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March 8, 2006 Extra Credit
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March 8, 2006

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March 2
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"Every Child Moving Ahead"

The following article, excerpted below, appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer (OH) (3-6-06):

"As The Enquirer's education team reported in its Sunday analysis of No Child Left Behind, the 4-year-old legislation has shaken up nearly every aspect of public education…."

"The legislation set off a new round of testing, forced schools to show how particular groups of students are performing and set achievement standards schools that must achieve or be penalized for failing. The goal: close the achievement gap for poor, minority and disabled students.

"But bold and brash as NCLB is, it will take something more powerful than federal legislation to get the job done…."

"In the schools that have truly sought to serve all children - and there are plenty - adults have long been asking these types of questions. They scrutinize performance data, look for clusters, question patterns, and keep trying to crack the code of how to best help all kids.

"But in other districts, patterns of underachievement have been right under educators' noses for years, and they've failed to ask the most obvious of questions - what lies behind these children's poor performance?

"Critics say No Child Left Behind has failed to close the achievement gap. We say the act has succeeded in opening people's eyes to it.

"Now people - teachers, parents, students, taxpayers - are going to have to decide what to do about what they see.

For the complete article, please visit: http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/
article?AID=/20060306/EDIT01/603060336/-1/all

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"What's the Smartest State of All?"

The following article, excerpted below, appeared in the Hartford Courant (CT) (3-7-06):

"In the 2004-05 school year…fourth-graders who took the Connecticut Mastery Test scored highest in the nation in writing, tied for highest in reading and placed second in mathematics.

"Connecticut is so taken with its own smartness that state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court contending that years of CMT success should relieve the state from complying with key provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.

"Connecticut also has what is perhaps the largest achievement disparity in the nation between white English-speaking students and their low-income black and Hispanic counterparts - precisely what the act was created to close…."

"For Connecticut to claim it supports the goals of No Child Left Behind as it clings to practices that undermine those objectives is sheer hypocrisy.

"The NAACP, in asking court permission to intervene…said it best: ‘Connecticut's action in bringing this lawsuit is analogous to a polluter claiming to support the Clean Water Act while petitioning for the ability to dump hazardous waste in to the Connecticut River.’…"

For the complete article, please visit: http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/
op_ed/hc-medina0307.artmar07,0,618 4790.story

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About Extra Credit
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: 08/14/2007