On the Civil Rights Project study
And therein lies the fraud of No Child Left Behind. Lots of children are being left behind. More, in fact, now that the testing regime is nearly fully in place. Coming up with a catchy phrase to mask an education agenda that misses the point completely won't cut it: People are fooled for awhile -- dazzled by the idea that no child will be left behind -- but soon enough they realize they've been duped.
What really needs to be done? Here's the key paragraph from the editorial:
It is not sufficient to ratchet up the rhetoric about standards and impose yet more tests on students... Rather, we have to consider investing real resources in the programs and services that research shows us are effective in engaging students — such as creating smaller classes where teachers and students can develop close relationships; training and keeping strong teachers, particularly in low-performing schools; developing ninth-grade transition programs for at-risk students; increasing the counseling services available to students in schools; developing challenging, innovative curricula that will make students want to come to school each day.
Real resources. Smaller classes. Close relationships. Challenging, innovative curricula.
Should we still have testing? Sure. Of course. But testing alone -- without a concerted effort to increase graduation rates -- simply won't get it done.