Thursday, September 01, 2005

War of attrition

Two really interesting NCLB-related stories today:
What's the connection here? They represent two of the big flaws of NCLB: that you can't be a SES provider if you're not making AYP yourself; and that to make AYP you have to hit a specific percentage of students reaching proficiency, a number which goes up at unrealistic rates and has the perverse effect of encouraging schools to focus on the kids at the margin and ignore the growth of the other students.

Spellings is wise to give flexibility in the first case, and would be wise to give flexibility in the second. Addressing these two issues is a reasonable thing to do, and doesn't detract from what, to me, is the important part of NCLB: making sure that all subgroups of students are on their way to proficiency, and aren't being ignored.

2 comments:

EdWonk said...

I wish Secretary Spellings would come to my Southern California classroom and teach my 175 (mostly limited- English, mostly poor) students for a week or so and model for me how it's done. I would pay to watch. ;)

Joe Thomas said...

Ed, she'd have to be credentialed first. Remember, she has no classroom experience whatsoever.

None.
Nada.
Zip.

And she is in charge of schools at the federal level.

That speaks volumes to me.