Putting Education Reform To The Test

How Will No Child Left Behind Be Remembered?

Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the No Child Left Behind federal education law, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Maureen Downey is thinking about its legacy:

Because the anniversary is looming, I am getting lots of statements on the law and its impact, most offering a mixed review of its effectiveness. I listened Tuesday to a panel by RAND Corporation education experts. I will write about the panel later this week, but the consensus was that the law was effective in directing attention to previously ignored students, but that it was too proscriptive and overly reliant on multiple choice testing that narrowed instruction.

But one group that sees little benefit from No Child is FairTest, which has issued a report maintaining the controversial law “failed badly both in terms of its own goals and more broadly” and led to a decade of  “educational stagnation.”

What do you think? Did the benefits of NCLB — such as the focus on subgroup performance — outweigh the negatives of the law? How will NCLB be remembered? Should it be renewed?

UPDATE: Education Week has gathered some commentaries on NCLB.

They also have a word cloud describing the law. Biggest word? Flawed.


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