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Hold all schools accountable

April 19, 2011 by Kerri L. Briggs

In The Detroit News’ story, “No consensus on No Child Left Behind,” (March 24), a section was included that discussed the Obama administration’s plan that “tosses out the goal of all students being proficient by 2014 and instead focuses on all students graduating from high school prepared for a career and college. Annual testing would continue under his proposal, but the penalties for schools that don’t meet benchmarks will be concentrated at the bottom 5 percent, leaving more flexibility with the states for the other 95 percent.”

This logic is troubling. What happens when we don’t hold accountable a school that isn’t classified in the bottom 5 percent of the nation, but where 40 percent of third graders can’t read? Focusing solely on the biggest failures will not help ensure that each American student receives the quality education they deserve. As with any legislation, the NCLB measuring sticks can be improved, but the data will still reflect that too many students are not achieving at high enough levels. The president’s plan should continue to hold every single school in the nation accountable for the education of our children.

Ths blog was written by Kerri Briggs, Director-Education Reform, George W. Bush Institute, Dallas