At its best, the idea of adequate yearly progress (AYP) is an effort to prod schools, districts and states to identify and solve two kinds of problems: schools in which most students perform well but some students do not, particularly low-income or minority-group students; and schools in which most students do not meet high standards (using standardized tests or other measures, such as their school course work, or college entry or success).
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.
The Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA) has been formed to expand on and advance the ideas in the "Joint Organizational Statement on No Child Left Behind" to improve federal education policy. The Joint Statement has been signed by 143 national education, civil rights, religious, children's, disability, and civic organizations, representing more than 50 million members.
[The following article will be published on page one of the October issue of Substance. Substance will be mailed to readers on Thursday, October 3, 2002].
Twelve English and Social Studies teachers from Chicago's massive Curie Metropolitan High School have informed Chicago schools Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan that they intend to refuse to administer the controversial CASE (Chicago Academic Standards Examinations) tests in January 2003.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will vote starting October 19 on a new NLCB/ESEA. The main bill, introduced by Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-WY), is about as bad as NCLB. It will require tens of millions of new tests and a heavy reliance on test scores to judge teachers, principals and “low scoring” schools. Congress must hear your voice if we are to block the worst provisions and have a chance to win beneficial changes.