Report highlights No Child's flaws in Florida
Is No Child Left Behind working in Florida? Yes and no, according to this wonkiferous new report, which dives into the nitty-gritty of how Florida and federal officials structured the AYP system here.
On the plus side, the system is spotlighting schools where poor and minority students are lagging, says "The Accountability Illusion," a joint effort between the Fordham Institute and the Northwest Evaluation Center. (Hear Fordham president Checker Finn explain the report on the group's blog.)
On the down side, some schools appear to be meeting federal standards simply because they have smaller student populations, or because the size of their poor, minority and/or other subgroups are too small to matter under Florida's definition of AYP.
The report takes fresh aim at a No Child system that has allowed states to set wildly different AYP rules for themselves. Many schools that fail to meet federal standards in one state "would fare better if they were just allowed to move across state lines," the report says.
Florida officials have no love for No Child. Jeb Bush criticized it when he was governor and recently talked up Florida's school grading system as more effective. Last summer, Florida moved to a hybrid accountability system that looks at both grades and AYP to determine what kind of intervention and extra help a school should get.
Ron Matus, state education reporter