Posted by: Magistra | May 10, 2006

This Week’s Sign of NCLB Failure

The more I learn about NCLB, the more frustrated I get. Are the effects of any other piece of legislation so different from its stated goals?

Today, let’s look at the International Studies Academy, which failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress in 2005. Did the school fail because overall the school does not have enough students testing “proficient” or better in English? No. Not enough students proficient in math? No. Is its statistically significant subgroup (socioeconomically disadvantaged) failing in English or math? No. Is the school perhaps trying to up its scores by preventing students in that subgroup from taking the test? Well, since 98% (English) and 99% (math) of them took the tests, I think not.

So why did ISA fail? Only 93% of the student body took the English test. Want to know how many more students took the math test? One. That’s right. The difference between success and failure for ISA in 2005 was one student’s participation. (You can check out the school report for yourself here.)

Does this sound like a reasonable or productive way to define failure?

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