Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings might be best known for her assertion that NCLB is 99.9 percent pure. (That, and her collection of eyeglasses.) She later backtracked, saying she meant the goals and structure of the law are close to perfect, even if some of its details need fixing.
Last week in Kansas, Spellings acknowledged that the requirement that states identify “persistently dangerous schools” isn’t working. State officials have been reluctant to label schools as such, she said. The secretary’s position lines up with a Department of Education advisory group and the views of Democrats who have tried to redefine the program, I point out in the Federal File in the current issue of Education Week.
Other NCLB stories in the Feb. 27, 2008, issue of the newspaper:
Democrats’ K-12 Views Differ, Subtly (see also this blog item)
Analysis Finds Time Stolen From Other Subjects for Math, Reading, based on the Center on Education Policy report mentioned in this blog item
Researchers Propose NAEP Look Beyond Academic Measures
P.S. In the Commentary section, “Troublemaker” Checker Finn writes about the lessons he’s learned after years in the education policy trenches. (He’s promoting his new book; check out the good parts here). Near the end, he warns: “Don’t read too much into test scores,” and offers anecdotes from his children’s lives explaining why. An interesting statement from someone who’s associated with the idea of national testing.
A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.