This Pro-Con feature from the Kansas City Star / Mon. July 9, 2007
▲ SHOULD NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND BE REAUTHORIZED? YES!
A Washington Post editorial
No one in his right mind would demolish his home because it had a leaky basement or it needed new carpeting. But that’s the approach being advocated by those who find fault with the No Child Left Behind Act. The federal law is not perfect, but its architecture of educational accountability, transparency and equality is sound. With the law up for reauthorization this year, Congress should be debating how — not whether — to continue this landmark education initiative.
Consider the landscape before No Child Left Behind. No one was really focused on results, failure had no consequences, few people were talking about the achievement gap and parents had little choice if their child’s schooling wasn’t doing the job. A recent report by outside experts showed students nationwide doing better on math and reading tests, as well as a narrowing of the achievement gap. To let states opt out of doing the hard, necessary work of raising standards is to turn back the clock on education reform.
▼ SHOULD NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND BE REAUTHORIZED? NO!
by Charles Murray, W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute
Test scores are the last refuge of the No Child Left Behind Act. They have to be, because so little else about the act is attractive.
The act takes a giant step toward nationalizing elementary and secondary education, a disaster for federalism. It pushes classrooms toward relentless drilling, not something that inspires able people to become teachers or makes children eager to learn. It holds good students hostage to the performance of the least talented, at a time when the economic future of the country depends more than ever on the performance of the most talented.
The federal government is doling out rewards and penalties to school systems across the country based on changes in pass percentages. It is an uninformative measure for many reasons, but when it comes to measuring one of the central outcomes sought by No Child Left Behind, the closure of the achievement gap that separates poor students from rich, Latino from white, and black from white, the measure is beyond uninformative. It is deceptive.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Pro-Con: SHOULD NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND BE REAUTHORIZED?
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