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

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Think NCLB is Inflexible and Testing-Heavy? Wait Until You See the New Plan

Sent to the Washington Post, May 21.

The Post characterizes the current education law (NCLB, or No Child Left Behind) as "inflexible" and "testing-heavy," and notes that there is "bipartisan agreement" that the law should be changed ("In weekly address, Obama pushes for overhaul of nation’s education laws," May 21).

I wonder how many people are aware of the US Department of Education's new plans, described in their Blueprint for Reform.

The Department of Education will require, as before, tests in reading and math but will also require testing several times during the academic year (interim testing), and the plans include the option of pre-testing in the fall to be able to measure growth during the year. In addition, the Department is encouraging testing in other subjects as well. All of these tests will be tightly linked to national standards.

NCLB is indeed inflexible and testing-heavy. The new plan will be even less flexible and far more testing-heavy.

Stephen Krashen

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