Federal

NCLB Reading Target to Be Missed, Study Says

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — December 16, 2004 2 min read

Data from state and national reading assessments for students in the upper-elementary grades through high school offer little hope that the nation’s public schools will come close to meeting the achievement goals set under the federal No Child Left Behind Act over the next decade, a new analysis concludes.

“Achieving State and National Literacy Goals, a Long Uphill Road,” is available online from the RAND Corp. ()

A study prepared by the RAND Corp. for the Carnegie Corporation of New York, released Dec. 16, suggests that inadequate progress is being made in meeting the federal mandate by 2014.

“Recent reform efforts in education have yielded positive results in improving reading achievement for the nation’s children in the primary grades, but many children are not moving beyond basic decoding skills to fluency and comprehension,” says the report, “Achieving State and National Literacy Goals, a Long Uphill Road.”

The RAND researchers analyzed results from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia from state tests and the National Assessment of Educational Progress in reading/English language arts and writing.

‘We Work Harder’

While state tests are not comparable with each other, or the national assessment, and the rigor of the tests and the way in which they measure proficiency in the subject also vary widely, the results generally show that too few adolescents, and particularly African-American and Hispanic youths, are on track toward meeting state and national benchmarks.

On state reading assessments of middle schoolers, for example, passing rates ranged from 21 percent in South Carolina to 94 percent in Massachusetts. Fewer than half the students in 12 states passed their respective tests. On the latest national assessment in the subject, administered in 2003, students’ proficiency rates ran from 10 percent in the District of Columbia to 43 percent in Massachusetts. It is generally agreed that the national assessments in most subjects have a high standard for measuring proficiency.

On writing assessments, student results on both state and national tests are generally lower than for reading.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Education dismiss dire predictions for attainment of the federal goal, saying that it is still possible to bring all children up to proficiency by the target date of 2014.

“We’re only a few years into these reforms, and just because we’re not there yet doesn’t mean we abandon kids and the goal of having them all at grade level—it means we work harder,” Susan Aspey, a spokeswoman for the department, said in an e-mail.

Events

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
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Federal Opinion Blessings and Best Wishes, President Biden
Rick Hess takes a moment to offer President-elect Biden his best wishes and to reflect on Inauguration Day.
1 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Federal Biden Picks San Diego Superintendent for Deputy Education Secretary
San Diego Superintendent Cindy Marten was a classroom teacher for 17 years before she became a school and district administrator.
2 min read
Image of the White House seal
Bet Noire/Getty
Federal Biden Calls for $130 Billion in New K-12 Relief, Scaled Up Testing, Vaccination Efforts
President-elect Joe Biden proposed new aid for schools as part of a broader COVID-19 relief plan, which will require congressional approval.
5 min read
First-grade teacher Megan Garner-Jones, left, and Principal Cynthia Eisner silent clap for their students participating remotely and in-person at School 16, in Yonkers, N.Y., on Oct. 20, 2020.
First-grade teacher Megan Garner-Jones, left, and Principal Cynthia Eisner silent clap for their students participating remotely and in-person at School 16, in Yonkers, N.Y.
Mary Altaffer/AP
Federal Who Is Miguel Cardona? Education Secretary Pick Has Roots in Classroom, Principal's Office
Many who've worked with Joe Biden's pick for education secretary say he's ready for what would be a giant step up.
15 min read
Miguel Cardona, first-time teacher, in his fourth-grade classroom at Israel Putnam School in Meriden, Ct. in August of 1998.
Miguel Cardona, chosen to lead the U.S. Department of Education, photographed in his 4th-grade classroom at Israel Putnam School in Meriden, Conn., in 1998.
Courtesy of the Record-Journal