From AYP to a 15% Solution?

Despite the national pastime of griping about No Child Left Behind and its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) accountability measures, there hasn’t been nearly the attention placed on the NCLB waivers being granted by the U.S. Department of Education.

Perhaps it is because such issues are incredibly complex and can be really confusing.  Perhaps it is because it is deep in the weeds, interesting to only the wonkiest of wonks.  Or perhaps we just figure accountability is accountability is accountability and we’ll just keep doing what we are doing until we get our hand slapped.
This week, National Journal and its Experts Blog decides to step into the scrum and offer a week-long discussion on the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to NCLB waivers.
A post from dear ol’ Eduflack is up there now.  I keyed in on the provisions that focus on the bottom 15 percent of schools, noting that Connecticut opted instead to follow a continuum model based on absolute performance.  Why is that so important?  As I wrote:

Our nation’s performance struggles, though, do not reside solely in those bottom 15 percent of schools. That is why Connecticut is following an absolute performance model, and not the 15-percent path. In Connecticut, virtually all of our public schools have room for improvement. Low-income students. Latino students. African-American students. ELL students. White students. Virtually all of our disaggregated groups, even those in our wealthiest communities, show a need for improvement.

As a nation, we do not want to give the impression that we do not need to worry about 85 percent of our schools. It portrays the achievement gap issue or the student performance issue as one that only impacts our lowest performing 15 percent of schools, making it a niche issue and not one that should concern each and every parent, teacher, community leader, and policymaker across the state. We must all accept that 85 percent of our schools are not doing great, and that most schools can and should improve.

Equally important, Eduflack notes:
When nearly 40 percent of students can’t read at grade level by fourth grade, it isn’t a 15 percent issue. When a third of students drop out of high school, it isn’t a 15 percent issue. When 70 percent of Connecticut’s public high school graduates require remedial education in college, it isn’t a 15 percent issue.
Definitely an interesting topic that isn’t garnering the attention it deserves.  Happy reading!

One thought on “From AYP to a 15% Solution?

  1. maillot de foot

    I believe this is an educational post and it is quite useful and knowledgeable. as a result, I would like to thank you for the endeavours you have manufactured in producing this post.

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