Archive for the ‘No Child Left Behind’ Category

If feds grant waiver, farewell to AYP for Georgia schools this year

If the feds approve Georgia’s request for a waiver from No Child Left Behind, school chief John Barge said, “AYP will be done for Georgia. We will be issuing each school district an index score based on 100 percent.”

Barge expects to know in two weeks whether the federal Department of Education will give Georgia, one of 11 states seeking a wavier, a reprieve from No Child’s stringent accountability requirements. Georgia is proposing to use another form of accountability that it contends is richer and more comprehensive reflection of school effectiveness, a College and Career Ready Performance Index.

“We feel it is a much more powerful tool for our schools,” said Barge, speaking to the media Friday afternoon. “It will actually drive their school improvement process.”

DOE says its index will impose scores in three areas to capture the essential work of individual schools: Achievement Score (based upon current year data); Progress Score (based upon current and prior year …

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No Child Left Behind turns 10 day. Blow out the candles or blow out the law?

With leaders from both parties and the requisite schoolchildren around him, President Bush signed No Child into law 10 years ago today. (AP Images.)

With leaders from both parties and the requisite schoolchildren around him, President Bush signed No Child into law 10 years ago today. (AP Images.)

Monday’s AJC print education op-ed page is devoted to No Child Left Behind, signed into law 10 years today by President George W. Bush.

Here is one of the articles on the page, an op-ed by Neal McCluskey, associate director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom and author of, Feds in the Classroom: How Big Government Corrupts, Cripples, and Compromises American Education.”

By Neal McCluskey

Today is the 10th birthday of the No Child Left Behind Act, the federal government’s signature education law. You probably didn’t notice a lot of partying, though, because in keeping with numerous decades of federal meddling, the act’s been an expensive dud.

NCLB – really just the latest iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 – certainly has been lame. Despite federal k-12 spending rising

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A decade of No Child. Did the law do any good or did it inspire cheating?

George Bush used education reform models in his home state of Texas to create No Child Left Behind. (AP Images)

George Bush used education reform models in his home state of Texas to create No Child Left Behind. (AP Images)

This month marks the 10-year anniversary of No Child Left Behind, the sweeping federal education law that President George Bush envisioned as his legacy.

Bush signed No Child into law on Jan. 8, 2002, explaining that “the fundamental principle of this bill is that every child can learn, we expect every child to learn, and you must show us whether or not every child is learning.”

The landmark law mandated annual testing in reading and mathematics with the ultimate goal of all students reaching a “proficient” level by the 2013-14 school year. Schools had to reach escalating target scores to prove “adequate yearly progress” or risk a failing label.

Districts had to sort out scores by students’ race, ethnicity and other characteristics, so schools could no longer mask low-performing students. Thus began a frenzy of standardized testing that turned many of …

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New report: Half of nation’s schools failed to make AYP

The Center on Education Policy released a new report on the number of schools that have failed to make adequate yearly progress  under No Child Left Behind in school year 2010-11. The report –  AYP Results for 2010-11  –  also presents six years of AYP trends in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

According to the report:

–About half (48 percent) of the nation’s schools did not make AYP in 2011. This marked an increase from 39 percent in 2010, and is the highest percentage since NCLB took effect.

–In almost half the states, 50 percent or more of the public schools did not make AYP; in five states and D.C., at least three quarters of schools failed to make AYP.

–The percentage of public schools not making AYP in 2011 varied greatly by state, from about 11 percent in Wisconsin to about 89 percent in Florida. (In Georgia, 27 percent of schools did not meet targets.)

The AJC has a good explainer on the study. Among the points in the story: The findings are far below the 82 …

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Federal government can make states do things but not necessarily do them well

Two influential voices in education reform teamed up for an op-ed in The New York Times where they sketched out their own blueprint for transforming low performing schools.

With No Child Left Behind marking its 10 year anniversary next month, Frederick M. Hess and Linda Darling-Hammond talked about the sweeping federal education law’s good and bad points and what needs yet to be done.

To me, their most important comment is: “The federal government can make states, localities and schools do things — but not necessarily do them well. Since decades of research make it clear that what matters for evaluating employees or turning around schools is how well you do it — rather than whether you do it a certain way — it’s not surprising that well-intentioned demands for ‘bold’ federal action on school improvement have a history of misfiring. They stifle problem-solving, encourage bureaucratic blame avoidance and often do more harm than good.”

