No child left behind was supposed to aid minority children in catching up in school with white kids. It was promoted by Bush as putting a stress on accountability. That is, it stressed testing to see if the children did learn. But the NY Times says it did’t work:
The achievement gap between white and minority students has not narrowed in recent years, despite the focus of the No Child Left Behind law on improving the scores of blacks and Hispanics, according to results of a federal test considered to be the nation’s best measure of long-term trends in math and reading proficiency.
But could anything work? Well, something did make a lot of difference:
Although Black and Hispanic elementary, middle and high school students all scored much higher on the federal test than they did three decades ago, most of those gains were not made in recent years, but during the desegregation efforts of the 1970s and 1980s.
That might suggest that even a partial equalizing of resourcess makes a significant difference. Who would have guessed?
Of course, there are still defenders of Bush’s act:
But Margaret Spellings, [the last secretary of ed] under President Bush, called the results a vindication of the No Child law.
“It’s not an accident that we’re seeing the most improvement where N.C.L.B. has focused most vigorously,” Ms. Spellings said. “The law focuses on math and reading in grades three through eight — it’s not about high schools. So these results are affirming of our accountability type approach.”
There really is nothing like those Texans for persistence in beliefs. What she’s referring to, though, is the fact that any recent gains appear to disappear in high school. Hmmmmmm. We don’t see to have gotten it right yet.