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.