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February 14, 2008

Study says NCLB is increasing dropout rate

There is an interesting new study out from Rice University and the Unversity of Texas-Austin.

Researchers found that the state that was the model for No Child Left Behind -- Texas -- loses about 271,000 students a year. And most of those students are African-American, Latino and students for whom English is a second language.

The researchers said pressure on principals and teachers to have high pass rates on state tests has led to higher dropout rates.

"High stakes, test-based accountability doesn't lead to school improvement or equitable educational possibilities," said Linda McSpadden McNeil, director of the Center for Education at Rice. "It leads to avoidable losses of students. Inherently the system creates a dilemma for principals: comply or educate."

A full copy of the study is here.


Posted by Liz Bowie at 11:07 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: NCLB, Study, study!


This is no surprise to those of us who teach in high schools. We've taken the carrot of interesting electives out of the equation and added more sticks. Some students will wade through Algebra just because they know they have Drama or Child Development or Keyboarding look forward to. When you take a student who is struggling with Algebra and force him to take more and more of it while depriving him of the "fun" classes, what do we expect to happen?!

Amazingly (and sadly) enough this is already happening at the elementary school level! Recess is being cut short or is non-existant in some classes. The "home living center" and blocks have been removed from Kindergartens. Kids are being pulled at arrival time for reading and math, during lunch several times a week for reading and math, during science/social studies for reading and math, and now during their "specials" (art, music, phys ed., etc.) for...yes, reading and math. Where is the time for young children to learn socialization? To become more well-rounded? Elementary school brings back so many fond memories from my childhood. These children will (or already do!) look at school as a chore and will drop out as soon as they are allowed.

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