Blog: The Educated Reporter

NCLB Required Reading Roundup

Will No Child Left Behind be rewritten? Revised? Or scrapped outright in favor of some bold new plan to fix the nation’s public schools?

Senate hearings got underway Wednesday, a mere four years late. The law took effect in 2002, and was supposed to be put up for review every five years after that date. Instead, Congress put off having the tough conversation and approved school funds on an annual basis.

Here’s a few of the headline stories (and opinions) to consider:

The Christian Science Monitor asks if the proposed changes can make it through the political grist mill before the 2012 elections. This story gives a solid overview of what’s at stake, as well as some of the more controversial proposed changes.

Speaking of controversial proposed changes, a move to tie teacher evaluations to the law’s reauthorization was scrapped, and that didn’t please the Washington Post’s editorial board. It’s worth noting that D.C. Public Schools, for all the complaints about low achievement despite massive per-pupil spending, is well ahead of the pack when it comes to tackling the sticky wicket of teacher evaluations. One of the most interesting stories of the past year on the issue came from Washington Post, in which a reporter actually sat in on a session between a teacher and his evaluator.

While the more familiar aspects of NCLB are understandably getting the most attention this week, there are other issues to consider. On the Huffington Post, advocate Daniel Heimpel makes a strong argument that nation’s education law doesn’t do enough to meet the needs of students who are also in foster care. It’s hard to argue with him that the issue has been overlooked by many of us in the media, as well.