While I wait for the House education committee to post the next installment of its NCLB proposal, I’ve had the chance to review what groups are saying about the Title I draft.
Here’s a quick summary of a few responses sent to the House Education and Labor Committee:
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings writes that she is “deeply troubled” by many of the draft’s accountability proposals. (But if you heard her speech yesterday, you already knew that.)
“We could easily lose simple transparency about whether schools are teaching students to read and do math on grade level, and obscure what’s actually going on schools under this new approach,” she writes.
The Council of Chief State School Officers, by contrast, would like to see a broader definition of multiple measures. The bill needs to “recognize that there are additional valid indicators of school performance, and more being developed and collected over time,” the chiefs write. The chiefs want state officials to be able to identify their own indicators and use them with the permission of the secretary of education.
The American Federation of Teachers believes that the growth models proposed in the bill do not “fully give credit for the gains in student achievement that schools are making.” In the union’s letter, it suggests that growth models should “set achievable growth standards, and help schools demonstrate that they are making progress, including those that do not have the capacity to measure individual student progress and therefore cannot implement a growth model.”
The Forum on Educational Accountability likes the way the draft would allow for local assessments, but says the draft doesn’t go far enough, the coalition’s letter says. It wants to give more weight to test in subjects other than reading and math. It also would like to eliminate the goal of universal proficiency by 2014. Instead, the group advocates “an accountability approach based on implementing systemic changes that will improve teaching and learning and on demonstrating steady progress in learning results consistent with the rates of improvement at the nation’s better Title I schools.”
More to come, I’m sure.
A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.