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

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

NCLB Failure Train Rolls Into Illinois High Schools

A clip from Carbondale's thesouthern:
. . . .Students at Carbondale Community High School District 165 consistently rank in the top third of the state and the school is recognized as one of the region's best. But for three straight years, the school failed to meet its AYP.

School administrators were proud to announce they did hit their AYP this year, but the success does not hide some serious problems, said CCHS 165 NCLB coordinator Virginia Appuhn.

"First of all, 230 high schools out of the 657 in the state met AYP; that's 35 percent," she said. "We've got 1,200 students (at CCHS); of 138 other schools in our (enrollment) range, only 31 met (AYP)."

Appuhn said part of the flaw of NCLB is in its use of subgroups, which represent sets of 45 or more students who fall into a minority such as special needs or low-income students. The failure of a subgroup to hit its AYP means an entire school fails.

This year's standard held that 62.5 percent of students at a given school had to meet or exceed minimum test scores or the school would fail. Next year the standard slides to 70 percent, then 77 before topping out at 100 percent in 2014. . . . .

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