Will Fail Our Children
A FairTest Position Statement on
“No Child Left Behind,” the name of the federal
Elementary and Secondary Education Act, describes a worthy goal
for our nation. Tragically, the legislation will exacerbate,
not solve, the real problems that cause many children to be left
As the only national organization with testing reform as its focus, FairTest has a more than 20-year history of working to improve assessment of America's students. We have addressed such issues as the proper role of college admissions exams in university admissions, state graduation and grade promotion tests, and the role of assessment in the No Child Left Behind law (NCLB).
The current version of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), called "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB), needs fundamental change. The Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA) has submitted legislative language based on the Joint Organizational Statement on NCLB to the U.S. House and Senate Education Committees that would remake the law into an effective tool for school improvement.
As recognized experts in the fields of early childhood development and assessment, we write to express our concerns about plans proposed by the Head Start Bureau to implement a National Reporting System for all 4- and 5-year-olds in Head Start in the Fall of 2003. We agree in principle with the need to conduct ongoing child assessments. However, we are troubled by both the timing and structure of this new proposed effort.