This is a truncated version. …

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Hidden dangers: Do we know how safe our schools really are?

The mother of a 16-year-old beaten in science class by five classmates is now speaking out on school safety. (AJC photo)

The mother of a 16-year-old beaten in science class by five classmates is now speaking out on school safety. (AJC photo)

Attorney Esther Panitch says she can obtain a reliable grid on police activity in any place in metro Atlanta because it is public information.

“But I cannot get an accurate one in schools because there is culture of hiding incidents and failure to report them,” she says.

Panitch says she is running headfirst into this culture in her legal representation of a 16-year-old Westlake High School student beaten so badly last month at school that he suffered a broken jaw and broken nose and underwent surgery.

Five schoolmates face criminal charges, and the Fulton district attorney has filed a motion to potentially prosecute the juveniles charged in this crime as adults.

Many questions remain about the school’s response in this case, including failing to call an ambulance for the bleeding victim and the 40-minute wait after the attack to call his …

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School chief: We are the 93 percent. Time to pay attention to those kids.

Jim Arnold, Pelham City superintendent, has written several great pieces on the blog. Here is another.

By Jim Arnold

Public education is in the midst of a perceptual crisis. The “public school as smorgasbord” proponents, the privatization faction, the voucher believers, the private school crowd and the transformers — those small but vocal minorities who insist that every public school is mediocre at best, that their students do not stand a chance in today’s competitive market — all proclaim loudly their way is better and will lead to the miraculous and marvelous re-invention of our failed system of public education.

Baloney.

My personal belief is that segregation is the driving force behind many of these so-called choice movements and their proponents, and that their focus on the 7 percent of students not in public education rather than the 93 percent that are is misplaced, but we will save that argument for another day.

At its inception, public education was never …

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US DOE: Georgia one of 11 states seeking No Child waiver

In conjunction with my earlier posting today that Georgia has requested a waiver from No Child Left Behind, the U.S. Doe issued this statement:

Just seven weeks after President Obama announced a plan to offer greater flexibility from federal education mandates in exchange for a strong commitment to core reforms that boost student achievement, 11 states formally submitted to the U.S. Department of Education requests for waivers from key provisions of No Child Left Behind.

The following states, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee filed requests based on locally designed plans to implement college and career ready standards; develop rigorous accountability systems that include a focus on low-performing schools and schools with persistent achievement gaps; and create better systems for developing, supporting and evaluating principals and teachers.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan commended the …

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Are Stalin and Arne Duncan comrades in education arms?

A teacher sent me a link to a provocative article in the Teachers College Record by University of Oklahoma professor Lawrence Baines comparing the education reform movement in the United States today with that of the 1930s Soviet Union.

Author of  “The Teachers We Need,” Baines cites many shared trends — nationalized curriculum, frequent standardized tests, achievement level tracking by demographics,  emphasis on the teaching of science, math, and technology and less teacher autonomy but greater accountability.

From the lengthy piece, which you ought to read if you have time:

Of the following three statements, which refer to the Soviet Union in the 1930s and which refer to America today?

1. “Teachers are asked to achieve significant academic growth for all students at the same time that they instruct students with ever-more diverse needs….The stakes are huge—and the time to cling to the status quo has passed.”

2. “We had to have a campaign for 100 percent …

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Georgia has made it official: Wants a waiver from No Child Left Behind

nochild (Medium) Georgia is one of 11 states seeking a waiver from key provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which has become viewed as a shackle by most states.

From Georgia DOE:

The Georgia Department of Education formally submitted an application yesterday for a waiver of No Child Left Behind. In September, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge personally delivered Georgia’s request for a waiver to certain provisions of NCLB, and an alternative accountability plan, to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The U.S. Department of Education required that a formal application be submitted electronically, which was due yesterday for those states seeking early waivers.

Georgia is one of the first states seeking a waiver from some of the requirements within NCLB. The state is requesting permission to implement a new College and Career Ready Performance Index for each public school, school district, and the state for the 2011 – 2012 …

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