We received some terrific comments on the Principals’ Office in response to the recent posting “Is NCLB Working?” One commenter said that Jack Jennings, the CEO of the Center on Education Policy (CEP), cautioned against jumping to any conclusions about the CEP report (Has Student Achievement Increased Since No Child Left Behind?) saying that “it is very difficult, if not impossible, to prove causality between state test score trends and NCLB.”
So the Principals’ Office went straight to the source. Jennings is quoted in the CEP press release as saying that: “The weight of evidence indicates that state test scores in reading and mathematics have increased overall since No Child Left Behind was enacted. However, there should be no rush to judgment as there may be many factors contributing to the increased achievement.”
The CEP report also says that student achievement in reading and mathematics have increased overall since the passage of NCLB, but leaves the door open about whether it’s all due to NCLB or NCLB and other factors such as increased learning, teaching to tests, more lenient tests, scoring or data analyses, and changes in the populations tested.
The bottom line, as we mentioned in last week’s post, is that only 13 states have enough data to compare rates of improvement before and after the law was passed. Tell us what you think. Is NCLB working in your school? With the reauthorization looming, we’d like to hear your thoughts on this most important education legislation.