Education director speaks out against No Child Left Behind

Bob Schaeffer, the public education director of FairTest: National Center for Fair and Open Testing, has long critiqued No Child Left Behind.

What’s wrong with No Child Left Behind? Nearly everything. No Child Left Behind is an inside-the-Beltway, political mandate that has no relationships with the realities of classrooms. It uses arbitrary gains on low-quality multiple-choice tests as the sole factor for determining educational quality.

But part of No Child’s goals were to equalize schools and ensure that underperforming schools received attention, correct? That is a laudable goal. However, the primary assumption No Child makes is the reason schools weren’t succeeding was they weren’t trying hard enough, and their solution to that false notion was to simply raise the bar and yell harder.

In fact, most schools have seen progress by No Child’s standards — so why do you think it’s not working? What we’re seeing is test score inflation, but it’s misleading. It’s because more schools are improving at teaching to the test. Classroom education is narrowed to what’s going to be on the exam … So while scores on the state tests are going up, other tests don’t show any gains.

Bay Area NewsLocalschooltest

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Traffic on 19th Avenue. (Photo courtesy Shutterstock)
Construction on 19th Avenue to begin Monday, traffic delays expected

Officials encourage drivers to take alternate routes, factor in longer travel times

Those who stick around San Francisco on long holiday weekends can enjoy a slower pace, uncrowded streets and beloved institutions like cable cars. <ins>(Kevin Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
These empty San Francisco streets: A holiday dream

We’re here because we can be, and because we have nowhere else to be

Quarterback Nick Mullens is expected to get his third straight start Sunday. Mullens is 46 of 73 for 538 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in his other two starts this season. <ins>(Chris Victorio / Special to S.F. Examiner).</ins>
49ers trying to turn season around in Sunday’s prime-time faceoff with the Rams

49ers at Rams When: Sunday, 1:05 p.m. Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood TV:… Continue reading

Psilocybin magic mushrooms (Shutterstock)
‘Magic mushrooms’ moving into the mainstream

Efforts to decriminalize psychedelics could follow several different paths

The 2020 Census has concluded taking responses sooner than expected. (Courtesy photo)
What does California have to lose if undocumented immigrants are excluded from the census?

By Kim Bojórquez The Sacramento Bee If The U.S. Supreme Court rules… Continue reading

Most Read