A look back at NCLB on its 9th anniversary

Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post takes a look back at the first nine years of the No Child Left Behind law. Her take, on the whole, is critical:

So while NCLB was useful in providing data about different demographic groups, it didn’t achieve its goal of closing the achievement gaps.

But in its emphasis on standardized multiple choice tests, NCLB has distorted our children’s experience in school. Students as young as 6 or 7 years old are now subjected to weeks of preparation for high stakes tests. Because math, reading and to a lesser extent science are the only subjects regularly tested, students are drilled in those topics.

Meanwhile, subjects such as history, civics, music and art – which help develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills – are squeezed out of the school day.


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