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After six years, there is overwhelming evidence that the deeply flawed “No Child Left Behind” law (NCLB) is doing more harm than good in our nation’s public schools. NCLB’s test-and-punish approach to school reform relies on limited, one-size-fits-all tools that reduce education to little more than test prep. It produces unfair decisions and requires unproven, often irrational "solutions" to complex problems. NCLB is clearly underfunded, but fully funding a bad law is not a solution.
The following language changes to Title I, Part A, section
1111 of NCLB would encourage more productive assessments:
1. Paragraph (b)(3) ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS-
Summary of key changes: limit mandated state assessments to three
grade levels in reading/language arts and mathematics; clarify
that assessments shall be standards-based, use multiple measures
including performance assessments, and ensure assessment of higher-order
thinking and learning.
High-Stakes Test-Based Accountability
Policies: Problems and Pitfalls
In 1993, the Massachusetts Board of Education approved a policy
advisory for circulation to all school districts in Massachusetts.
Entitled "School Account-ability and Indicator Systems: Implications
for Policy Making in Massachusetts," the policy advisory
presented research on accountability policies and standards-based
reform. Among other findings, this policy advisory noted that: