wasting bandwidth since 1999

Results? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Results!

No Child Left Behind is working! Just ask W and his Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, who have been telling any reporter who’ll stand still that the non-stop testing of NCLB is responsible for amazing increases in student learning.

Except the numbers don’t seem to match the rhetoric.

Reading scores among fourth- and eighth-graders showed little improvement over the past two years, and math gains were slower than in previous years, according to a study released yesterday. The disappointing results came despite a new educational testing law championed by the Bush administration as a way to improve the nation’s schools.

Most troubling for educators are the sluggish reading skills among middle-school students, which have remained virtually unchanged for 15 years, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which administers the federal test and bills itself as the "nation’s report card."

Of course, the promoters of this train-wreck of a law will tell you to ignore the numbers. They’ll say that NCLB is only just getting started. That we are "moving in the right direction" in some areas, even if it’s not much of a move.

That if you’ll just look at the statistics from the same angle they do, you’ll see all kinds of sunshine.

It really doesn’t matter how you spin things. NCLB isn’t about real learning. The law is specifically geared to teaching kids how to take standardized tests. And it isn’t even managing to jump that very low bar.

nclb, standardized testing, failure


  1. superdestroyer

    However, image the spin from the voucher/privitization crowd will now do. The public schools were given the goal of increasing reading scores to the exclusion of everything else. Yet, after cutting other subjects, getting more funds, and being threatened if they failed, they failed completedly.

    Thus, the voucher crowd will ask, why do we (the taxpayers) continue to fund such a school system? If the public schools cannot even teach people to read, then why should they exist at all?

  2. Tim

    Please show me the evidence that in the same period of time test scores for students in private schools actually increased more than those for public schools. What’s that you say? Private schools students are not required to take the same standardized tests? Or ANY standardized tests?

    In other words, private schools are not held to the same accountability standards as those in the public schools. We simply are asked to take it on faith that private schools are better than public.

    Let’s keep this to a comparison of apples and apples, not apples and pomegranates.

    PS: Superdestroyer, you need your own blog so I can visit and leave comments. :-)

  3. superdestroyer


    All I was saying it that the “progressive” educators had better be careful of crowing about how NCLB is a failure. Remeber, these were the same educators who claimed they had to drop other subject in order to teach reading, that extra cirriculars were being cut to teach reading, that the NCLB was a “teach reading” mandate and thus was anti-eduation,. Yet, in the end, the public schools could not even improve in the one subject that it was told to improve in.

    So what really happened? Did the public schools really start teachng to the test and focusing on narrow subjects or did the teachers, adminsitrators , and their supporters just ignore the requirements of NCLB so that they could keep doing the same, ineffective things that they were doing doing before NCLB.

    My guess is that NCLB has had no effect because the teaching establishment just does not understand that it need to improve the performance of students.

  4. Joe Thomas

    I would *love* for SD to start a blog. I’ll even help him set it up.

  5. Chris C.

    I agree – SD, get on it!

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