But don't let that from people saying it's effective. The education secretary, Margaret Spellings is quoted in the NY Times as saying,
It’s not an accident that we’re seeing the most improvement where N.C.L.B. has focused most vigorously.... The law focuses on math and reading in grades three through eight — it’s not about high schools. So these results are affirming of our accountability-type approach.Wonderful. We give kids a boost early on, but still allow our education to drop the ball by the time they complete high school. That's great!
One other interesting thing I found in the Report Card is that although the gender gap in math and science is usually reported to be large, the report card shows it to be small, at least in terms of math. Although it grows by the high school level (but only to 6 points out of 500 in the most recent year), it suggests that females aren't going into science and technology fields due to a lack of preparation or ability. Rather, the lack of females in these fields is more due to cultural stigmata drawing females into other lines of work. Something for teachers to keep in mind.