Educational Editorial: No Child Left Behind overhaul

By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Jack Jennings of the Center on Education Policy remarked that the real question about the overhaul of No Child Left Behind by President Obama is what will replace it?

The eight-year old federal education program presently calls for goals that are not defined in practical terms…or at the worst unattainable.

In Virginia the "adequate yearly progress"  (AYP) indicators are in direct conflict with our accountability system. Metro schools that have done very well on state high stakes tests have been deemed as "failed" because one of the sub groups did not do well.

Educators will applaud these changes. But what is in store for the new and improved No Child Left Behind? Programs are likely to be consolidated and funds moved to support new priorities.

One of those priorities is to change the way "AYP" is calculated…the new criteria will include whether or not students have been prepared for work of college.

While an admirable goal, who now will be left to determine if this goal has been met?… hopefully the states! And then there is the issue of the federal passion for national standards…a quest obvious in the Fed's recent requirement to adopt them in order to get "Race to the Top" competitive funding.

These standards are not as rigorous as Virginia's! Perhaps there is another educational option that the President should consider…get out of the business.

With a national deficit and no constitutional mandate, the Federal government could address to of our problems at one time…debt reduction and meddling.

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