Saturday, December 04, 2004

Understanding NCLB

I've just returned from the Education Writers Association (EWA) meeting on No Child Left Behind in Houston.

After listening to over 15 hours of presentations and Q&A's, one thing is for sure: NCLB is enormously complex and confusing. The 1,100 page law has so many quirks and caveats that it's hard for anybody -- even those who wrote it -- to fully understand its ramifications.

The bottom line is that nobody really knows how NCLB will play out over the coming years. I'm now sure that the law isn't as bad as I originally thought. But I'm equally sure that it has many serious, and potentially fatal, flaws. My goal is to point out the bad and the good and to be one voice among many pushing for improvement.

The EWA meeting ran two days, featured seven panels with a total of more than two dozen speakers on topics including English Language Learners and Special Education, "gaming the system," testing, teacher quality, and more.

I learned a lot. Most importantly, I learned that -- on several counts -- I've been way off base. I'll be reading over old posts over the next few days and making corrections. If you suspect anything I wrote was wrong, please point it out and I'll revisit it. There are many misconceptions about NCLB out there among supporters and critics alike. There is enough misunderstanding already. I don't want to add to it.

And one more thing for now, the EWA is an excellent organization. Check out their website and if you can afford to give, please do.


Blogger Jenny D. said...

Hi there. You might want to check this out.

Saw it and thought of you...

3:46 PM  

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