"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Bush Set to Celebrate NCLB Failure in Chicago

From FairTest posted at Common Dreams:
January 4, 2008
12:01 PM

Dr. Monty Neill (617) 864-4810 or
Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773

Bush Chicago Visit Highlights NCLB Failure

WASHINGTON, DC - January 4 - President Bush’s upcoming trip to Chicago to mark the sixth anniversary of signing “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) into law will actually underscore the failure of the controversial mandate, according to education reformers.

“The federal government’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) contradicts Bush Administration statements about NCLB’s impact in Chicago and across the country,” said Dr. Monty Neill, Executive Director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest). “Recently released NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) data show that Chicago has made slower test score progress than the average large city. Nationally, NAEP reading scores have stagnated since the passage of NCLB, and the rate of improvement in math has slowed.”
“In fact, Chicago is an example of NCLB’s lack of effectiveness,” Dr. Neill continued. “The law has failed to raise academic achievement significantly in that city, in other major urban areas or in the nation as a whole. A comprehensive overhaul of the law is necessary to improve educational quality for all students, particularly those in low-income urban areas.”

A detailed report co-authored by FairTest and local education reform groups Parents United for Responsible Education and Designs for Change concludes that Chicago embraced NCLB-style “reforms,” including a heavy reliance on sanctions attached to standardized exams, even before the federal law was enacted. But, overall, city public schools have not made promised academic gains: some improved, others stagnated. The greatest improvements in performance took place in schools that most strongly resisted the NCLB ‘test-and-punish’ approach.

FairTest also initiated the Joint Organizational Statement on NCLB, a set of principles for overhauling the federal law which has been signed by 142 national education, civil rights, religious, parent, disability, civic and labor groups. FairTest facilitates the Forum on Educational Assessment, which works to implement the joint statement.

The report Chicago School Reform: Lessons for the Nation, coauthored by FairTest is online at http://www.fairtest.org/ChicagoReportExecSum2007.html

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