USA Today editorial board weighs in on No Child Left Behind fixes. They essentially call for separating the sheep from the goats in terms of who wants to fix it and who wants to completely undermine it. Worth reading, here’s a taste:
Little wonder the law’s critics gathered this month in Washington to find ways to fix the flaws they see. But instead of producing alternative ways to achieve the same goals, they came up with ways to water down the law. Their ideas range from de-emphasizing testing to scaling back education aims they consider too ambitious.
The critics are partly right. The law’s one-size-fits-all approach causes real problems, even for its avid supporters. For instance, the law lumps into the same group truly failing schools with effective ones that fall short in one area, such as special education.
Such circumstances need fixing — but with a scalpel, not a meat cleaver. The law has achieved far too much to junk.
There is a response, too. More money. One quibble, USA Today seems too ready to accept the notion that testing must come with sharp edges. How about an editorial calling on the Bush Administration to really provide funding and assistance to states to develop top-flight assessment systems rather than low-balling it as they are now and creating predictable problems?
In its current issue Chief Information Officer magazine honors 100 agile companies around the country. Two school districts are among the honorees, Fairfax County in Virginia and Ventura Unified School District in California. Via Boardbuzz (who seem a little defensive…).
Much more on the AFT-NYT versus charter schools:
NY Post ed board here, Checker Finn in the NY Post here. Former Democratic Congressman Floyd Flake in the New York Times here. Let’s hope Flake’s op-ed is not what passes for a clarification/correction because it doesn’t address the problems with the way The Times chose to present the story and the data. Lot’s of stuff around the blogs also. Drezner here, Yglesias here, Jacobs here and here. New Democratic Network joins in here.
More blogging: Boardbuzz is on this too but they (a) can’t bring themselves to criticize the NYT (though Eduwonk thinks they’d have no problem doing so if it were traditional public schools taking the cheap shot here…) or the AFT (b) repeat the low-grade rumor that the Bushies were sitting on the scores (as much fun as Eduwonk thinks that scandal would be, it’s just not the case…remember, don’t mistake ineptness for nefariousness!) and (c) turn the whole thing into a whine about AYP!
Update II: Seattle Times here, key quote, U of W’s Mary Beth Celio, “It was one of the most unsophisticated, low-level analyses I’ve ever seen.”