It’s the low performance, stupid

No Child Left Behind doesn’t require all students to be proficient in reading and math by 2014, writes Eduwonk in discussing Duncan’s NCLB waivers. Eduwonk is pro waiver, but “details seem to be getting short shrift lately in favor of the same talking points.”

Well, it’s not really 100 percent, more like 92 percent or so, and it’s not 2014 in practice but really several years later (pdf). And in practice for a school to make “adequate yearly progress” often only 6 or 7 in 10 of its students need to be passing a test at the proficient level right now.  And, to be proficient doesn’t mean a perfect score on a test, often more like getting half the questions on a test right (pdf).

“Proficiency” isn’t what it used to be.

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  1. I don’t hear much mention of the Safe Harbor AYP provision of NCLB. As long as a subgroup improves by 10 percent, AYP has been met. To say nothing of the option of averaging scores over two to three years.