Thursday, January 21, 2010

No Child Left Behind

I used to blog for my old company, but they took the blog down. I am
not actually allowed to own the writings I put up on that blog, but as
I reference them on occasion in my writing I am putting those articles
up in my archives here for reference sake. I'll put the tag GS on those
articles noting that they were originally published on the

No Child Left Behind: Strengthened

April 23, 2008 – 6:13 am by Brendan

I don’t know many teachers who support NCLB. Most good teachers assess their students informally everyday, with activities like warm-up, and class discussions. We then use formative testing in the form of quizzes or tests as often as every week. To have a year or more of education be crammed into one week of testing then use those scores to determine the fate of a school is enough to make one feel like the Department of Education has no respect for the profession of teaching.

I will say one good thing about the NCLB act, it has focused the discussion on accountability and results. While I don’t believe the focusing on testing truly measuring the education of our children, I do think some educators and schools have responded by building a case for better teaching methods. Yes, I am sure many schools teach to the test, but the schools I have had dealings with have responded by attempting to hire and support a higher quality of teacher. I have a feeling (sorry no research) that better schools are improving because they are focusing on organizing high quality standards as a guide for teaching and hiring or training teachers to use Best Practices in the classroom. I could be biased because GlobalScholar has created an entire suite of teaching tools based on high quality standards.

April 22, 2008 U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced new proposals for strengthening No Child Left Behind. Much of her proposed regulations in my opinion seems to be little more than red tape for schools to spend money on, there were a few bright points I want to highlight.

“Assessments and Multiple Measures – Measures of student academic achievement may include multiple question formats.”

“Including Individual Student Growth in AYP - There is general consensus among teachers, administrators, researchers, and advocates that states should be permitted to include measures of individual student growth (i.e., growth models) when determining AYP.”

“Differentiated Accountability Pilot Program (announced March 18, 2008) - Differentiated accountability means creating a more nuanced system of distinguishing between schools in need of dramatic intervention, and those that are closer to meeting goals.”

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