Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Lost Decade for Educational Progress -- NCLB 10th Anniversary Report

Here's the link to the Full Report


FairTest NationalCenterfor Fair & Open Testing

For further information:
Dr. Monty Neill (617)

Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773
For use on or after Tuesday afternoon, January 3, 2012

The federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law “failed badly both
in terms of its own goals and more broadly,” leading to a decade
of educational stagnation. That is the central conclusion of a major
new report marking NCLB’s tenth anniversary. President George W. Bush
signed the program into law on January 8, 2002.

The report, “NCLB’s Lost Decade for Educational Progress,”
summarizes data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress
(NAEP) and dozens of independent studies. It was written by staff of
the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest).

Among the report’s major findings:
- NCLB failed to significantly increase average academic
performance or to significantly narrow achievement gaps, as measured
by NAEP. U.S. students made greater gains before NCLB became law
than after it was implemented.
- NCLB severely damaged educational quality and equity by
narrowing the curriculum in many schools and focusing attention on the
limited skills standardized tests measure. These negative effects fell
most heavily on classrooms serving low-income and minority

- So-called "reforms" to NCLB fail to address many of the
law’s fundamental problems and, in some cases, may intensify them.
Flawed proposals include Obama Administration waivers and the Senate
Education Committee’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
reauthorization bill

“NCLB undermined many promising reform efforts because of its
reliance on one-size-fits-all testing, labeling and sanctioning
schools,” explained FairTest’s Lisa Guisbond, the new report’s lead
author. “A decade’s worth of solid evidence documents the failure of
NCLB and similar high-stakes testing schemes. Successful programs in
the U.S. and other nations demonstrate better ways to improve
schools. Yet, policymakers still cling to the discredited NCLB model.”

“It’snot too late to learn the lessons of the past ten years.
Now is the time to craft a federal law that supports equity and
progress in all public schools,” added FairTest Executive Director,
Dr. Monty Neill. The Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA), which
FairTest leads, is promoting a comprehensive plan to overhaul NCLB.
The proposal calls for using multiple measures to assess student and
school performance. It also targets resources to improve teaching and
learning. More than 150 national education, civil rights, disability,
religious, labor and civic groups signed theJoint Organizational
Statement on NCLB, which FEA seeks to implement.
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- the NCLB 10th Anniversary report is posted at

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