July 9, 2003, Extra Credit
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July 9, 2003
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Minnesota Education Leaders Welcome the Accountability of No Child Left Behind
Commenting today on the announcement earlier this week that Minnesota has preliminarily identified 259 schools in the state as in need of improvement, the Minneapolis Star Tribune editorializes: “Ultimately, one of the most important actions that can come from these school ratings lies in success sharing. This assessment shows very clearly which schools need improvement in what areas and for which students. Many of the programs have higher concentrations of students with a well-known litany of challenges, among them high mobility, poverty and language barriers. Yet there are increasing numbers of schools with similar demographics that are posting impressive gains for students."

Following are excepts from news coverage of the announcement:

As reported in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on July 8th, “Statewide, 131 elementary schools and 128 middle and high schools, including area learning centers, were listed. That’s more than were on any lists of underperforming schools required by previous federal law. But it’s much lower than predicted. … Minnesota’s list is nowhere near as extensive as educators once feared. Earlier this year, Department of Education officials had anticipated 426 of the state’s elementary schools landing on the list, based on 2002 state test scores. Despite predictions that almost all Minneapolis and St. Paul elementary schools and as many as half of Twin Cities suburban elementary schools would wind up on the list, that didn’t prove to be the case. Less than one-third of Minneapolis and St. Paul elementary schools were listed, and only 11 percent of suburban schools.” (emphasis added)

In the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minnesota Education Commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke is quoted saying: "The first year of anything is always the most difficult." Yecke also states: "But we need something like No Child Left Behind in this state. For too long we only looked at the scores of the aggregate and didn't look at the subgroups." (emphasis added) Also in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, "St. Paul Superintendent Patricia Harvey said she welcomed the new level of accountability called for by No Child Left Behind. 'I'm not concerned. We are focused,' she said. 'It's never a bad idea to focus on individual students and subgroups. New immigrants and those living below the poverty level may have extra challenges, but that doesn't mean they don't have the capacity for high achievement.'" (emphasis added) Full article at:


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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 01/08/2004