Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Nothing New

In both the Lawrence Journal World and the Kansas City Star have run articles today concerning the "playing of the system" that many states have been doing in reporting test scores for the So Child Left Behind act.

As many know, the NCLB act requires that students be tested to determine whether or not children in states have been meeting the benchmark goals set forth by the act. Should schools not meet these benchmarks, their funding can be slashed as well as other punishments.

But to avoid these sanctions, schools have been exploiting a loophole to avoid the reporting of scores that may otherwise hinder their progress. Rules allow for the schools to exclude scores of certain minorities if the school does not have a significant percentage of a given minority. However, in many cases, this allows for as many as 30-50 students from a given school to be excluded. Across the state of Kansas, this allows for thousands of students test scores to be excluded if their scores don't help the school.

This isn't only common in Kansas though. In Texas, over 65,000 asian and Native American students are excluded. Other states have similar statistics.

But this isn't the first time that has happened. Before NCLB was enacted as a national policy, it was first enacted in Texas while Bush was governor. Even then, school districts cheated the system by excluding students from minorities or students with special needs.

You'd think that the program failing to improve the school system in Texas would have been an indication that it had some serious flaws that should be fixed. But it seems that Bush doesn't care to take a hint before shouting "Let's roll."


Redbeard said...

Yep. The Houston Independent School District has found creative ways to fudge the numbers on just about every numerical measurement it was to be judged by, be it violent incidents in schools or drop out rates.

As long as it gets the President elected, it works. Who cares if our children is learning?

Jon Voisey said...

Those are some excellent bits of reading there. Thanks for those.