I had the pleasure of sitting down recently with former education secretary Margaret Spellings and separately with Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.--two of the pillars of No Child Left Behind. I asked each of them how the Common Core State Standards changed the landscape for K-12 education policies. They were both blunt, saying the state-led effort to create college-aimed standards should not supplant the more basic academic requirements of No Child Left Behind. "The idea that we're going to be able Read more here
Moving to the States NCLB-as-we-know-it has few defenders nowadays--Fawn spoke with two of the most prominent--not least because the center of education-reform gravity has swiftly moved from Washington to the state capitals. Secretary Spellings and Congressman Miller usefully remind us not to neglect low-achieving kids, and we know that there are scads of them, even judging by the weak expectations and flabby standards that most states have set. But a bunch of kids are well above proficient, Read more here
A False Dichotomy There is no either-or in considering both NCLB and the Common Core standards. Let's explore why setting high standards and insisting on accountability for results, especially for disadvantaged students, are hardly mutually exclusive. They actually fit together and are both desirable. NCLB and its predecessor, the IASA, called for high content standards in the states. NCLB then pushed states to implement consequential accountability systems to promote greater proficiency with Read more here
Eleven states will have relief from the bill's most onerous requirements.
President Obama announces plan to give states short-term relief from NCLB...
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel strongly lauded President Obama’s American Jobs Act, which includes funds to repair schools and to prevent teacher layoffs as well as to hire additional educators...
California joined a growing list of states asking for relief from NCLB’s system of labeling and punishing schools...
NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen joined thousands of educators at the Save our Schools (SOS) Rally in the nation’s capital on July 30, 2011...
From NCLB to merit pay, educators are advocating for better federal laws.
Broken Vow I have vowed not to spend our good readers' time any longer in the tired old song of responding to Monty Neill. But I must break that vow at least once more. Once again: there was a huge increase in NAEP scores the year of and the year after the passage of NCLB. These gains make up virtually all of what Neill wants to call pre-NCLB gains. Russ Whitehurst and other serious observers suggest that these "border" years be left out of the analysis. I do not concede the rate Read more here
Too Many Sources of Bad Policy For talented, committed educators who want their students to be engaged, challenged and supported, the choice seems to come down to this: Is it better to have their professional commitments and their students’ educations undermined by bad policies made by states or by bad policies dictated by Washington? If that framing seems a bit melodramatic or depressing, please read this recent article from the Kappan (http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/10/01/kappan_burris.html) Read more here
Still Test-Based Pseudo-Reform One thing we’ve learned from watching the Senate HELP Committee wrestle with the bill is that it seems much easier to change the rhetoric than the substantive details. For example, Congress has clearly heard the message from the folk who grappled with the impact of NCLB every day -- administrators, teachers, students and parents -- that it has failed to drive real school improvement where it’s needed. Senators also recognized that the law mislabeled Read more here
Grim Tea Leaves for Reform-Minded Dems This week's developments have been notable-- less because the reauth effort is likely to go anywhere, and more because they offer a clarifying look at where things stand. The more the Ed Trust and Center for American Progress view mandates as the measure of "reforminess," the more they ensure that they will not find common cause with even sympathetic Republicans. Whereas Ed Read more here