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And Then There Was NCLB

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been mainly occupied with education stimulus dollars, more than anything reflected in the frenzy around his Race to the Top Fund. It is, after all, a $4.3 billion fund available to state education departments through a competitive application process. Final guidelines are to appear sometime within the next three weeks. Stay tuned!

A lot of people have been wondering about NCLB. Here comes Duncan today with a big speech about NCLB, essentially moving it from the back to one of the front burners. Secretary Duncan wants it reauthorized by early 2010. They’re going to be busy over at the USDOE.

Highlights of speech are:

“But the biggest problem with NCLB is that it doesn’t encourage high
learning standards,” Duncan said. “In fact, it inadvertently encourages
states to lower them. The net effect is that we are lying to children
and parents by telling kids they are succeeding when they are not.”

His priorities include: extended learning time, using data to track student and teacher
effectiveness, and systems to better measure individual student
progress.

Read his entire speech by clicking here.

What I hear from people closely following this area is that complaints about the amount of testing is resonating in many quarters, and that the quality of tests will be a much greater focus. This is pretty clear in how the development of new assessments is a big part of Race to the Top.

Are you wondering how arts education fits in? Stay tuned.

an ArtsJournal blog