According to a new report from the Center on Education Policy, NCLB is working. The report says that students have made significant gains in math and reading since the passage of NCLB; and achievement gaps between white and minority students have closed somewhat since 2002. But while students have improved basic skills, the report concedes that only 13 states have enough data to compare rates of improvement before and after the law was passed.

While the CEP report shows student achievement gains since NCLB was implemented, it seems the law still lacks public support. Two out of three Americans want Congress to rewrite or abolish NCLB, according to a Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University survey. Survey respondents who have children in public schools are more likely to want the law altered or abolished than are people who don't currently have children in school.

re: Is NCLB Working?

This is a great question. SInce NCLB is the law in education, it only makes sense to determine if it is actually working. This report states that it is working. However, there are only 13 states out of 50 providing information, so is it really? I am not sure. If more states could contribute to the data, then one could say that it is working. 13 out of 50 is not a great percentage to determine if something is successful. Anyone can manipulate data to their benefit. That is what this report is basically doing in my opinion. What stands out in this report is the fact that two out of three Americans want NCLB restructured or even abolished. That says a great deal about how successful NCLB really is. Obviously, those who are effected by the law feel that is not working. So before we can say that is, maybe there needs to be more a larger selection of sources and a more extensive study done. That way we can be more accurate in our findings.

re: Is NCLB Working?

Recently, in depth I have been studying data analysis tools and how relevant they are in education. In regards to NCLB we do not have that data. With only 13 states contributing data how can we have an accurate picture? In order to make a data driven decision, we must first possess that information. According to the report from Scripps News it is not surprising that nearly 2/3 of American adults want to see NCLB re-written. NCLB was meant to have a positive impact on education, but it seems to have fallen short. I am not certain of the feasibility, but it appears to me that each state must compile its own data following set guidelines, so the information can be compared. The data will be useless if each state does their own analysis. I am sure this concern has already been addressed, but is anything being done?

re: Is NCLB Working?

Actually, the CEP warned people not to draw that conclusion from the report.

IN FACT, I wrote the head of the CEP, Jack Jennings, and asked about press claims that NCLB "was working."

Here is his direct response, word for word:

Dr. Kovacs, thank you for your message. We hope that you can go to
our report and quote from it about the caveat about the research. In
fact, one of our five main conclusions is that it is very difficult,
if not impossible, to prove causality between state test score trends
and NCLB.

Jack Jennings
President and CEO
Center on Education Policy

re: Is NCLB Working?

It seems as though we do need more state to report information. Often people crunching the numbers can come up with or make the data say what they want it to. I think NCLB has done some good in forcing teachers and administrators to be more accountable as to what students are learning however, I'm not a proponent of all the teaching to the test and 4 sight testing that seems to be going on.

re: Is NCLB Working?

I'm glad you posted the comment from Philip Kovacs. It looks like someone there at NAESP made a mistake in the original post. I think it also would be okay to go back into the original post and note the error (e.g., in red or blue or some other color text so it stands out).

re: Is NCLB Working?

I will be inviting my graduate students to particpate in this blog on NCLB in the coming week. Each participant is a gradutate student at Rutgers University and is in the principal prepartation program.

re: Is NCLB Working?

The Jennings comment is confusing to me. Doesn't NCLB use state test scores to measure AYP and mete out disciplines? I must be misunderstanding--otherwise it would mean there's no correlation between the law and the assessment the law uses to measure its own effectiveness.

re: Is NCLB Working?

How can we quantify true learning? What are the "successful" numbers showing? We may be doing better in knowing where the period goes in a sentence or in identifying that 2+2=4 and not 5, but is that what will make the US more successful in this gloabal economy? The first question about NCLB is not whether we are being successful. Rather, we should be asking are we measuring the right thing in the first place.

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