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Spring 2004
The Education Imperative
Beyond Rhetoric
8 Mile
Exodus
Starting Out on the Right Path
Principals of Leadership
No Child Left Behind
Diversity, Economics and Education
Globalization’s Missing Middle
Leveling the Playing Field
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Spring 2004
No Child Left Behind
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FOR CHILDREN for whom the education system has been a great failure, NCLB reaffirms the commitment to learning for all. If NCLB shakes up schools that have been inattentive and unresponsive to children of different backgrounds and varying economic circumstances, if it begins to move the schools to look again at all children as individuals, then it may be deemed a partial, and important, success. If NCLB results, however, in low aspirations and mind-dulling instructional practices for children, we will all pay later.

NCLB itself has many other provisions involving teacher quality, the use of scientifically valid interventions and specified sanctions for poorly performing schools. At minimum, we should look comprehensively at the validity, fairness and results of NCLB. By applying its own benchmarks to the legislation and systematically evaluating its national effects, and adjusting what needs to be changed, NCLB could limit its risks, increase the likelihood of its success and model for schools its desired process.

Professor of Education Eva L. Baker is director of the Center for the Study of Evaluation in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies and co-director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing.

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