What reauthorization of NCLB might look like
The Baltimore City public school system held a panel discussion today that looked at what the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act will mean for the school district. A panel of national education experts said that despite the fact that nearly everyone agrees the law is deeply flawed, its premise is likely to remain. So we will still have accountability, meaning testing of children, and the emphasis on ensuring that all children must succeed will continue.
But proposals on the table now call for the law to be rewritten, giving local districts more say in how they deal with failing schools and what they do to fix them. In addition, it looks as though many believe we should stop identifying so many schools as troubled and focus on the bottom 5 percent across the nation.
Formulas could put more emphasis on whether students and schools are improving rather than whether they have hit static targets. There's likely to be more emphasis as well on teacher and principal effectiveness because research is showing that students who have good teachers two years in a row can make great progress.
Many educators agree on the need for national standards, but some disagreed about whether the new common core standards should become part of the reauthorization. This is just the beginning of the discussion and no one was predicting when a new bill might get through Congress.