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November 2006 | Volume 64 | Number 3
NCLB: Taking Stock, Looking Forward
Five high-performing urban districts, all finalists for the Broad Prize, took their cue for improvement from NCLB.
While attending a conference recently, I was amazed at the intensity of anti-NCLB sentiments I heard expressed. Comments like, “When are we going to stop taking time away from instruction for all this testing?” rang throughout numerous sessions. Although a few administrators, teachers, and parents countered these comments with positive examples, those defending No Child Left Behind (NCLB) were definitely in the minority.
The continued negativity toward the law surprises me. I have witnessed first-hand improvements in the quality of education provided in urban schools that came about through practices required by NCLB. Five of the urban districts where I have seen such strides were finalists for the 2005 Broad Prize for Urban Education, an annual prize awarded to the most improved urban school districts in the United States. Despite poverty, high student mobility, and other challenges, these districts developed well-aligned systems that boosted students' achievement and narrowed achievement gaps. A closer look at the practices of the Broad Prize finalists reveals how NCLB helped these schools clarify and strengthen their curriculums, effectively use data, and intervene to reach struggling students.
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Copyright © 2006 by Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
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