Testing NCLB for fairness
With the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act up for renewal by Congress next year, the issue is drawing interest from educational researchers and the testing companies that have been busier than ever since the Bush administration's most significant educational initiative was passed in 2002. At a symposium this week at Columbia University's Teachers College, presenters will argue that there is no evidence that NCLB is closing the achievement gap between wealthier, predominantly white students and those from poor and minority backgrounds.
"NCLB was created ostensibly to build on the Title I legislation enacted in the 1960s that sought to safeguard the equity vision of Brown versus Board of Education," Michael A. Rebell, executive director of The Campaign for Educational Equity, said in a news release. "In fact, though its aims are good ones, aspects of the law are undermining that vision. It's clear from these new findings that we need to shift NCLB's focus from unrealistic and ill-defined goals such as 'one hundred percent proficiency' to issues of how to provide all students with meaningful educational opportunities, so that we can ground the law in what kids really need to learn."
This article appeared in the November 14, 2006 edition of the commercialappeal.com.