The administration keeps the right principles in amending No Child Left Behind
Read the rest.EVEN THOUGH the Obama administration is jettisoning the name of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), it is not abandoning the core principles embodied in the 2002 law. The administration has embraced the principles of accountability, disaggregating data and insisting that no student groups -- not minorities, not those with disabilities -- be left behind. The details will be key, but it is heartening that the administration is mapping out a direction true to education reform. Let's hope Congress agrees to go along for the ride.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan's plan for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, released Saturday, takes aim at two of the biggest criticisms of NCLB: that it doesn't set a high bar for achievement and that it is so inflexible as to be punitive. The administration's plan would scrap the much-maligned adequate yearly progress reports of schools for a new accountability system requiring that all students by 2020 be on a path toward college and career readiness, although this goal is more aspirational than definitive. Students would still be tested every year in math and reading, but other measures, such as graduation rates or scores in other subjects, could factor into the picture of a school's success. Schools would be judged by how much progress students make year by year, not by snapshots that fail to account for different starting points.