Vincent Ferrandino, NAESP’s executive director, and Sally McConnell, NAESP’s associate executive director for Government Relations, along with NASSP counterparts, met with Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings last week to discuss the upcoming reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. You can read more about this visit on NAESP’s Federal Legislative Action Center.

Principals continue to share their thoughts about NCLB on the Principals’ Office. Pat Hould says that his school has been mostly impacted by the notion of sub group reporting and the thought of testing special education students at their grade level versus their ability level.  “While I realize that this is somewhat a state by state issue, I struggle with the notion of testing students with, for example, a 5th grade reading level with an 8th grade test,” says Hould.  “I fully accept the thought of being held accountable and having my students held accountable for what they know and should be able to do.  However, I object to the thought of my school not reaching AYP because a member of a particular sub group, that has an identified learning disability, drives down our scores. These wonderful students, whose gifts are many and contributions to our school great, are placed in special education because of their ability.  My wish list for change to NCLB would include: 1). Multiple assessment measures and 2). A model that compares children to their own abilities and their individual academic achievement growth.”

Hould provides some wonderful insights. Tell us what you think. How has NCLB impacted your school? What would you say to members of Congress about the reauthorization?

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re: Principals Continue to Speak on NCLB

I completely agree with Pat Hould. We should be held accountable for our students' achievement. However, I also have a problem with a school not making AYP based on the IEP subgroup. There are very good reasons why students are in special education, and we should be assessing their progress based on their individual improvement and not on grade level standards. A child qualifies for LD because his achievement is well below that of his grade-level peers. He has goals written specifically for his identified needs, and we chart his progress based on the goals. Yet, once a year, he is required to take a state test that is way too difficult for him. This is unfair to the child and to the school. If I had a conversation with my legislators about NCLB, I would focus in this issue.