behind Act to be 'In Need of Improvement'
Tuesday August 22 2006, 10:43 AM
U.S. Newswire reports, "Nearly six in 10 Americans who are familiar with the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act believe it has had no effect on our schools or has actually harmed them, according to a nationwide poll released today."
The Future of D.C. Public Schools: Traditional or Charter Education?
Tuesday August 22 2006, 8:58 AM
The Washington Post reports on charter schools in DC Public Schools, "As charters have proliferated, the number of students attending traditional schools has plummeted from 80,000 a decade ago to 58,000 last school year. Because tax dollars follow the student, charters now claim at least $140 million a year that might otherwise flow to neighborhood schools. That has led traditional schools to cut programs, lay off teachers and, for the first time in nearly a decade, close."
No child left out of the dodgeball game?
Monday August 21 2006, 10:02 PM
CNN reports on the The 2006 Shape of the Nation and NCLB legislation, "Critics contend that the very legislation meant to bolster national academic standards -- the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 -- may be a culprit in the diminishing P.E. curriculum, unintentionally sapping schools of time and resources for exercise as educators focus more and more on test scores and rigorous academic coursework."
U.S. Education Department Grants Provide Over $11.6 Million for 23 Native Hawaiian Education Programs: Improving Innovative Education Emphasized Under No Child Left Behind
Monday August 21 2006, 9:55 PM
US Dept of Education announces, "Nearly two dozen Native Hawaiian Education (NHE) programs on Oahu, Maui and the island of Hawaii have been selected to receive $11,609,750 to develop, assist and expand innovative programs that provide supplemental services and address the educational needs of Native Hawaiian children and adults, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced today."
California student tracking system receives a failing grade: Millions spent, yet state can't calculate dropouts
Monday August 21 2006, 5:20 PM
Union Tribune reports, "California has fallen far behind other large states with sophisticated student tracking systems, such as Texas and Florida, and cannot accurately calculate a basic fact about school performance: the dropout rate."
Florida lags in No Child Left Behind, Jeb wants law changed
Monday August 21 2006, 4:16 PM
AP reports, "Florida lags in the No Child Left Behind law and Governor Jeb Bush wants the law changed."
Tennessee scores point to problems in grad rates, special ed
Sunday August 20 2006, 2:47 PM
The Tennessean reports, "Recently released test scores show that school systems here and across the state [Tennessee] must focus on getting more students to graduate on time with a regular diploma and boosting the skills of students diagnosed with learning and other disabilities."
Suburban Ohio schools also home to test gap: Affluent districts now face disparities that some urban districts have overcome
Sunday August 20 2006, 2:36 PM
The Columbus Dispatch reports, "The disparity in achievement was hidden until recent years, Hall [senior policy analyst at Washington-based Education Trust] said, when the federal No Child Left Behind law began making all schools report how their minority, special-education and immigrant students are faring."
Family life key to success in school
Sunday August 20 2006, 2:16 PM
The Buffalo News former editor Murray B. Light opined on factors that impact learning, "None of the education studies I've reviewed has factored in one of the most dominant elements in American life - television viewing. It most certainly is a factor in the education and intellectual promise of school-age children. Almost every element of American life is now the subject of polls. I have never been satisfied that poll results are meaningful because the respondents may or may not be responding truthfully. Be that as it may, one cannot overlook the enormous influence television is today."
No child left unshuffled
Sunday August 20 2006, 1:21 PM
The Courier-Journal (Kentucky) editorial opined on NCLB, "It's become ever clearer that education improvement depends on looking as hard and clearly at the children who are not succeeding as at the schools that aren't -- and looking at them not as members of sociological groups but as the individual packages of cognitive, emotional, biologic and familial traits that they are."
U.S. warns Hawai'i on qualified teachers
Sunday August 20 2006, 9:06 AM
Honolulu Advertiser reports, "A critical federal review labels the state as "high risk" for failing to provide adequate data to show whether poor and minority children are getting equal access to highly qualified teachers as required by federal law. Hawai'i was one of four states nationally to submit such a poor report under the latest No Child Left Behind requirements that the U.S. Department of Education said it's impossible to know whether the state's highly qualified teachers have been deployed equally."
Illinois Students’ 1st task: Prep for March testing -- mounting pressure has area school districts implementing a yearlong focus on standardized exams
Sunday August 20 2006, 8:11 AM
Rockford Register Star , “'No Child Left Behind has brought a form of accountability to public education it never had before,' Rockford Superintendent Dennis Thompson said. 'It has forced educators to look closely at what and how I am doing it, teaching it and assessing it. There are many positive points to NCLB, but it does need some tweaking.' For instance, it’s forced more-focused teaching — educational jargon for what can amount to fewer electives. In Belvidere, there’s been a de-emphasis for some students on such courses as art and music as they focus more on the tests’ cores of reading, writing and math."
Utah's reading tests, goals don't always match
Friday August 18 2006, 8:51 AM
The Salt Lake Tribune reports, "The findings are part of 'Smart Testing: Let's Get It Right - How Assessment-Savvy Have States Become Since NCLB?' which looked at each state's tests and how they align with content standards. Utah State Office of Education officials defend both."
Montana one of many states failing NCLB teacher equity requirements
Thursday August 17 2006, 6:23 PM
AP reports, "The Education Department is asking the Montana Office of Public Instruction to do one of two things: either provide data showing that poor and minority children are taught by teachers with similar qualifications and experience as those who instruct other children, or submit a revised plan. McCulloch said Wednesday that the state would provide the department with more information, but that her office doesn't have the technology to collect information on teacher experience levels, which the department is requiring."
13 Cincinnati city schools warrant vouchers: Low performance spans 3 years
Thursday August 17 2006, 9:45 AM
The Enquirer reports, "Students qualify for vouchers worth up to $5,000 if their school is rated in academic emergency or academic watch, the state's two lowest categories for student achievement, for three years. The first group to take advantage of the state's new voucher program, which allows up to 14,000 students to receive vouchers annually, starts classes this month."
