Sunday, September 20, 2009

Studies Weigh NCLB's Broad Impact

They're actually leaving all students behind. When Mr. Neil says that schools are focusing on the middle what does that really mean? Often times it consists of test preparation - is that really a focus on learning? So in effect, because so much of NCLB and its obsession of standardized, test-based performance measures results in many children across the spectrum being left behind.

Even the new obsession of using growth models has testing at its core.

On the issue of teacher preparation, again we're basing being a well prepared teacher on their ability to facilitate good test taking. Doing well on a test does not mean knowledge of core subjects, it just means you did well on a test. So when research says that alternatively certified teachers (i.e., Teaching Fellows) demonstrate being better prepared what does that really mean? Add to that the companion research shared at the conference revealing increased rates of high teacher turnover in schools not meeting AYP.

Is anyone else putting the pieces together here? You'll have to click the link below to read the entire story but it's worth checking out.


By Dakarai I. Aarons | Ed Week
August 18, 2009

State-level implementation of the federal No Child Left Behind Act has changed how education is delivered and to whom, researchers have found. Still, they say, it’s difficult in some cases to measure which changes can be attributed solely to the law.

The researchers presented their findings at a conference hosted yesterday by the Washington-based Urban Institute’s National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research and the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University. They studied state implementation of the landmark federal education law and its impact on student achievement, teacher distribution and quality, and the teaching of subjects not covered in the law, among other topics.

With Congress likely to take up reauthorization of the law next year—an attempt in 2007 stalled on Capitol Hill—researchers and policymakers are looking for lessons learned. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, a University of Chicago economics professor, said lawmakers looking at the NCLB law should “mend it, not end it.”

“It’s working in that people are responding to the incentives under NCLB right now, but some of the incentives are bad.”

Read on

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