Thursday, February 19, 2009

Like most well intentioned disasters, NCLB

or No Child Left Behind was motivated by good intentions but suffers from all the problems that afflict government forced, top-down solutions.

It identified the obvious problems that everyone acknowledges but it leaves in place all the players that caused the decline in public education in the first place and it avoids the obvious solution. It simply overlaid all the problems with another layer of money and bureaucracy.

A new study shows the "standards" imposed by NCLB are illusory at best.

The obvious solution is putting more power in the hands of parents.

Analysts took 36 real schools (18 elementary, 18 middle) and “moved” them from state to state (28 states in all) to see how many would make “adequate yearly progress” under each state’s NCLB rules. The alarming results? In some states, nearly all of the elementary schools would make AYP while in others practically none of them would. These are the exact same schools. This tells us that the present system isn’t working. A school’s AYP status depends at least as much on what state it’s in as on the performance of its students.