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August 29, 2005 Extra Credit
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August 29, 2005

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West Virginia Should Stay the Course on NCLB

The following excerpted editorial appeared in the Intelligencer of Wheeling, WV (8-29):

"Connecticut has become the first state to file a lawsuit seeking to overturn the standardized testing requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. Apparently Connecticut would prefer to take the money and run. Who wouldn't?

"Connecticut officials claim the federal law imposes an illegal unfunded mandate because, the state alleges, the feds don't cover all costs of testing associated with the law. If that's really the case, then Connecticut has a simple choice at hand: Don't take the money.

"No Child Left Behind is an optional program, and states that don't wish to expose individual schools to the accountability that comes from test results may decline to participate. Connecticut's claim seems especially grating, since the state perennially spends more per pupil than most states on K-12 education."

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Don't Leave Area Children Behind

The following article appeared in the Wheeling News-Register (8-27):

"Fifty-one of the Northern Panhandle's 59 public schools are doing a good job, to judge by state and federal criteria. But eight are lagging - and that should concern residents of our area, as well as educators.

"Accountability is nothing new in West Virginia public schools. Before the federal No Child Left Behind law was enacted, the state had a system of monitoring school performance. But NCLB has put a new type of teeth into school accountability....

"About 83 percent of our state's schools met ‘adequate yearly progress’ on state and federal standards during the last round of testing, according to state officials. ‘AYP’ has become something of a holy grail for educators - and it can be very difficult to achieve. Most area schools have done so, however....

"Still, to ensure that all students receive good educations, it is vital that shortcomings be addressed. We urge educators to redouble their efforts to come into compliance with state and federal requirements - not merely for the rules' sake, but, more important, to ensure that no Northern Panhandle child is left behind."

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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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