Feds to audit Utah teacher data
Thursday August 17 2006, 9:38 AM
The Salt Lake Tribune reports, "Utah is experiencing unpleasant fallout after missing a July deadline for submitting a teacher quality plan to the federal Office of Education, as required under No Child Left Behind laws."
U.S. Department of Education Releases Results of State Plans for Highly Qualified Teachers in Every Classroom
Thursday August 17 2006, 9:31 AM
US Department of Education announces, "Nine states developed plans that were recognized by the experts as satisfying all six criteria outlined in the guidance provided by the Department. These are New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Louisiana, New Mexico, Kansas, Maryland and Nevada. Thirty-nine states submitted plans that partially satisfy the six components and will be required to improve these plans and address the peer concerns by Sept. 29, 2006."
Illinois State achievement tests delayed, board of education says
Tuesday August 15 2006, 7:34 PM
AP reports, "The test results help schools develop or change curriculum. Schools have preliminary data, enabling them to do some analysis, but they don't have the details many rely on to fully assess their performance, Minton said. A state board of education official sent an e-mail to school administrators Friday saying 'it is very unlikely' they would receive complete results by the start of the school year, Minton said."
Highlights of the NCLB’s and IDEA’s Requirements for Teachers and Title I Paraprofessionals in New York State August 2006
Tuesday August 15 2006, 6:37 PM
This Fact Sheet contains highlights of the New York State Education Department's (SED's) implementation of requirements related to teachers and paraprofessionals in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as reauthorized in December 2004. It is based on laws, regulations, guidance and technical assistance available at the time of its publication and is subject to change in response to additional information. For more detailed information about the NCLB's requirements in New York State, please refer to the series of field memos available online at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/nclbhome.htm
Left behind: NCLB needs better accountability
Tuesday August 15 2006, 10:27 AM
Tallahassee Democrat opined on Washington Post Op-Ed written by NYC Mayor Bloomberg and Florida Gov. Bush, and Harvard University's Civil Rights Project study, "With growing concern about America's academic competitiveness, it's crucial that No Child Left Behind become more than a political tool for Washington and an inconvenient headache for states and educators. When even its supporters acknowledge the need for reform, it's time for Congress to act."
Gender Gap Worries Connecticut Educators
Monday August 14 2006, 12:17 PM
Hartford Courant reports, "Boys continued to trail girls by substantial margins in reading and writing on the annual Connecticut Mastery Test. The pattern has persisted since Connecticut first started keeping track of scores by gender in 2000, and is consistent with longstanding patterns on national tests."
Prioritize Utah's minority school plan
Monday August 14 2006, 11:52 AM
Deseret Morning News editorial opined, "Utah schools are dealing with a population boom, and unlike previous booms, the student body has become more diverse than ever. The state and local school districts need solid plans to ensure the needs of poor and minority students are met and that children who attend school in lower-income neighborhoods have experienced and well-qualified teachers."
Don't pay kids to flee schools
Monday August 14 2006, 10:29 AM
USA Today opined on NCLB and America's Opportunity Scholarships for Kids, "Federal accountability rules snagged struggling schools such as Rockefeller, which means Washington has a responsibility to lend a hand. That requires doing something more effective than handing out vouchers that encourage the most motivated families to abandon those schools."
Opportunity for all children
Monday August 14 2006, 10:07 AM
USA Today op-ed contributor US secretary of Education Margaret Spellings opined, "President Bush's proposed America's Opportunity Scholarships for Kids would help low-income families whose schools have failed to meet state academic standards for five or more years. Parents could use the scholarship money to transfer their children to a higher-performing public, charter, or private school or enroll them in an intensive tutoring program. For those cities and districts committed to meeting No Child Left Behind's goal of every child reading and doing math at grade level by 2014, this is an additional tool to help get them there."
Stanford opens high school for gifted students
Monday August 14 2006, 8:29 AM
San Francisco Chronicle reports on US first online program for ultra-smart, "The new online high school comes as advocates of gifted education say the federal No Child Left Behind Act has unintentionally hurt gifted students in the public schools. They say that because teachers face pressure to make all students proficient, they don't challenge the successful ones who could do more."
'Dangerous' not always unsafe
Monday August 14 2006, 8:23 AM
The Dallas Morning News reports on NCLB school safety label, "Want an idea of how bad incident reporting is? In 2003 and 2004, TEA named 11 Texas schools as persistently dangerous. All 11 appealed their cases. And TEA eventually agreed to take all 11 off the list because of reporting errors."
Mike joins 1st Bro Jeb to propose school fixes
Monday August 14 2006, 7:44 AM
NY Daily News reports on co-authored Washington Post opinion piece, "Florida and New York City are leaders when it comes to accountability in education," they [Bush and Bloomberg] wrote. The two listed several ways Congress should change the act as it faces reauthorization: Make standards meaningful, encourage student gains, recognize degrees of progress and reward and retain high-quality teachers."
How to Help Our Students: Building on the 'No Child' Law
Monday August 14 2006, 7:18 AM
Washington Post op-ed contributors Florida Gov. Bush and NYC Mayor Bloomberg opined on NCLB, "The opponents of accountability have seized on the problems with the No Child Left Behind Act in an effort to do away with the law altogether. That is wrong. A little common sense could go a long way toward making sure that the nation's accountability system is realistic, tough and fair. Incorporating these four basic lessons will allow us to realize the law's full promise and help children realize their dreams."
Pennsylvania education costs to be studied
Sunday August 13 2006, 12:42 PM
Bucks County Courier Times BEN FINLEY reports on Pennsylvania (and Maryland) school funding, costing-out studies, constitutionality, and property taxes, "This school year, Pennsylvania will work out a math problem that many other states already solved: How much money does it take to make sure every student meets the standards of the No Child Left Behind Act?"
No excuse in leaving kids behind
Sunday August 13 2006, 12:08 PM
The Enquirer opined on teacher quality, equity, and the achievement gap, "Children were left behind. They're still being left behind, and one reason is because they tend to get the teachers who are left behind as well."
