NCLB a failed policy for Minnesota


by Laura Huiras | July 10, 2009 • Last week the MN Department of Education released the MCA-II scores for 2009. Scores follow similar trends as previous years, with overall math and reading scores slightly increasing or remaining the same for most grade levels. While small progress has been made with the test scores, the data sets are far-off NCLB’s stated goals for 2014.

Hindsight is the official blog of Minnesota 2020. Hindsight gives the run down on the news that jumps out at us on the issues that matter. Often times these stories show us how much further we need to go to have the progressive policy realized in Minnesota.

MN Rep. John Kline, the ranking republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, predicts that No Child Left Behind will increase state flexibility and change the 2014 deadline for 100% proficiency for students when it is up for re-authorization in the fall. This prophecy alone gives way to the failure of NCLB, its inflexibility with standardized testing, especially for ELL and special education students, and its unrealistic goals.

If NCLB re-authorization indeed increases state flexibility, Minnesota must use the data gathered over the years to improve educational quality for all students. Minnesota has a unique pattern of success and failures under NCLB because diverse student populations are generally limited to urban centers and a few rural communities with high Latino populations. NCLB will not live up to its promises, but how the data is used is vital to creating better educational policy for the future.

We all want to increase opportunities for students to succeed. So far, NCLB is failing in that goal.

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