Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind: Facts and Recommendations

Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind: Facts and Recommendations

Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind: Facts and Recommendations

Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind: Facts and Recommendations

Synopsis

This report synthesizes findings and draws lessons about the implementation and results of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) based on data from two previous studies that were conducted under contract to the U.S. Department of Education and from a third study funded by the National Science Foundation. Progress to date suggests that NCLB's ambitious goal of having 100 percent of U.S. students proficient in reading and mathematics by 2014 will not be met. In addition, the flexibility provided to states by the law has resulted in the establishment of a different accountability system in every state, each with different academic standards, levels of students proficiency, and teacher requirements. Parents have not responded in great numbers either to school choice or to receiving supplemental educational services options. Should Congress reauthorize NCLB, the authors recommend that it consider making the following changes to the law: promote more-uniform academic standards and teacher qualification requirements across states, set more-appropriate improvement targets, broaden the measures of student learning beyond multiple-choice tests in reading and mathematics to include more subjects and tests of higher-thinking and problem-solving skills, focus improvement efforts on all schools while continuing to offer parental choice, and provide incentives for highly qualified teachers to teach in low-performing schools.

Excerpt

This report synthesizes findings and draws lessons about the implementation and results of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) based on data from two previous studies that were conducted under contract to the U.S. Department of Education and from a third study funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The first two studies were longitudinal studies that were mandated by Congress: the National Longitudinal Study of No Child Left Behind (NLS-NCLB), and the Study of State Implementation of Accountability and Teacher Quality Under No Child Left Behind (SSI-NCLB). The research teams for these two studies from the RAND Corporation, the American Institutes for Research, and the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) collaborated to provide an integrated evaluation of the implementation of key NCLB provisions at the state level (SSI-NCLB) and at the district and school levels (NLS-NCLB). Together, these two studies produced a series of reports on the topics of accountability, teacher quality, Title I school choice and supplemental educational services (SES), and targeting and resource allocation. The third study, supported by NSF and conducted by RAND, examined NCLB implementation experiences in three states.

The previous reports from the NLS-NCLB and SSI-NCLB studies are listed below. Results summarized in this new report were drawn from the final longitudinal reports rather than from the interim reports in the series:

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