Indiana educators question value of school labels
Sunday August 13 2006, 12:02 PM
Journal Gazette reports on NCLB and state accountability systems, "The federal system compares grade levels with one another, year after year, and those not meeting the established passing rate – either as an entire school or one subgroup with as few as 30 students – are placed on a list and labeled as not making adequate academic progress. Indiana’s accountability system considers how students performed on the ISTEP+ over time and ranks schools in five categories: exemplary progress, commendable progress, academic progress, academic watch and academic probation. Other states with two systems have run into problems when one system lists the school as a good school and the other lists it as failing."
Connecticut schools racial gap shrinking: Black, Hispanic students improving scores
Sunday August 13 2006, 11:28 AM
Republican-American reports, "Rising scores among minorities are not the only reason the gap is narrowing. The percentage of white students reaching the state goal here fell slightly in both reading and writing compared with 2000-01, though they rose from the previous year."
Illinois education group rips state, teacher plans
Friday August 11 2006, 1:55 PM
Chicago Sun Times reports, "Illinois has plans to help direct qualified teachers to the neediest students, but a national education group [Education Trust] Thursday said the plans fall short and ranked Illinois among the worst states in identifying schools that are shortchanging kids."[Illinois has a "Grow Your Own Teacher" program, a mentoring program for principals and looking at "performance pay" for teachers.]
325 Arkansas schools not meeting NCLB standards
Thursday August 10 2006, 11:03 PM
Arkansas News Bureau reports on NCLB, parent involvement and accountability, "James [state Education Commissioner Ken James] urged parents whose children attend a school on the list to ask why the school failed to meet guidelines. 'Parents should always look at what has triggered a school to be in school improvement,' James said. 'While the level should raise some level of concern, there's a difference when the school has failed to sufficiently raise test scores for the entire population in both literacy and math as opposed to one subgroup of students missing AYP in one subject by a narrow margin.'"
US Department of Education representative defends ‘No Child’ program
Thursday August 10 2006, 10:35 AM
The Times-Tribune reports, "The United States is in the midst of an international economic competition with countries such as China and India that demands the education reforms advocated by No Child Left Behind, a federal official said Wednesday."
UF study: Location key for success in educating mentally retarded children
Wednesday August 09 2006, 11:11 AM
The Gainesville Sun reports, "While some states showed little or no progress in educating mentally retarded students, others - including Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota and Vermont - showed major gains. Florida came in as a middle-of-the-road state, showing no major steps forward or backward."
Transfers Threaten Florida Class-Size Balance: State, federal laws collide
Wednesday August 09 2006, 9:56 AM
The Ledger reports, "Title 1 schools have a majority of poor students and receive federal funding aimed at helping these students catch up in their school work. Title 1 schools face more severe consequences for failing to make AYP because of the additional funding."
Some students with limited English skills face new hurdle: State-ordered exam stirs Binghamton concerns
Wednesday August 09 2006, 8:18 AM
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin reports, "Until now, students with less than three years of U.S. schooling were exempt from the state ELA test, which is used to gauge whether schools are making adequate yearly progress for their students under No Child Left Behind. Instead, they could take a different test, the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test. But the federal government ruled this procedure fails to comply with No Child Left Behind rules, Stevens [Deputy Education Commissioner ] said."
Proposal Adds Options for Students to Specify Race
Wednesday August 09 2006, 7:55 AM
NY Times reports, “'We basically have a continuous way of defining these categories that’s gone on for close to 40 years, and this is going to be a big change,' said Gary Orfield, the director of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard, who said the proposal would harm the ability of researchers and civil rights groups to track race on campus."
PARENTS DIGGING UP DATA ON TEACHERS
Wednesday August 09 2006, 7:37 AM
NY Post exclusive by David Andreatta reports, "The moms and dads are taking advantage of a little-known provision of the federal No Child Left Behind law, which grants parents or guardians of students attending public schools that receive federal poverty aid the right to see the credentials of teachers and their aides."
Many Louisiana children pass LEAP, thanks to exemptions
Tuesday August 08 2006, 9:43 PM
The Times reports, "'This year has been different than any other we've faced in Louisiana because of the hurricanes that devastated many districts and drastically increased the student population of so many others,' said state Superintendent of Education Cecil Picard. 'Many of our schools lost weeks, even months of schooling.'"
Tuesday August 08 2006, 2:57 PM
"I would like to know how long can a school be considered to be in this NCLB Program? The school that I just enrolled my daughter in informed me that they are under warning? This is the 2nd year that they have been under this program? This worries me. Please respond to my question. Thanks, TG" (CLICK on blue link for answer)
NCLB produces more failure
Tuesday August 08 2006, 9:57 AM
Telegraph Forum opined on NCLB, "The great majority of states, including Kentucky, have failed to meet another set of deadlines of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, and so have evoked from Education Secretary Margaret Spellings yet more ominous threats, including the punishment of slashing their federal funding."
More Alabama schools get good grades under No Child Left Behind
Tuesday August 08 2006, 12:52 AM
Dothan Eagle reports, "The Alabama Department of Education released information Monday showing that more than 87 percent of Alabama’s schools met the act’s goals for adequate yearly progress, up from 53 percent last year. Also, the number of schools making AYP for two years in a row has doubled."
New York changing test requirements for immigrant kids
Monday August 07 2006, 7:25 AM
The Journal News reports, "Education Commissioner Richard Mills outlined the changes in a letter last week to Assistant Secretary Henry L. Johnson of the U.S. Department of Education. Immigrant students who have been enrolled in U.S. schools for at least a year, as of January 2007, will begin taking the standard English language arts test in grades three to eight."
Research Finds Vigorous Exercise Equals Better Academics
Saturday August 05 2006, 11:09 PM
Medical News reported on increased academic achievment observed in students participating in sports, "This is noteworthy because in this day of 'No Child Left Behind' and standardized testing, many public school boards think physical education is a luxury they just can't afford."
NCLB (US Department of Education)
Saturday August 05 2006, 5:12 PM
No Child Left Behind Act: Education Actions Needed to Improve Local Implementation and State Evaluation of Supplemental Educational Services (full study)
Saturday August 05 2006, 10:36 AM
GAO-06-758 August 4, 2006. "GAO examined (1) how SES [supplemental educational services] participation changed between school years 2003-2004 and 2004-2005; (2) how SES providers are working with districts to deliver SES; (3) how states are monitoring and evaluating SES; and (4) how the Department of Education (Education) monitors and supports state implementation of SES."
