The U.S. Department of Education has published three new evaluations of separate portions of the 7-year-old No Child Left Behind Act.
Released last week, the reports assess the implementation of school choice and tutoring for children in low-performing schools; track the targeting of federal funds toward high-poverty schools; and evaluate the use of alternative tests for special education students.
They show that in the 2006-07 school year, 45,000 students exercised the NCLB law’s school choice option—less than 1 percent of the total eligible.
Students were more likely to sign up for free tutoring available under the law. In the 2005-06 school year, 449,000 used that option. Participation rates stalled at 17 percent, though, from 2003-04 to 2005-06.
The law spurred some progress in increasing the portion of money being allocated to high-poverty districts from the Title I program. That percentage grew from 50 percent in the 1997-98 school year to 52 percent in 2005-06.
The reports also showed that, while all states had alternative tests in place for special education students by the 2005-06 school year, 15 could not show that their assessments met all NCLB requirements in August 2008.
A version of this article appeared in the January 21, 2009 edition of Education Week