Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Stateline summary of NCLB resistance

There was an excellent report in the Pew Foundation's www.stateline.org last week summarizing all of the mounting resistance to No Child Left Behind.

A sample, offered without comment:

According to Communities for Quality Education, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group tracking state actions on NCLB, 15 states (Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, Vermont and Wyoming) have considered legislation to "opt-out" of NCLB and forgo federal education funds, and four states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Wisconsin) considered bills that would prohibit the use of state money to comply with NCLB.

...2005-2006 is the first school year that all states must have in place NCLB's central requirement that students be tested in reading and math annually in grades 3 through 8 and once in grades 10 through 12. This year, more than 6,000 schools -- about 13 percent of the number receiving federal funding – were rated "in need of improvement" because too many students failed the tests. The number of failing schools is down slightly from the previous year, but is expected to rise under stricter testing requirements.

Fifteen states are conducting or have finished studies on the cost of complying with NCLB, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Studies by Ohio and Texas estimated that the price to state taxpayers of complying with NCLB could run as high as $1.5 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively, each year. NEA, the teacher's union, contends that since the law's enactment in 2002, there has been a $27 billion shortfall in what Congress should have provided to meet the law's regulations. NCSL estimated a shortfall of $9.6 billion as of 2004. Twenty-five states are considering or have passed resolutions asking Congress to fully fund NCLB.

There is also an excellent sidebar to the report with links to reports on NCLB from many different organizations.


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