Too Many Loopholes?

December 03, 2007 1 min read

Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, schools are required to show that all subgroups of students are making adequate yearly progress or risk being deemed “in need of improvement.” But determining whether a school should be labeled as such may not be as simple as looking at its academic performance reports, “NewsHour” correspondent John Merrow argues in a recent Education Week Commentary.

The law allows schools and states to blatantly skew their data in several ways, Mr. Merrow writes. For example, schools can use confidence intervals to calculate “hypothetical” test scores, and states can set the definition of academic proficiency as low as they’d like. The result, he says, is reporting that is “virtually useless.”

What do you think? Does the NCLB law have too many loopholes? If so, can they be closed without sacrificing fairness?

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