Monday, October 20, 2008

Century Foundation Holds Briefing on Suggestions for NCLB

On Oct. 15, the Century Foundation hosted a briefing titled, "Getting Education Reform Back on Track," to discuss its new book, "Improving On No Child Left Behind." This book is designed to bring the major flaws of the No Child Left Behind Act to the political forefront to encourage the act's reform and reauthorization. In "Improving On No Child Left Behind," several authorities on education policy and reform criticize three different aspects of NCLB: the "under-funding" of NCLB; the provisions for standards, testing and accountability; and the problems students and parents face regarding school choice.

Providing an overview of the book's chapter on under-funding NCLB, John Yinger, one of the chapter's authors, explained that to achieve the goals established by NCLB, federal funding for NCLB programs must increase exponentially, although states' needs vary in efforts to reach the law's proficiency goals. For example, according to their research, the authors believe that while Kansas will need an increase in annual funding for Title I aid of about 18 percent to achieve 100 percent proficiency by 2014, Missouri will require an increase of approximately 1,077 percent.

The book's chapter on standards, testing and accountability criticizes states' development of rigorous content standards and high-quality student assessments. Lauren Resnick, of the University of Pittsburgh, discussed the chapter on standards, opining that clear, rigorous content standards and assessments linked to these standards should be developed on a national level.

In summarizing the final chapter of the book, Amy Stuart Wells, of Columbia University, criticized NCLB for not providing low-income students attending failing schools with the opportunity to attend a higher-performing school. The authors of this chapter strongly encourage inter-district school choice programs, urging the reauthorization of NCLB to provide higher-performing schools with funding to encourage the acceptance of low-income transfer students from low-performing schools.

More information:

No comments: