Here’s my new piece at WHYY’s Newsworks: why we should celebrate New Jersey’s No Child Left Behind waiver, with specific comparisons of two NJ school districts: Lower Cape May and Asbury Park. Teaser:
For 10 years, states have adhered grumpily to the law – publishing district-by-district data on how many kids are deemed “advanced proficient,” “proficient,” or “partially proficient” (i.e. failing) in math, language arts, and science. And they’ve braced for Armageddon in 2014 when, by federal mandate, every single child in America is supposed to be magically transformed into a proficient student.
Under No Child Left Behind, Schools that don’t meet proficiency targets get pinned with four scarlet letters: SINI. That stands for School in Need of Improvement. Schools in this category face escalating sanctions spelled out in the law. For example, a school in Year 2 of SINI status might be required to offer after-school tutoring to kids with poor test scores. A School in Year 6 might be required to fire the principal or restructure the school.
Read the rest here.