To the Editor:
James Crawford’s latest rant against the federal No Child Left Behind Act (“A Diminished Vision of Civil Rights,” Commentary, June 6, 2007) argues that increased accountability, a greater emphasis on reading and math, and better test scores for English-language learners are less important than other “opportunities,” such as field trips and chess clubs, that these children may miss out on.
As a result of NCLB, all English-language learners are now taught to state standards, and know that their standardized-test scores will be counted along with other students’. Because their progress matters to schools, including progress toward English fluency, test scores and reclassification rates for this crucial population are beginning to improve across the nation.
Relaxing accountability under No Child Left Behind for English-learners, as Mr. Crawford suggests, would lay a dangerous foundation for a new, federally sponsored segregation system.
Executive Vice President
A version of this article appeared in the July 18, 2007 edition of Education Week as Laying the Foundation for a New Segregation System