NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 15, 2004

Most states have met or are on the way to meeting 75 percent of the major requirements of the No Child Left Behind law, according to the nonpartisan Education Commission of the States (ECS). The level of compliance has more than doubled over the last year.

The 2001 law requires expanded standardized testing, more information and choices for parents and public reporting of progress for every demographic group so the scores of struggling students aren't masked by school averages. Schools that get federal poverty aid but don't make enough yearly progress get help but also face mounting sanctions.

ECS, a Denver-based group that advises state leaders, graded states on 40 elements of the law, from how well parents get information to how well struggling schools get help.

Among the findings:

  • 92 percent of the states are on track to publicly report achievement data for all major groups of students, including minorities, poor people, those with disabilities and those who have limited English skills.
  • 65 percent are on track to set clear, substantial expectations for students to be at their grade level in reading and math no later than 2013-14.
  • 53 percent are on track to identify which schools are in need of improvement before the next school year begins so that parents have time to understand their options.
  • 22 percent are on track to make new and current elementary, middle and secondary teachers of core subjects demonstrate competency in their subjects.

However, no state is on track to meet another requirement of the law -- having a measurable way to ensure a highly qualified teacher will be in every core academic class in 2005-06. ECS says states should get rid of systems that deem veteran teachers highly qualified under standards that aren't rigorous.Source: Ben Feller (Associated Press), "Schools get mixed grades on 'No Child' law," Detroit Free Press, July 15, 2004; based upon, ECS Report to the Nation: State Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, Education Commission of the States, July 14, 2004.


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