During the presidential campaign, FairTest paid close attention to the candidates whenever they addressed No Child Left Behind. It will be some time before President-Elect Barack Obama takes action that will flesh out the mostly vague statements he made while campaigning, and even longer before anything specific happens with the federal education law. In the meantime, here is a compilation of his comments on NCLB from his web site and the campaign trail.
Supporters of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law use many arguments to defend the controversial law. The strongest-sounding arguments have little to do with the law’s actual provisions, while others are simply false. We have prepared this fact sheet to help people reply to the various claims made in defense of NCLB; sort, pick and adapt the points you need.
States and districts should not bar students from graduating based solely on standardized test scores. The Standards on Educational and Psychological Testing of the American Psychological Association, American Educational Research Association and National Council on Measurement in Education states that a major decision about a student should not be made "on the basis of a single test score." Dozens of educational and civil rights organizations join FairTest in endorsing this basic principle and opposing high-stakes graduation exams.
A FairTest Report by Monty Neill, Acting Executive Director January 1998
A common assumption of standards and tests-based school reform is that high-stakes testing, such as having to pass an exam for high school graduation, will produce improved learning outcomes. This view is found in the grading formula used in Quality Counts (1998), the recent Education Week report in which states receive points for having high-stakes tests.