Colorado Educators: NCLB Won't Work

K-12 Testing
A poll of Colorado educators about the federal No Child Left Behind law found 86 percent of those surveyed believe NCLB's goal of 100% proficiency by 2014 is unachievable. U.S. Senator Ken Salazar surveyed teachers, principals and administrators in all of Colorado's school districts, as well as some parent advocacy organizations. Salazar's office received responses from 2,000 people, including 1,600 teachers, 119 principals and 117 parents. Salazar released the survey results in January as well as a letter he sent to Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) about the views of Colorado educators and parents toward the law.


Fifty-eight percent of teachers said they spend at least 20 hours per month outside of school hours prepping kids for standardized exams, while 87% say non-tested subjects are being ignored. A Fort Collins teacher, said, "It is incredibly difficult to hit a moving target. One year, we fall short in special education at one school, so we work hard to meet that goal. The next year, we reach that mark, but fall short somewhere else. It is a losing battle to reach every goal every year and to have one low area, which regularly changes, bring us down."


Sen. Salazar also was among ten senators who signed a letter to the Senate education committee calling for major changes in NCLB (see "Legislative Battles Begin," this issue).


- The survey:
- Salazar's letter: