Monday, October 13, 2008

More schools fail to meet NCLB requirements in 2008

More schools fail to meet NCLB requirements in 2008

In a front-page story, the New York Times (10/13, A1, Dillon) reports that Prairie Elementary School in Sacramento, Calif., "had not missed a testing target since the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law took effect in 2002. Until now." This year, "California schools were required to" increase "the students proficient in every group by 11 percentage points." Prairie and "hundreds of other California schools fell short," resulting "in probation and, unless reversed, federal sanctions within a year." New data shows that nationwide, "far more schools failed to meet the federal law's testing targets than in any previous year." According to the Times, one reason for the trend is that in some states, "officials chose to require only minimal gains in the first years after the law passed and then very rapid annual gains later." In addition, states with stringent exams, such as Hawaii and South Carolina, have reported lower compliance rates than states with easy exams."

Take a look at the full article, and see what you think:


Mark Rindfuss said...

Dr. Luongo,

Thank you very much for posting this controversial article in the NY Times. After getting sick to my stomach about halfway through the article, it made me think. Why would anyone want to become a teacher nowadays? The bar that the federal government established seven years ago is becoming unattainable each and every year. How is it that a school that is improving every year is being punished, or possibly labeled as "needs improvement." I might not be a rocket scientist, but how is that a school with improving grades can still be labeled as "needs improvement?" They are still improving, right?

I understand that there are many problems in our schools, but labeling schools as inefficient, or needs improvement is not the correct way to improve the situation. If I am not mistaken, in teaching, do we as teachers hope that students improve from marking period to marking period, or semester to semester? YES. Then why should we punish schools that are improving at a slower rate then expected?

I can only imagine the look that I would receive from a parent if I told them that their child was improving academically, but they were not improving enough so they still fail the particular course. The law, the direction that NCLB is forcing students, teachers, and districts to move in is the wrong one. I still cannot understand how closing a school, or firing teachers is the answer?

So much more could be written on this topic, but I better stop before I make unnecessary remarks. Anyway, thanks for the article.

tpalm44 said...

This continues to be quite a disturbing trend in the world of education. More and more schools are being forced to attain unrealistic goals. What federal and local governments don't realize is that all these unreachable test scores are going to lead to serious academic fraud. Not only that, but it's going to be a like a college recruting war for the school's most gifted student.

If the bar continues to rise, there is going to be such an overwhelming amount of underhanded teaching practices that go on. This is what bureaucracy fails to realize. They are breeding a very dangerous animal some of these lofty goals.

I think Mark Rindfuss is right by stating the the slow and steady horse is going to get the job done much more properly, but more importantly, much more ethically.

tmccloskey10 said...

I feel fortunate to teach what I enjoy (Health and PE) and not have to worry about all the standards out there. Since I've started teaching one of the main concerns I hear teachers complain about is the standards they have to constantly meet. The pressure they have put on them is not right. The majority of teachers are there to do a good job and teach their students to the best of their ability. It seems that the are too many people involved with trying to make students perfect instead of allowing them to live their life at a more relaxing pace. Talk to you all later.

Tommy McCloskey