“There has been surprising progress in educating disadvantaged students” since No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) passed in 2002, but some states are doing much better than others, according to The New State Achievement Gap: How Waivers Could Make It Worse – Or Better, a new Education Sector report.
The state achievement gap is growing. High-performing states are adopting robust reform plans in exchange for federal waivers from NCLB, while low-performing states are doing the minimum, such as signing on to Common Core standards, the report finds.
“We now have hard evidence that states have exacerbated differences in the achievement of disadvantaged students, with the guidance of ESEA,” say authors John Chubb and Constance Clark. “We also know that some states, both richer and poorer, are doing very good things for students in need. Washington should be investing time and money in understanding what is actually working and using that knowledge to write a new ESEA based on hard evidence and not political expedience.”