English-math emphasis criticized as pushing out other study areas
Saturday August 05 2006, 10:19 AM
AP reports, "Across the country, middle school and high school students are being required to spend more class time on English and mathematics as officials try to raise test scores and meet the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Variations of the double-dose approach are being used in districts in such places as Kansas, Missouri, Texas, New Jersey and California."
Worker evaluations aid schools, taxpayers
Saturday August 05 2006, 10:12 AM
Poughkeepsie Journal op-ed contributors Doug Hieter and Stephen Hughes, trustees of the Hyde Park Central School District opined, "School boards generally recognize the public's frustration with ever-increasing budgets and struggle to balance the cost of education with the community's ability to pay. Not all decisions are popular or readily understood with a casual knowledge of the system. In the long run, individual steps a district takes are important in the context of the direction a district is heading and progress toward its goals. Tying pay to performance is fiscally responsible. Evaluating performance is academically responsible. This is the direction Hyde Park is headed."
Report: Tutoring part of No Child Left Behind falls short
Saturday August 05 2006, 1:48 AM
USA Today reports, "About one in five school districts, most of them rural, didn't offer students any services even though they were required to do so, according to the GAO, Congress' watchdog arm"
LEP/ELL Student Statewide Assessment Policy/Title I Requirements
Saturday August 05 2006, 1:34 AM
New York State Education Department press release from Jean C. Stevens reads, "New York has been notified by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE), based upon USDOE’s NCLB standards and assessment peer review process, that NYSESLAT can no longer be used for Title I accountability purposes, except as described below for students newly arrived in the United States. USDOE determined that New York’s use of NYSESLAT for ELA accountability was not consistent with the requirements of NCLB and directed New York to come into compliance with NCLB by the end of the 2006-07 school year. As a result, New York must administer its ELA assessment to LEP/ELL students who, as of January 3, 2007, have been enrolled in school in the United States (excluding Puerto Rico) for one year or more."
More Students in New York Will Take Regular English Test
Saturday August 05 2006, 12:58 AM
NY Times DAVID M. HERSZENHORN reports, "Ordered by the federal government to improve its testing of students who speak limited English, New York State said yesterday that all children enrolled in school in the United States for at least a year would be required to take the state’s regular English Language Arts exam. The test is given annually in the third through eighth grades.
61 Vermont schools fail to meet No Child Left Behind standards
Friday August 04 2006, 9:19 AM
AP reports, "Of the schools that did not meet the standard, 75 percent were identified because of students who are poor or who have disabilities, Cate said."
Secretary Spellings Announces New Special Education Regulations: New regulations will help children with disabilities receive the services they need
Thursday August 03 2006, 7:49 PM
"U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today announced the new regulations for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The final regulations further the president's goal that no child—including each and every one of America's many students with disabilities—is left behind. By aligning the regulations with the No Child Left Behind Act, there is a new focus on ensuring that students with disabilities are held to high expectations."
Yonkers schools meet federal standard for teacher quality
Thursday August 03 2006, 6:48 AM
The Journal News reports, "The state Education Department has removed Yonkers from a list of schools that missed a federal standard for highly qualified teachers."
States, Feds Partner on English Testing
Wednesday August 02 2006, 7:45 PM
Infozine reports, "Twenty-four states [including New York] are being invited to work with the U.S. Department of Education to develop acceptable math and reading tests for students with limited English proficiency (LEP). Eighteen were chosen because a review last month found their testing systems, particularly those for LEP students, did not meet standards of the No Child Left Behind law. Six states with approved systems were invited to lend their expertise."
Maine counters No Child left Behind failure
Tuesday August 01 2006, 6:20 PM
AP reports, "State officials believe a proposed withholding of federal funds is due primarily to the state's use of the S-A-T as a high school-level assessment tool, and that federal dissatisfaction reflects a lack of appreciation for Maine's effort to promote student advancement."
Don't Write Off Other People's Children
Tuesday August 01 2006, 11:30 AM
This letter to the editor by Secretary Margaret Spellings appeared in The Wall Street Journal on July 31, 2006.
Indiana state to help ease test language gap; To allow dictionaries, reading directions
Tuesday August 01 2006, 8:54 AM
The Journal Gazette reports, "Statewide, more than 35,000 LEP students attended Indiana schools during the 2005-06 school year – an increase of 364 percent in the last decade. And while the number of students has grown, lawmakers have done little in the way of additional financing to address the this population. Many states recently sought permission for alternative testing for LEP kids – including Indiana – but the federal government turned them all down. That means the LEP students who took a proposed alternative test called ISTAR last year will count as failures for the schools as far as the federal No Child Left Behind accountability program is concerned."
Georgia District's Schoolchildren Already Back in Class
Monday July 31 2006, 6:59 PM
NPR reports, "There are no definitive studies on whether shortened summers or year-round schools improve learning. But in Rockdale, which has had short summers for 3 years, it seems to be working. For the first time, this year all schools in the system met testing requirements set out in the federal No Child Left Behind act."
Phasing out ASL course was difficult but needed
Sunday July 30 2006, 8:33 AM
Star-Gazette guest contributor Raymond Bryant, superintendent of the Elmira school district writes, "The primary factor in the elimination of [American Sign Language] ASL is the district's difficulty in finding teachers certified to teach it. No Child Left Behind requires a qualified teacher in every classroom, yet of the three teachers teaching ASL in the district this past school year, only one was certified to teach it."
Friday July 28 2006, 8:07 AM
NY Post columnist Ryan Sager writes, "The broad, squishy ideas of 'standards' and 'accountability' have been all the rage in education reform for some time. They were the basis for President Bush's No Child Left Behind law, which theoretically requires all public schools in America to make all students 'proficient' in English and math."
Government requiring New York immigrant kids to take regular English test
Friday July 28 2006, 7:47 AM
The Journal News reports, "New York was faulted over its testing of English learners and disabled students, two groups given special attention under NCLB. The state must submit a plan by Aug. 2 on how it will fix the problems. At stake is $1.2 million in federal school aid."
