Friday, September 29, 2006

Is Your Child's School Effective?

The NYT article above refers to this study, that appeared in the latest issue of Education Next (the best publication on school reform I'm aware of, by the way; it's only $20/year to subscribe for 4 quarterly issues;; the latest issue, which can be read online at, has interesting-looking articles (that I haven't had a chance to read yet) such as: Can Cory Booker Save Newark Schools?

No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the federal school-accountability law, is widely held to have accomplished one good thing: require states to publish test-score results in math and reading for each school in grades 3 through 8 and again in grade 10. The results appear to be telling parents whether their child’s school is doing a better job than the one across town, in the neighboring city, or across the state.

But accountability works only if the yardstick used to measure performance is reasonably accurate. Unfortunately, the yardstick required by the federal law is not. Our analysis of its workings in Florida reveals it to be badly flawed and not as accurate as the measuring stick employed by the state of Florida for similar purposes.

To her credit, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings has apparently recognized the need to fix the NCLB yardstick.


Is Your Child’s School Effective?

Paul E. Peterson ,  Martin R. West, Education Next

Don’t rely on NCLB to tell you


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