Monday, October 13, 2008

Schools having trouble meeting increasingly high standards set under No Child Left Behind Act

States with rigorous school testing standards are finding that their schools are being penalized under the No Child Left Behind Act. A New York Times article says this is one of the factors that is leaving solid schools in jeopardy under the law, which is especially controversial in rural areas.

The NCLB law requires schools to show a yearly increase on students scoring "proficient" or above on state testing, with the goal of getting 100 percent of students achieving that by 2014. Two years of not meeting goals brings more sanctions. In South Carolina, which is widely considered to have one of the nation's most rigorous testing standards, 83 percent of schools missed last year's goal, Sam Dillon reports for the Times. “The law is diagnosing schools that just have the sniffles with having pneumonia,” said Jim Rex, the South Carolina schools superintendent. Meanwhile, states such as Wisconsin and Mississippi, with much more lenient testing requirements, had little problem meeting NCLB goals. (Read more)

An Associated Press report says an increase in school failure rates could have a significant rural impact. One of the first sanctions imposed on schools failing to meet NCLB goals is that students may transfer to higher performing schools in the same district, but many rural school districts only have one school. Also, after three years of not meeting goals, schools are required to pay for tutoring, placing an additional strain on already tight budgets. (Read more)

No comments: