No Child Left Behind

“By harnessing technology, we can expand access to learning and close the achievement gap in America. And that’s the critical mission of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.”
U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige in a press release in 2002,

In “Rolling Up Their Sleeves,” funded by The Wallace Foundation, Public Agenda examines the attitudes of public school leaders about their jobs and the challenges they face. We found school leaders say their biggest headaches are funding and the time it takes to comply with a blizzard of local, state and federal mandates. Some 93 percent of superintendents and 88 percent of principals say their district has experienced “an enormous increase in responsibilities and mandates without getting the resources necessary to fulfill them.” While unhappy with some of the specifics of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation, the vast majority of officials surveyed believe that the era of testing and accountability is here to stay. But almost nine in 10 call No Child Left Behind an “unfunded mandate,” and most say the law “will require many adjustments before it can work.” Interestingly, superintendents from large school districts are much more likely to support the law’s key components than their colleagues from smaller school systems.

A summary of “Rolling Up Their Sleeves” may be found here:

No Child Left Behind seems to have the opposite problem of Oregon’s state report cards… The new federal report suggests that nearly every high school in this state – and most of them around the country – is below average.

The one-third of Oregon schools that did not meet the federal standards are not “failing” schools in the common definition of a shattered school utterly failing to prepare students. Instead, these schools are still troubled by a stubborn achievement gap between rich and poor children, and between whites and ethnic minority students.



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