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Have You Seen It?
No Child Left Behind 3-Part Series
by John Merrow
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
John Merrow's 3-part series takes an in-depth look at No Child Left Behind, including perspectives from teachers, administrators, and the U.S. Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings.
Part 1, "School Districts Find Loopholes in No Child Left Behind Law," details the typical evasive strategies failing schools employ in order to meet NCLB standards.
Part 2, "Failing San Diego Schools Work to Meet Standards," highlights troubled schools forced to restructure under NCLB, and the success of one community's efforts to do so.
Part 3, "Teachers Grapple with Attaining Education Law's Goals," features some of the country's top recognized teachers, and their resistance to NCLB.
Mr. Merrow's series voices both sides central to the dispute surrounding NCLB. On one hand, opponents of the law argue that standardized tests are not accurate measures of knowledge, and that they actually impede learning in the classroom. Furthermore, many remain skeptical that 100% of America's children can reach proficiency by 2014.
On the other hand, standardized tests make student achievement visible, so that schools can be categorized as succeeding, improving, or falling behind - in which case they can be provided with the help necessary to improve. And when State Departments of Education create loopholes to avoid meeting NCLB standards, "There are losers," as Mr. Merrow says. "If the schools aren't labeled as in need of improvement, then the kids don't get the services they need."
We need to discuss this important issue within our community. From Now On invites you to review Mr. Merrow's series, and write to us with your comments. Excerpts will appear in our next issue, along with a response from us.
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