Blog: The Educated Reporter

Sneaking up to the third rail.

If a ratio were calculated of how much something is griped about in private to how little in public, nothing in the education world would score higher than the 100 percent proficiency provision of No Child Left Behind. So many people think the goal is impossible, yet nobody in elected office says that publicly. Which poor child do you want to not achieve?

States are supposed to increase their proficiency targets over time until 2014, when schools and districts must hit 100 percent in order to make adequate yearly progress. It is no secret that states have tried to backload improvement targets so that they increase as little as possible, as late as possible. But trying to ditch the 100 percent altogether? That takes a whole other level of moxie.

Which was on display in Virginia this week, as the state board decided to attempt to freeze its proficiency targets (at 79 percent in math and 81 percent in reading), promising in later years to hit … TBD. Officials don’t quite admit to it in this piece by Lauren Roth of the Virginian-Pilot, but I can only imagine it is a conscious gamble that by the time 2014 arrives, we will have a reauthorized law without the 100 percent rules. (Though at the rate reauthorization is going…?)

Ask around your state: Are they trying to ditch the 100 percent target too?