How Will Kids Be Tested?
by Suzanne Whitney, Research Editor
Congress has reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act (ESEA), the statute formerly known as No Child Left
Behind. The new statute, Every Student Succeeds Act, was signed into law by President Obama on December 10, 2015.
I have a question about NCLB. As I read it, all kids need to be on
grade level as measured by the statewide assessments. As a psychologist,
I don't get it.
equivalents are not valid.
2) Students' scores on the state assessment will be compared to all
the other students who took the test and they will become the normative
50% of kids will be above average and 50% will be below average. States
and districts will use the same norms for years which will give the false
impression that kids are making progress. When the test is re-normed we
will be in the same situation, 50% above, 50% below.
this in mind, what are we (educators) supposed to do? It seems as
though President Bush has been visiting Lake Wobegon! Please help
me understand this in a future issue.
I have been following your NCLB discussion closely. This is a big
topic and my employer has not given us any info. I really appreciate
your handouts for teachers
and administrators and for parents.
I cannot believe how much I am enjoying your
two books. I even have one set at home and one at work!
from Sue Whitney, Research Editor, Wrightslaw
No Child Left Behind requires that all children will test as proficient
or advanced on state tests of math, reading and science by the 2013-2014
the meantime, the gains that the school and school district must make
between now and 2014 are broken up into equal increments for different
groups of children, including children who are most often left behind.
Schools and school districts must break out and report the test scores
for the following subgroups:
must make this increment of progress each year. This is called Annual
Yearly Progress (AYP).
will have to ensure that children at the lowest levels make the greatest
gains every year if they are to reach the goal of teaching all children
to read at grade level by 2014.
These tests measure the child's performance against state proficiency
standards, not against the performance of other students. States will
use the proficiency levels (the equivalent of average grade level
[Section 1111(b)(1)(D)(ii))(II)]) that they have already set for their
state proficiency tests. This will remain constant.
am surprised that your employer is not educating staff about No Child
Left Behind - in addition to requirements about teaching children
to read, write and do math, the law includes substantial benefits
for people who work in schools.
NCLB includes a great deal of money to recruit and retain highly qualified
teachers and principals (i.e., bonuses and stipends). Funds are available
for professional development programs and to train staff in research
based educational strategies and methods. Scholarships are available
for graduate school.
Here are some resources that you can use to learn more about the requirements
and benefits of the No Child Left Behind Act.
No Child Left Behind - This
NCLB site includes lots of fact sheets about different issues; they
publish a free newsletter too.
& Assessments- Non-Regulatory Draft Guidance (published
by U. S. Department of Education in March 2003). Includes frequently
asked questions about academic standards, academic assessments, issues
related to testing special populations (children with disabilities,
children learning English).
Teacher Quality State Grants, Title II, Draft Non-Regulatory Guidance
(U.S. Department of Education). Includes dozens of frequently asked
questions and answers; excellent resource for school personnel.
Child Left Behind Info Page - articles, news, frequently asked
questions at Wrightslaw.com
Coming Soon - Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind
You wrote that you enjoy the Wrightslaw books. Read Wrightslaw:
No Child Left Behind by Pete Wright, Pam Wright and Sue
Whitney Heath. Wrightslaw:
No Child Left Behind includes the full text of the NCLB
statute, regulations, and resources. As a newsletter subscriber, you
will receive a special pre-publication offer on the book.
Meet Sue Whitney
Sue Whitney of Manchester, New Hampshire, works with families as a special education advocate and is the research editor for Wrightslaw.
In her column, Doing Your Homework, Sue writes about reading, research based instruction, and creative strategies for using education standards to advocate for children and to improve public schools.
Sue's articles have been reprinted by SchwabLearning.org, EducationNews.org, Bridges4Kids.org, The Beacon: Journal of Special Education Law and Practice, the Schafer Autism Report, and have been used in CLE presentations to attorneys.
Sue is the co-author of Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind (ISBN: 978-1-892320-12-4) that was
published by Harbor House Law Press, Inc..
She also served on New Hampshire's Special Education State
Committee on the Education of Students/Children with Disabilities
Sue Whitney's bio.
© 2002-2020 by Suzanne Whitney.
articles by Sue:
Help for Children with Reading Problems
Exams Can Be Optional If You Plan Ahead
Parent's Guide to No Child Left Behind
Child Left Behind: What Teachers, Principals & School Administrators
Need to Know
Stakes! Can the School Use a Single Test to Retain My Child?