23 local schools miss federal standard for teacher quality
Friday July 28 2006, 7:38 AM
The Journal News reports, "The schools — from urban districts such as Yonkers and Mount Vernon to the suburban communities of Pleasantville and Clarkstown — had less than 90 percent of their core classes taught by highly qualified teachers, or faculty who are experts in their subject areas, in 2004-05, the latest year for which data is available. The No Child Left Behind law requires that all children be taught by highly qualified teachers — someone who holds at least a bachelor's degree, is certified by the state and demonstrates competence in the areas taught."
All teachers hit top at 5 Mid-Hudson school districts
Friday July 28 2006, 7:26 AM
Times-Herald reports, "Only five of 35 districts in Sullivan, Ulster and Orange counties had all teachers designated as highly qualified. The districts that hit the mark are Minisink Valley, Warwick, Greenwood Lake, Marlboro and Ellenville. With one exception, the rest of the school districts have 90 percent or more of their teachers at the highly qualified level. The other district is Tri-Valley, which had 89 percent of its teachers make the grade."
Secretary Spellings Announces Partnership with States to Improve Accountability for Limited English Proficient Students
Thursday July 27 2006, 5:10 PM
Washington, D.C. — "U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today announced a partnership with states to improve and develop fair and accurate testing designed for limited English proficient (LEP) students."
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT: Assistance from Education Could Help States Better Measure Progress of Students with Limited English Proficiency
Thursday July 27 2006, 9:57 AM
GAO July 2006 study, "The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLBA) focused attention on the academic achievement of more than 5 million students with limited English proficiency. Obtaining valid test results for these students is challenging, given their language barriers. This report describes (1) the extent to which these students are meeting annual academic progress goals, (2) what states have done to ensure the validity of their academic assessments, (3) what states are doing to ensure the validity of their English language proficiency assessments, and (4) how the U.S. Department of Education (Education) is supporting states’ efforts to meet NCLBA’s assessment requirements for these students."
Deputy Secretary Simon Announces Benefit to Students with Extension and Expansion of Pilot Programs
Wednesday July 26 2006, 7:33 PM
US Department of Education announces, "Through these pilots, the Department of Education hopes to gain valuable information that can be shared with other states and districts to improve the quality and delivery of this free tutoring. These pilots will ensure that more eligible students receive SES and that better information is provided on the program's effectiveness in improving academic achievement."
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT FREE TUTORING SERVICES UNDER THE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT IN NEW YORK CITY: A FOCUS ON ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS
Wednesday July 26 2006, 11:18 AM
Advocates for Children of New York, June, 2006. "This policy brief examines the status of SES in NYC as of the 2004-2005 school year (the most recent year for which data is available) and compares, where possible, results from the first year of implementation. This report also analyzes the extent to which ELLs are eligible based on their attendance in designated schools, their enrollment in SES, and SES providers’ capacity to serve these students."
Wednesday July 26 2006, 11:02 AM
JWC contributor Linda Chavez on NCLB and teacher quality, "No doubt the states that receive poor grades from the U.S. Department of Education will cry foul, but insisting that all teachers meet high standards is critical to true education reform. We're putting the cart before the horse when we insist on higher test scores for students but accept mediocrity from teachers."
Demanding vs. Doing
Wednesday July 26 2006, 8:17 AM
NY Times editorial writes, "One of the law’s most critical provisions requires that all public school teachers in core academic courses be 'highly qualified' by this year. But as The Times’s Sam Dillon reported yesterday, not a single state has met the deadline."
Special Report: ‘Deal’ inflates Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) scores
Tuesday July 25 2006, 9:40 AM
East Valley Tribune reports, "Arizona took advantage of an off-the-books deal Horne says he struck with the U.S. Education Department in 2003 to exclude most English learners — students who are not proficient in English — from the official record of exam scores."
Most States Fail Demands Set Out in Education Law
Monday July 24 2006, 11:13 PM
NY Times reports, "Most states failed to meet federal requirements that all teachers be 'highly qualified' in core teaching fields and that state programs for testing students be up to standards by the end of the past school year, according to the federal government."
New Report Shows Progress in Reading First Implementation and Changes in Reading Instruction
Monday July 24 2006, 10:01 PM
The report shows "Reading First schools appear to be implementing the major elements of the program as intended by the No Child Left Behind legislation. Reading First respondents reported that they made substantial changes to their reading materials and that the instruction is more likely to be aligned with scientifically based reading research; they are more likely to have scheduled reading blocks and spend more time teaching reading; they are more likely to apply assessment results for instructional purposes, and they receive professional development focused on helping struggling readers more often than non-Reading First Title I schools in the evaluation."
New approach on deaf literacy heartening
Thursday July 20 2006, 7:39 AM
Times Union AP reports, "The system is gaining popularity with new research, a grass-roots movement and new funding aimed at improving reading scores under the federal No Child Left Behind Law."
Republicans Propose National School Voucher Program
Wednesday July 19 2006, 8:07 AM
NY Times (registration) Diana Jean Schemo reports, "The legislation, modeled on a pilot program here, would pay for tuition and private tutoring for some 28,000 students seeking a way out of public schools that fail to raise test scores sufficiently for at least five years."
Choices for Parents: America's Opportunity Scholarships for Kids
Tuesday July 18 2006, 7:54 PM
"Parents know what is best for their children. Expanding educational options for parents is one of the hallmarks of the No Child Left Behind Act and it remains one of the President's highest priorities." — Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings
No Child Left Behind’ well-intentioned by misguided
Monday July 17 2006, 10:56 AM
The Free Press reports, "If we really want to improve education in this country, the first thing we need to do is get serious about education at home. Parents, not teachers, are ultimately responsible for pressuring students to work hard in school."
A stronger net
Sunday July 16 2006, 7:53 AM
The Journal News editorial , "State education officials got formal word recently from the U.S. Department of Education that the testing many New York schools have been doing of students learning English — usually recent immigrants — and special-education students is not on a par with that offered general-education students."
