Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Leave No Child Behind
"More states lowered their standards for academic proficiency in recent years than raised them, and nearly all used exams that fell short of federal testing benchmarks, accorsding to a new study. ... It also cast doubt on claims of educational progress made by many states. ... The federal [NCLB] law requires all students to be proficient in reading and math by 2014, but leaves to each state the job of measuring achievement. ... The study of 47 states compared test scores of fourth-grade and eighth-grade students in reading and mathematics in 2005 and 2007. The differences found were especially stark between states considered to have the highest proficiency standards--such as Massachusetts and South Carolina--and those with the lowest, including Tennessee and Mississippi. A Tennessee child in fourth-grade math, for example, would be considered proficient with a state score equivalent to 198 on the NAEP exam. A child in Massachusetts would need to score 254. ... A student deemed proficient in Massachusetts would be five or six years ahead of a proficient Tennessee math student, according to researchers", my emphasis, John Hechinger at the WSJ, 30 October 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125682837972516125.html.
NCLB is and always was a farce. Suppose it required all fifth-graders to be 5' 10" tall, what then? People might realize how absurd it is.