On the eve of House education committee hearings on reauthorizing No Child Left Behind, editorialists at the New York Times and the Washington Post came out with editorials criticizing Rep. George Miller’s NCLB rewrite, points out This Week in Education. In addition, USA Today took a “mend it, don’t end it” line.
After praising the draft for endorsing performance pay and “making sure that needy schools get their rightful share of state and local funds and of quality teachers,” the Post warned of “end runs around accountability.”
. . . this draft would allow states to use measures besides math and reading tests to judge school performance. A school unable to show student proficiency in math and reading would be allowed to trot out other tests where children did better or could get credit for graduation rates or Advanced Placement tests. Not only does this diminish the central importance of math and reading as fundamental subjects to be mastered, it also lets schools define their success by masking the failure of some of their students. Equally troubling is a provision that would allow some states to use differing local assessments. The public’s stake in knowing how its schools are doing would be compromised by methods that are easily manipulated, hard to understand and impossible to use in comparing one school or district against another.