Thursday, April 14, 2005

I was Left Behind

New York times,

The academic growth that students experience in a given school year has apparently slowed since the passage of No Child Left Behind, the education law that was intended to achieve just the opposite, a new study has found.

In both reading and math, the study determined, test scores have gone up somewhat, as each class of students outdoes its predecessors. But within grades, students have made less academic progress during the school year than they did before No Child Left Behind went into effect in 2002, the researchers said.

I don't necessarily disagree with the NYT's take on this study. Although I do think they should have waved a big red flag about it not being representative and that the minority populations in particular were not representative. They do this very far down in the article. Overall this study had a number of caveats, so people should not begin burning the NCLB act in effigee or something.

But I think the reason that the results of this study were more negative is becaue they looked at it on a unique level, which is student growth. This will actually tell you a lot more about the individuals than just looking at the overall changes in scores. I couldn't find any of the other studies to compare , apparently I'm not good at googling. It would be interesting to see if these results could be replicated by a more representational study because after all we are interested in developing the individual students as well as the entire student body.

The findings of this study are consistant with concerns that I have heard from teachers and concerns that I myself would have. In pushing for passing tests, you neglect the growth of more advanced students and it becomes all about passing the test. But NORC is doing a longitutinal study that will hopefully give interesting results. Unfortunately it is still too early to tell.

(Via Eduwonk& Instapundit)

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