Education

NCLB: What Works vs. Whatever Works

July 25, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

As the No Child Left Behind Act is reauthorized this year, one of the most important battles waged will most likely fly below the radar, writes Michael J. Petrilli in this Education Week Commentary. Mr. Petrelli served as the U.S. Department of Education’s associate assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement during President Bush’s first term.

While accountability, adequate yearly progress, and funding will grab most of the headlines during reauthorization, Petrilli highlights the underlying competition between the “what works” and “whatever works” schools of thought that he believes will be critical in shaping NCLB’s future. The “what works” camp, behind initiatives like Reading First and the “highly qualified teachers” mandate, will push for scientifically backed methods for improvement, butting heads with the “whatever works” philosophy that allows schools to be flexible as long as the end result is achieved.

Should NCLB reauthorization efforts stress proven remedies or site-specific flexibility? When it comes to NCLB, what matters more—the means or the end?

A version of this news article first appeared in the TalkBack blog.

Events

School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.
Reading & Literacy Webinar A Roadmap to Multisensory Early Literacy Instruction: Accelerate Growth for All Students 
How can you develop key literacy skills with a diverse range of learners? Explore best practices and tips to meet the needs of all students. 
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
Supporting 21st Century Skills with a Whole-Child Focus
What skills do students need to succeed in the 21st century? Explore the latest strategies to best prepare students for college, career, and life.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: June 15, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: June 8, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: June 1, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 11, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read