What parts of NCLB should be left behind?

No Child Left Behind should be rewritten in pieces, not in a comprehensive overhaul, says Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., who will chair the House Education and Labor Committee in January.  National Journal asks:

Which “pieces” of the No Child Left Behind puzzle can be worked out on their own? What changes can be widely agreed upon? Benchmark reform? Special education funding? Teacher assessments? School accountability? Does it make sense to rework the law in small bites? If lawmakers manage to take the pressure off schools by adjusting the 2014 proficiency benchmarks, does that destroy the momentum for other changes that are harder to implement?

Scrap NCLB and start over, writes Diane Ravitch.

We’ll never beat the Asian tigers on PISA if we give up on getting all our students over NCLB’s grade-level achievement bar, writes Sandy Kress.

Expect a NCLB patch to avoid labeling schools as failures, predicts Rick Hess.

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  1. I’d like to see the SINA provision that allows families to transfer children to other schools to be scrapped. For one, families are using that provision in many instances to transfer to schools with lower minority populations and lower rates of poverty. They aren’t doing any actual investigating of whether the new school offers anything different.

    When families transfer, I believe, the actual SINA schools have less motivation to change.

    It is also disruptive to school planning, as the school district has no idea how many kids will be at each school.

  2. Roger Sweeny says:

    Scrap NCLB and start over, writes Diane Ravitch.

    Diane, I’ll see you and raise. Scrap all the federal education laws and start over. It’s not as if things were wonderful pre-2002.

  3. How about scraping any input from paid lobbyists like Sandy Kress, who are only in it to make a buck for their clients?

  4. Interesting too that the National Journal Online only allows comments from “invited” participants. Is Ravitch on there as a token liberal opinion as a pretend counter to the right wing nut jobs like Kress?

  5. I’d like to see more realistic goals- while “No Child Left Behind” is a nice sentiment, realistically we are never going to get 100% of students to grade level proficiency. Additionally, good schools shouldn’t be labeled as “failures” just because one small subgroup fails to make AYP.

    Also, I’d like to see a goal set for a certain percentage of students reaching the “advanced” proficiency level. If schools in Finland can get 20% of their students to the “advanced” level in math, there’s no reason why our highest-performing states (Massachusetts and Minnesota) should be hovering around 10% and the U.S. as a whole at 5%.

  6. Dump NCLB and a lot of faddish, substanceless schemes like small learning communities and monthly common assessments (read tests) will be ditched, too. It’s a win-win for everyone.

  7. If we’re going to have federal involvement and money–and I don’t think we should–then we should at least try to get something for that taxpayer money. I’d scrap the “one subgroup fails, you’re a failing school” part. I’d also recognize growth/continuous improvement towards the 100% goal, not just the flat pass/fail.