BoardBuzz told you last year — and the Center on Education Policy concurs — high achieving students are not being left behind. Last year BoardBuzz took issue with a Fordham Institute report’s conclusion that schools have been concentrating on low performing students at the expense of high achieving students since the implementation of NCLB. Fordham didn’t agree with BoardBuzz’s analysis but a new report by the Center on Education Policy called Is the Emphasis on “Proficiency” shortchanging our Low- and High-Achieving Students? concluded that there is “…no persuasive evidence that NCLB’s focus on proficiency is shortchanging students at the advanced or basic levels.”
Does this mean that that all high performing students are doing as well as they would have before NCLB? Of course not. But it does mean that despite NCLB’s punitive pass/fail system our schools are working hard to educate all students not just those nearing proficiency. However, as BoardBuzz has stated before and for which NSBA advocates, schools should get credit for how much their students’ have learned during the year via a growth model, instead of just on the percent of students reaching a certain score on their state assessment. By doing so, schools will get credit for the learning of all students across the achievement spectrum and not just those nearing proficiency.
Hopefully Congress will act quickly to approve the changes proposed by NSBA to create a much fairer accountability system for our public schools.