Sioux City, IA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/17/2012 -- Dr. McGrath suggested in a recent blog that No Child Left Behind means that data integrity is urgently required because achievement gaps impact children of poverty. Many congressional representatives signed off with a wink that all our children would be reading and computing math at grade level by 2014. This lofty and admirable goal is neither realistic nor will it come to pass.
Dr.Rich McGrath (http://www.drrichmcgrath.com) is an expert in all phases of education, particularly versed in school-wide reform of inner city schools; with experience leading a school of students with over 90% poverty and over 60% English Language Learners.
Children with learning disabilities and those learning a second language continue to struggle. Children caught in the cycle of poverty continue to struggle. These achievement gaps continue and sadly, will for some time. Each individual state determined goals of proficiency or Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Now ten years later, nearly half of the states have not met AYP goals and the failure rate grows annually.
While 20% of Massachusetts’ schools have met the federally requirements of NCLB, a whopping 78% of Louisiana’s schools have also met these requirements. These data might allow one to erroneously conclude that Louisiana’s schools are demonstrably better than Massachusetts’ schools.
McGrath insists, “This discrepancy is merely manipulation and a direct result of individual states determining and defining unique levels of student proficiency. Incomparable data leads to inaccurate conclusions…comparing apples to oranges never works.”
Arne Duncan, with the blessing of the Obama administration, decided to bail out the individual states from NCLB and so far eleven states already had waivers approved and many more on their way. Most states will have requests for waivers from NCLB approved by September 2012. NCLB, as currently constructed, will be left impotent.
Emphasis will continue to be placed on standardized assessments, but states will be measured on a growth model versus a proficiency model. Schools are accountable for demonstrating student growth no matter how low or high current performance data reflects. Test results will determine whether teachers are successful. Some states already base a part of teacher salary and/or job performance on student test performance; these trends will continue, as detailed by the National Council on Teacher Quality.
With statistically sound data assessment, all engaged in the education field must constantly and consistently operating in the lean world where Kaizen Education Models force parents, students, teachers, principals, communities, and technology breakthroughs, to challenge the status quo. Every day we find better ways to help all children from falling behind. These ever greater demands for knowledge and the capacity to learn, read, compute, and communicate with dynamic proficiency and effectiveness will create a greater gap among the children who most need dynamic (and methodologically sound) education solutions.
Follow Dr. Rich McGrath on Twitter @drrichmcgrath. Insights, news, and best-practices can be followed daily.
Dr. Rich McGrath