Kentucky contests federal findings that testing system is flawed
Thursday July 13 2006, 3:26 PM
The Courier-Journal reports, "Federal officials say the state’s testing system sets different standards for disabled students, and they also question whether the tests adequately and validly measure all students reading and math achievement."
Some Maryland charter schools see drop in scores
Thursday July 13 2006, 9:26 AM
Baltimore Sun reports, "The poor report card for the three schools comes just a few months after the state attempted to put 11 more city schools in the hands of outside operators. It raises questions about whether a state takeover is the best way to improve failing schools."
Teachers, and a Law That Distrusts Them
Wednesday July 12 2006, 7:11 AM
NY Times registration, Michael Winerip writes on NCLB and school reforms, "The question is: How successful can an education law be that makes teachers the enemy?"
Echo Chamber: The National Education Associations's Campaign Against NCLB
Tuesday July 11 2006, 1:59 PM
By Joe Williams. "This Education Sector report examines the financial relationships between the NEA and a number of organizations that have been sharply critical of NCLB."
Report: NEA pays opponents of No Child Left Behind law
Monday July 10 2006, 10:39 PM
By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY reports, "The nation's largest teachers union has spent more than $8 million in a stealth campaign against President Bush's education reform law, paying for research and political opposition in an effort to derail it, according to a Washington think tank that supports the law."
Pre-K and Latinos: The Foundation of America's Future
Monday July 10 2006, 8:15 PM
Eugene E. Garcia, Ph.D., Arizona State University, College of Education, Tempe, AZ; Danielle M. Gonzales, M.Ed., Pre-K Now Washington, DC, July 2006. Providing Hispanics with much greater access to high-quality pre-k is critical to helping states meet the standards and mandates of NCLB. To maximize the benefits of increased Latino participation in pre-k, programs should be structured to build upon the existing strengths within Latino communities, including strong family bonds, a high value on educational achievement, and widespread support for public education and social systems.
Most states fall short on student testing, government says
Friday July 07 2006, 12:20 AM
USA Today reports AP story, "The Education Department says 34 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have major problems with the tests that were supposed to be in place in the just-ended school year. They will get federal approval only if they correct the problems in the coming year."
California Schools Could Lose Aid over 'No Child' Law
Thursday July 06 2006, 6:31 PM
NPR reports, "This week, the U.S. Department of Education threatened to withhold millions of dollars in federal school aid from California because the state has failed to help students transfer out of low-performing schools."
AZ suing feds over scoring for schools
Thursday July 06 2006, 2:25 PM
KVOA reports AP story, "Arizona is suing the U-S Department of Education over the federal agency's refusal to give schools three years before they have to count English-language learning students' test scores in a key accountability measure used by the 'No Child Left Behind' program."
Feds reject Nebraska's student assessment program
Thursday July 06 2006, 9:18 AM
Lincoln Journal Star reports, "The decision, which is not final, means Nebraska stands to lose 25 percent — $126,700 — of its Title 1 funds for administering the No Child Left Behind Act."
Test scores vary, cloud students' progress; Group says results of state and federal exams differ, making it hard to gauge achievement
Wednesday July 05 2006, 9:00 AM
CONTRA COSTA TIMES reports, "The study found a drop in the number of fourth-grade students passing federal reading tests in roughly half the states analyzed from 2002 to 2005. Yet those same states showed improvements in language arts on their own separate standardized tests. States also made more gains in math on state tests than on the national exam, called the National Assessment for Educational Progress."
Tuesday July 04 2006, 7:59 AM
NY Times registration required. NY Times reports, "To improve student performance, the states need to play a much stronger role in teacher training and certification — and in making sure that qualified teachers are evenly spread across their school districts. Breaking with the bad old status quo won't be easy. But it's the only way for the country to improve the educational picture for the poor and minority students who will make up such a large part of the work force of the future."
NEA teachers' union plans blitz on No Child Left Behind act
Sunday July 02 2006, 3:57 PM
Results of school testing are challenged
Sunday July 02 2006, 8:20 AM
Federal standards put Florida schools in quandary
Sunday July 02 2006, 8:18 AM
No Child Left Behind to be focus of town hall-style meeting
Sunday July 02 2006, 7:55 AM
The School Testing Dodge
Saturday July 01 2006, 8:33 PM
NY Times registration required. Read referenced PACE study on Education New York Online EDUCATION POLICY page, NCLB folder.
States distort school test scores, researchers say
Friday June 30 2006, 10:04 AM
Read referenced report on Education New York Online EDUCATION POLICY page, NCLB folder.
Is the No Child Left Behind Act Working? The Reliability of How States Track Achievement
Friday June 30 2006, 10:00 AM
This new PACE working paper traces how 12 diverse states have reported on student achievement trends, 1992-2005. Trend lines often follow jagged, saw-tooth patterns over time -- as state education officials change testing companies, shift the bar defining "proficient" performance, and teachers spend more time on test preparation activities. The PACE research team also confirmed earlier findings that many states report much higher shares of fourth-graders "proficient" in reading and math, compared with the percentage of students found to be proficient under the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Following the January 2002 passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, states have continued to report annual gains in reading proficiency, while the federal assessment indicates that fourth-graders' performance has flatten-out. Together, these factors lead to state test score patterns that are difficult for parents and local educators to interpret. Recommendations are advanced for bringing state and federal testing systems into closer alignment.
Nebraska waits for No Child Left Behind assessment
Thursday June 29 2006, 10:04 AM
Dumbed-Down Schools Hurt Students
Tuesday June 27 2006, 10:58 PM
West Virginia Clears Key No Child Left Behind Hurdle
Tuesday June 27 2006, 9:57 AM
No Child Left Behind input sought in Utah
Tuesday June 27 2006, 9:19 AM
States Work to Narrow Teacher Equity Gap
Saturday June 24 2006, 9:36 AM
Kansas City InfoZine
California Charter School Opts Out of Federal Funds
Saturday June 24 2006, 9:11 AM
Graduation in the Eye of the Beholder
Saturday June 24 2006, 8:04 AM
NY Times registration
Should Utah No Child Left Behind be left behind?
