The “discussion draft” of changes to No Child Left Behind is a “work in progress,” says Rep. George Miller, D-California. Miller and Republican Buck McKeown plan to introduce a NCLB reauthorization bill after Labor Day. The draft uses growth models to measure schools’ effectiveness, reports Education Week.
In outlining the use of growth models, which track individual student progress instead of comparing different cohorts of students, the document says that states would need to measure schoolsâ€™ and districtsâ€™ progress toward the goal of universal proficiency in reading and mathematics by the end of the 2013-14 school year. Thatâ€™s the goal set in the current No Child Left Behind Act, which President Bush signed into law in January 2002.
The draft adds a clause that could extend the deadline, saying that students in all the demographic, racial, and ethnic subgroups that the current law tracks would need to at least be â€œon a trajectoryâ€ toward proficiency for a school or district to be determined to be making AYP.
In addition to reading and math scores, states could choose to evaluate science and social studies scores, graduation rates and college-enrollment rates.
The plan suggests different interventions for schools that miss one or two subgroup targets and those that miss most targets. Gadfly calls this idea the Suburban Schools Relief Act: Middle-class schools with good scores overall could escape sanctions if a low-income minority lags behind.
Students who aren’t fluent in English could be tested in their native language for five years. That would relieve the pressure to bring these students up to speed quickly.
Education Trust warns of “dumbing down” accountability for educating all students.
Although the staff draft creates an accountability fig-leaf by preserving the requirement that all students reach proficiency in reading and mathematics by the 2013-14 school year, the heart of the law has been hollowed out. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), as proposed in the draft, would be confusing and reverse the federal commitment to ensuring all students can competently read and do math.
Eduwonk calls the draft a reasonable starting point.
A reputable first shot, writes Kevin Carey at The Quick and The Ed. But the system would be much more complex. Is it OK if nobody understands it?
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings discusses NCLB’s future with USA Today.
The House Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing on NCLB reauthorization on Sept. 10. Comments can be sent to [email protected] and will be considered through Sept. 5.