September 03, 2004 Extra Credit
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September 3, 2004

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September 2
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Improving Scores is Worth an Applause

The following are excerpts from a recent editorial in The Philadelphia Inquirer (Aug. 30, 2004) highlighting the progress made by Pennsylvania schools over the past year. Scores have improved and this can be attributed to the No Child Left Behind Act, according to the Inquirer:

"So now that the state Department of Education has released the 2004 scores in reading and math, fair-mindedness demands that some credit be given where some credit is due: rigorous educational standards for all American schoolchildren."

"Philadelphia released its test scores last month, showing gains among fifth- and eighth-grade test-takers in most subjects. Last week’s statewide release shows about three-quarters of local suburban school students also made progress from 2003 to 2004, including in districts that face great challenges."

"Teachers and students…rose to the challenge. Setting high expectations can motivate children and adults alike to fulfill them. But critics ought to stop and acknowledge that high standards, monitored by those hated tests, may be working."

"[Teachers] may be working most for children who traditionally have struggled the most to be proficient in basic subjects: One of the great advances of the federal law is its requirement that districts must "disaggregate" test scores of student subgroups."

"This means a district not doing enough to help disadvantaged students can no longer hide that problem inside the high scores of its upper-middle-class students."

"For all the hysterical criticism voiced by some No Child Left Behind foes, a poll released last Tuesday shows that 69 percent of Americans surveyed still don't know much about the law."

"But the most striking finding of the Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll is this: 88 percent of the public wants the achievement gap between white and minority students to close. Take away the politics, and that’s a big part of what leaving no child behind is all about."


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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: 08/13/2013