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Talk Isn’t Cheap

Josh Harris • Archives • February 13, 2008

For 2008, the issue is everywhere. And this is a welcome and important change• because what is said during the Presidential campaign does matter. I’ll tell you why in a moment. First, let’s take a look at a small sampling of what is being said:

Barack Obama
“One of the first things I would do is to modify No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Part of the reason that you’re seeing pressure on arts programs and music programs in the school is that No Child Left Behind is structured where the success of the school is measured entirely in terms by what happens on those high stakes standardize tests.”

“Increasingly you’re seeing more resources funneled into remedial and basic math and science to get test scores up and away from art and music. That’s part of a bigger problem. Which is I don’t think we are assessing schools effectively under NCLB. I think we have to have an assessment that include a test• but it has also has to includes peer review. It also has to include what is called a growth model so that were measuring what happens during the course of the school year. Right now, if a child comes in and they’re three years behind, and at the end of the year they’re only one year behind, that school’s actually done a very good job. But it wouldn’t show up on No Child Left Behind. They would be still labeled, potentially, as a failure.”

“If we can change those assessments then once again we will be emphasizing arts, music, literature, social studies, foreign languages, the things that provide a well-rounded education for our children.”

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