Well-placed concerns about NCLB by Professor Emeritus Stephen Krashen. -Angela
Published: December 6, 2006
LETTER: Education Week
Let Accountability Begin With the NCLB Law Itself
To the Editor:
Regarding "Early-Childhood Issues Raised for NCLB
Law"?(Nov. 15, 2006):
The federal No Child Left Behind Act has poisoned
schools with inappropriate and excessive testing,
reduced reading instruction to mindless
phonemic-awareness and phonics exercises, and
encouraged the elimination of in-school free reading.
In the view of many scholars, research evidence did
not support these moves, and, contrary to U.S.
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings’ claims,
there is no evidence that the law has resulted in any
improvement in student progress, or in any “closing of
the gap” between children from low- and high-income
families. (For further information see Gerald W.
Bracey’s “The 16th Bracey Report on the Condition of
Public Education” in the October 2006 Phi Delta
Kappan, and my paper, “Did Reading First Work?,”
posted on www.districtadministration.com/pulse.)
In addition, the U.S. Department of Education’s
inspector general recently issued a report on apparent
conflicts of interest in the administration of Reading
First grants. It detailed how certain reading methods
and approaches were favored while others were shut out
("Scathing Report Casts Cloud Over ‘Reading First’,"
Oct. 4, 2006).
According to your Nov. 15 article, the Bush
administration now wants to expand the No Child Left
Behind law’s requirements to high school, and there is
even discussion of expanding them down to preschool.
With all the talk about making schools and teachers
accountable, why isn’t there any talk of making NCLB
Rossier School of Education
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, Calif.
Vol. 26, Issue 14, Page 33