Congress is evaluating the No Child Left Behind Act since it is due to be re-authorized. Some are wondering if it will finally get the funding it needs for proper implementation. I vote for zero funding. I'm with the three voices of dissent in the NEA who say the act is too flawed to fix. But here are some things I thought interesting, [from KPBS News]:

With the emphasis our society is placing on testing, there is increasing pressure to have all children tested, including homeschooled students. Traditionally, homeschooled children have done well but imagine if there were the same pressure on each homeschool that there is on each school. Right now, I know my daughter would fail miserably. It wasn't all that long ago she faced a multiple choice test in math for the first time. She got one in ten right. After interviewing her, I realized she understood all the concepts. However, she had attempted to match the letters with the numbers (ie., a=1, b=2, etc.) She got confused after number four, but never even looked at the math problems. If my ability to homeschool her had been on the line, however, would I have taught her the same way? Right now, she can write out her answers and explain how she got them. She is beginning to write out small paragraphs to explain her solutions. Would I have spent too much time teaching testing format for her to have actually been able to demonstrate true understanding?

testing, NCLB, education, achievement gap

Despite issues with how the data is gathered, San Diego City Schools are using No Child Left Behind and the state Public Schools Accountability Act to pinpoint learning gaps in the classroom. Among sub-group data determined by race, African American and Hispanic are scoring at the lowest rate of proficiency in San Diego City Schools. And only 30 percent of children from economically challenged households are performing at acceptable levels.So NCLB has failed in one of its major goals...to close the achievement gap. Actually, every study I have looked at says that the use of standardized tests to sort students disproportionately affects minorities. And which schools are in danger of losing even more funding from their tight budgets? The ones failing to meet standards which directly translates to those serving the poor and minorities.

[Republican California Congressman Buck]McKeon: "If you look at how much money has gone into funding education, both at the higher level and at the k-12 level, since we've won the majority in 94, we've doubled what the democrats did previously."There's something to be proud of. Spent more. Got less. There have been slight gains since NCLB took effect. But the rate of gains seem to have slowed since NCLB's enactment. And I'm not sure how to factor for the reports of teacher, school and district cheating combined with the evidence of states lowering standards to keep from losing funding.

With the emphasis our society is placing on testing, there is increasing pressure to have all children tested, including homeschooled students. Traditionally, homeschooled children have done well but imagine if there were the same pressure on each homeschool that there is on each school. Right now, I know my daughter would fail miserably. It wasn't all that long ago she faced a multiple choice test in math for the first time. She got one in ten right. After interviewing her, I realized she understood all the concepts. However, she had attempted to match the letters with the numbers (ie., a=1, b=2, etc.) She got confused after number four, but never even looked at the math problems. If my ability to homeschool her had been on the line, however, would I have taught her the same way? Right now, she can write out her answers and explain how she got them. She is beginning to write out small paragraphs to explain her solutions. Would I have spent too much time teaching testing format for her to have actually been able to demonstrate true understanding?

testing, NCLB, education, achievement gap