Thursday June 22 2006, 9:42 AM
Here's a Happy Birthday Present for Uncle Sam
Tuesday June 20 2006, 9:12 AM
Katrina evacuee test scores won't affect school progress ratings
Saturday June 17 2006, 5:12 PM
Delaware state board to rule on special needs
Friday June 16 2006, 12:41 PM
New teachers in Iowa will have to pass test
Friday June 16 2006, 9:35 AM
States Struggle to Certify 'Qualified' Teachers
Thursday June 15 2006, 10:22 AM
Gap grows in how schools graded -- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said state system better than NCLB
Thursday June 15 2006, 9:02 AM
Deputy Secretary Raymond Simon's Testimony Before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Wednesday June 14 2006, 7:07 PM
Testing the NCLB: Study shows that NCLB hasn't significantly impacted national achievement scores or narrowed the racial gaps
Wednesday June 14 2006, 9:56 AM
Tracking Achievement Gaps and Assessing the Impact of NCLB on the Gaps: An In-depth Look into National and State Reading and Math Outcome Trends
Wednesday June 14 2006, 9:48 AM
By Jaekyung Lee Graduate School of Education, State University of New York at Buffalo. Foreword by Gary Orfield, June 2006. This report compares the findings from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) to state assessment results and concludes that that high stakes testing and sanctions required by NCLB are not working as planned under the NCLB. The findings contradict claims of the Bush Administration and some previous studies that showed positive results under NCLB.
NCLB education policy to miss goals: Harvard study
Wednesday June 14 2006, 7:44 AM
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Director Testifies Before House Committee on 'No Child Left Behind'
Tuesday June 13 2006, 5:45 PM
New Hampshire data problems force do-over of No Child reports
Monday June 12 2006, 8:27 PM
Louisiana Awarded $23.9 Million No Child Left Behind Grant to Help Create More Charter Schools
Monday June 12 2006, 6:45 PM
Faulty system miscalculates Virginia's graduation rate
Sunday June 11 2006, 9:51 AM
Sunday June 11 2006, 8:43 AM
KIDS WHO WON'T TRY (NY Post registration)
Sunday June 11 2006, 8:25 AM
Public School Tutoring Industy Lacks Accountability, Students
Friday June 09 2006, 2:03 PM
Statement by Senator Barack Obama on NCLB and teacher inequality
Thursday June 08 2006, 6:49 PM
Read the report on education new york online EDUCATION POLICY page, TEACHER QUALITY folder.
PRESS RELEASE: TEACHING INEQUALITY: HOW POOR AND MINORITY STUDENTS ARE SHORTCHANGED ON TEACHER QUALITY
Thursday June 08 2006, 6:42 PM
Study: Poorer Schools Have Less Qualified Teachers
Thursday June 08 2006, 6:39 PM
Persistently Failing Schools Keep Growing
Wednesday June 07 2006, 10:17 AM
Massachusetts schools await OK on changing standards
Wednesday June 07 2006, 9:42 AM
Higher Performing Schools and Districts
Tuesday June 06 2006, 3:55 PM
Paige Says Schools on Track
Tuesday June 06 2006, 9:47 AM
KIDS DROPPING OUT OF TUTOR CLASSES (NY Post registration)
Tuesday June 06 2006, 8:57 AM
Students at NYC public schools will be given transfer option
Monday June 05 2006, 6:17 PM
Federal school funds are secure in Delaware
Monday June 05 2006, 10:21 AM
Incomes ignored to keep standards equal for all
Sunday June 04 2006, 10:08 AM
Education bill is hostage to budget
Saturday June 03 2006, 9:58 AM
No Child sets schools up to fail
Saturday June 03 2006, 9:42 AM
Utah board to offer options on NCLB, hope for more local control
Saturday June 03 2006, 9:03 AM
Report: Wisconsin frustrating purpose of No Child law
Friday June 02 2006, 10:56 AM
NCLB Rebellion Growing
Thursday June 01 2006, 10:56 AM
Advice to Congress: Dump part or all of 'No Child Left Behind'
Thursday June 01 2006, 9:12 AM
America's Opportunity Scholarships for Kids: School Choice for Students in Underperforming Public Schools
Tuesday May 30 2006, 6:12 PM
English, reading emphasized
Saturday May 27 2006, 8:53 AM
BLACK & WHITE AND SEEING RED (NY Post registration)
Thursday May 25 2006, 11:07 AM
Statement Regarding "Certificate of Completion" Hoax EMail
Thursday May 25 2006, 10:18 AM
Answer to NCLB Failure is School Choice
Wednesday May 24 2006, 10:34 AM
Keeping an Eye on State Standards
Tuesday May 23 2006, 2:34 PM
Leaving no child behind
Monday May 22 2006, 9:37 AM
Testing methods must be flexible
Sunday May 21 2006, 10:06 AM
Breathing space for principals
Friday May 19 2006, 9:00 PM
Underfunding saps progress
Friday May 19 2006, 8:43 AM
Don't ditch education reform, fix it
Friday May 19 2006, 7:51 AM
Secretary Spellings Approves Tennessee and North Carolina Growth Model Pilots for 2005-2006
Wednesday May 17 2006, 11:38 PM
Outsourcing test preparation
Tuesday May 16 2006, 6:37 PM
Oregon school-choice foes, fans set to spar again
Tuesday May 16 2006, 11:43 AM
Utah might ignore federal education guide and follow its own
Saturday May 13 2006, 8:05 AM
Feds Accept Utah’s No Child Left Behind Test
Wednesday May 10 2006, 6:45 PM
Connecticut Commission Gets No-Child Earful
Wednesday May 10 2006, 9:10 AM
KLEIN GIVES POWERFUL 'NO CHILD' DEFENSE (NY Post registration)
Wednesday May 10 2006, 8:46 AM
Two Setbacks for Exit Exams Taken by High School Seniors (NY Times registration)
Wednesday May 10 2006, 12:09 AM
Feds Allow Michigan To Use Alternate Testing To Meet No Child Left Behind Act
Tuesday May 09 2006, 11:54 PM
Hearing focuses on No Child Left Behind act
Tuesday May 09 2006, 6:58 AM
Title I Accountability and Improvement Efforts under the ''No Child Left Behind'' Act
Monday May 08 2006, 10:29 AM
Evaluation of the Title I Accountability Systems and School Improvement Efforts (TASSIE)
Monday May 08 2006, 10:22 AM
This report is based on surveys of a nationally representative sample of schools and school districts that are working towards the NCLB goal of student proficiency by 2013-14. The study was commissioned to better understand how states, districts and schools are implementing the Title I accountability provisions of NCLB. SRI findings for 2002-03, the first full year of NCLB implementation, show there were significant gaps between the NCLB vision and the implementation of standards and accountability systems in schools nationwide. While there was broader support for NCLB in 2003-04 than in 2002-2003, the likelihood of reaching proficiency benchmarks varied greatly among states and school districts. The chances that a school would be "identified for improvement" were much higher for schools in districts that were large, urban and poor.
