Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Will NCLB Be Bush's Legacy? 

How ironic that after all the endless discussion on the War on Terror and Iraq today the Washington Post and New York Times report on the findings of an independent study showing that student test scores have significantly improved under NCLB. Could it be that this law is what President Bush becomes recognized for years down the road?

Now a disclaimer. Both stories say that researchers cannot be sure the findings are due to the legislation. Sam Dillon of the New York Times is most direct on this point basically saying that students improved on math and reading due to other factors and that this study cannot be correlated with the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Amit Paley of the Washington Post gives much more credit to the President, both for raising student skill levels and for narrowing the achievement gap between whites and minorities.

It seems almost impossible to me that the law has not resulted in increased test scores due to the emphasis everyone is paying to AYP. However, even if things are getting better my question would be whether this is all worth it? Of course I say that the new federal involvement in our schools is a bad deal but maybe educators got what they deserved for not focusing on fundamentals for all these years.

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