Critcs: NCLB Lacks ‘Bite’ on Turnarounds, Standards

May 13, 2008 1 min read

Does NCLB lack “bite?”

When it comes to intervening in struggling schools, The Wall Street Journal says “yes.”

Forty percent of schools in restructuring have done very little to change, the Journal reports, quoting Mike Petrilli about “a loophole to do very little.”

“To solve a problem first you have to diagnose it correctly,” writes Petrilli, who couldn’t resist the chance to blog on the story. “And calling NCLB ‘too harsh’ is surely not the right diagnosis.”

When it comes to setting world-class standards, Paul Peterson and Rick Hess say “yes,” as well.

Compared with 2005, Peterson and Hess see little decline in expectations at 4th grade. But at 8th grade, states “are moving steadily away from world-class standards,” they write in the latest Education Next.

They conclude that it’s more important for policymakers to define what proficiency is than it is for students to meet a proficiency goal that doesn’t reflect world-class standards.

“Those responsible for NCLB reauthorization, as they struggle forward, should first and foremost establish a clear and consistent definition of grade-level proficiency in reading and math, even if it means giving up the cherished but decidedly unrealistic goal of proficiency for all students by 2014,” they write.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.