Congress has begun to hold hearings to consider, yet again, a reauthorization of the federal testing law No Child Left Behind (NCLB). NCLB is the most recent reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, but in 2002, when President George W. Bush signed NCLB into law, the federal government radically shifted educational philosophy. The emphasis moved away from supporting the education of under-served groups of children through compensatory funding programs like Title I and toward a new plan: holding schools accountable for continually improving test scores for all children. It hasn’t worked.
The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) released data this week to document that NCLB has not lifted school achievement. The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) is conducted independently—apart from accountability-based testing of every child by states under NCLB. The NAEP is administered across the states to random samples of children across the…
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