“Bubble” students — those who are close to proficiency — benefit the most from No Child Left Behind, concludes a Chicago study. Researchers found low achievers scored “the same or lower” under NCLB compared to Chicago’s pre-NCLB accountability system; for gifted students, researchers found “mixed evidence of gains” in the NCLB era. Education Week reports:
Kids in the middle — the ones closest to proficiency — performed better under NCLB than they did before.
This study lends credence to common critiques of that law encourages teachers to focus on the so-called bubble kids — the ones that are close to reaching proficiency.
Growth models can fix the problem by rewarding schools for progress of students’ at the lowest end of the spectrum. But this study brings to mind the question about gifted students. What incentives will schools have to reach out to gifted students if the ultimate goal of NCLB is proficiency for all by 2013-14?
At Parentalcation, Rory argues for spending more on raising the achievement of the middle third of students.
Matt Johntson argues for focusing on the bottom third on Going to the Mat.
Both say gifted students don’t need extra resources to excel. They’ve got pushy parents or inner drive to keep them on track.