School Reform in Danger (NY Times registration)
Monday May 08 2006, 10:18 AM
Shape of the Nation - - Status of Physical Education
Tuesday May 02 2006, 8:03 PM
Read the Shape of the Nation Report -- information about the status of physical education in each state and the District of Columbia in the following areas: time requirements, exemptions/waivers and substitutions, class size, standards, curriculum and instruction, student assessment, teacher certification.
Tennessee, Delaware and South Carolina State's No Child Left Behind plans approved by feds
Monday May 01 2006, 7:30 PM
Wisconsin districts pay $215 a day to bus homeless student 37 miles
Monday May 01 2006, 2:49 PM
National Report: Open to the Public: The Public Speaks Out On No Child Left Behind
Monday May 01 2006, 11:18 AM
Public hearings were held in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, New York City, Orlando, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. The hearings represent the second of three sets of national forums to be held by PEN and regional partners to help inform the law's reauthorization in 2007. Read report here.
STUDENTS, PARENTS & COMMUNITY LEADERS SPEAK OUT ON NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT
Monday May 01 2006, 11:15 AM
Kansas State senate to study No Child Left Behind further
Friday April 28 2006, 8:04 AM
Remarks by Secretary Spellings at No Child Left Behind Summit
Thursday April 27 2006, 7:36 PM
Tennessee Department of Education Praised For No Child Left Behind
Wednesday April 26 2006, 10:57 PM
AP-AOL polling of parents and teachers about No Child Left Behind
Wednesday April 26 2006, 6:25 PM
Leaving no child behind Utah's graduation imbalance; Utah educators go the extra mile to see minorities succeed
Wednesday April 26 2006, 9:34 AM
Wednesday April 26 2006, 6:54 AM
A Struggle to Handle 'No Child' Testing Mandates
Tuesday April 25 2006, 8:58 PM
Schools fear getting left behind
Tuesday April 25 2006, 9:55 AM
No Child Left Behind loophole swallows kids here
Monday April 24 2006, 7:41 AM
Nearly 2 million scores uncounted due to ‘No Child’ loophole
Saturday April 22 2006, 8:12 AM
Philadelphia city schools are accused of ignoring parents
Friday April 21 2006, 9:31 AM
Diverging views on 'No Child' expectations
Thursday April 20 2006, 2:54 PM
Cookie-cutter tests, curricula will leave many pupils behind
Thursday April 20 2006, 10:30 AM
Wednesday April 19 2006, 7:04 AM
Scores for 82,000 Illinois children not reported using NCLB loophole
Tuesday April 18 2006, 8:40 PM
California Administration Slow to Hold School Districts Accountable under NCLB
Tuesday April 18 2006, 6:49 PM
California School Choice and Supplemental Services: Administration Slow to Hold School Districts Accountable Under NCLB
Tuesday April 18 2006, 6:46 PM
Left Behind rules skirted
Tuesday April 18 2006, 7:34 AM
Schools May Get Leeway for Law
Monday April 17 2006, 10:20 AM
Schools may have easier time meeting requirements
Monday April 17 2006, 7:55 AM
Class-Action Lawsuit to Be Filed Over SAT Scoring Errors (NY Times registration)
Sunday April 09 2006, 12:08 PM
Overburdened Testing Services Bring Delays
Sunday April 09 2006, 10:30 AM
Summary of President Bush's Education Bill
Friday April 07 2006, 12:06 PM
Sec. Spellings: School System Improves Under Our Bright Light
Thursday April 06 2006, 2:07 PM
Few Students Seek Free Tutoring or Transfers From Failing Schools (NY Times registration)
Thursday April 06 2006, 8:32 AM
Wisconsin joins suit against No Child Left Behind
Wednesday April 05 2006, 3:17 PM
Chester E. Finn: Don't undermine education gains
Sunday April 02 2006, 10:59 AM
Improving Assessment and Accountability for English Language Learners in the NCLB Act
Wednesday March 22 2006, 5:08 PM
Author: Melissa Lazarín, Mar 22, 2006. This report by the National Council of La Raza examines the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) on English language learners (ELLs). It concludes that while the law has not been implemented adequately, it holds considerable promise for closing the achievement gap between ELLs and other students. The issue brief also provides a road map for policy-makers and school administrators for improving the law’s effectiveness for ELLs.
The Unraveling of No Child Left Behind: How Negotiated Changes Transform the Law
Tuesday February 14 2006, 11:08 AM
By Gail L. Sunderman, Foreword by Gary Orfield. Harvard University's Civil Rights Project, 2006. This report documents the changes states have made to their accountability plans and examines how these policy shifts affect the meaning of accountability and who benefits and loses from the changes
Margins of Error: The Testing Industry in the No Child Left Behind Era
Monday February 06 2006, 9:55 PM
2006. Author: Thomas Toch The report provides recommendations for both state and federal policymakers to strengthen the nation's testing infrastructure.
Most CA teacher assistants on track to meet No Child deadline, officials say
Tuesday January 24 2006, 4:40 PM
Traditional Phonological Awareness Assessments Are Flawed
Tuesday January 24 2006, 4:34 PM
Finance Project NCLB and Afterschool Learning $$$
Monday November 21 2005, 4:04 PM
Finance Project publication on NCLB and afterschool learning.
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