Well, the discussion draft is causing some, well, discussion. Word is that the teachers’ unions are not pleased but the Ed Trust likes it as much as Idaho senators like airport cops. I’ll post their statement here as soon as it’s online but here’s a taste:
“While the touted goal of this No Child Left Behind rewrite is a law that’s “fair, flexible, and funded,” the accountability provisions in the draft circulated yesterday are actually “flawed, flimsy, and phony.”
“It’s hard from a policy point of view to make sense of much of this draft, but its meaning as a political document is quite clear,” said Amy Wilkins, Vice President of The Education Trust. “The efforts to dumb-down the definitions of progress and success by well-financed and ill-informed defenders of the status quo are gaining traction. Americans who share the goal of closing the achievement gaps have cause for concern.”
Is the Trust that worried about this version or what it could become as it goes through the process and ends up looking like this? The latter is a real concern if the accountability provisions turn into horse trading and it’s good for them to get a marker down. But, while parts of this could be/should be tighter (e.g. assessment for LEP kids) and some parts don’t make a lot of sense right now, for instance the local assessment pilot, which is either redundant and cost-ineffective or a step back on accountability*, it’s not the end of the world, especially in the current environment.
*And is sort of ironic given all the fetishizing of national standards these days!