How Should No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Be Evaluated
Since most current literature deems it necessary to evaluate the No Child Left Behind policy immediately or as soon as possible, the next question that should be addressed is how is the policy going to be evaluated? There are several options and these options could come from either the state or federal level. The evaluation process should look at the area of need and disparity first and then evaluate the processes that caused weaknesses or failure within the policy.
NCLB Evaluation at All Levels
Sunderman (2007) argues that the No Child Left Behind Policy should be evaluated on all levels. He especially wants the evaluation to include the core of the issues of the policy. This, according to the author, is how the students are evaluated and how the results of the evaluations are interpreted. He feels that without realistic testing and evaluation, the results are mute and will steer districts and states to make drastic decisions based on erroneous reporting and unrealistic goals. Once this is established, Sunderman believes that an upward evaluation of the policy can be readjusted with realistic goals and achievable standards.
Evaluated from the Bottom Up
The NCLB Roundtable (2008) agrees with Sunderman and states that the policy should be evaluated from the bottom up. This will allow the states and districts to have proper and realistic data to make informed decisions of whether the students of a particular district or school have made progress from the previous year. They argue that the students should be assessed by using formative assessment methods and other classroom data, not just standardized tests. They continue to say that one standardized test does not give the teacher or administrators a true reading of student growth or achievement.
Focus on What Works
Slavin (2006) puts out an idea that No Child Left Behind should be evaluated and that the evaluation should focus on what works within the policy. The author would like to see what has been proven to be positive and workable in the policy and see other components that are weak or failing be removed or revised to provide more positive reinforcements to NCLB and other polices that are in place. The removal of failing components would leave administrators and policy makers with more leeway and support for the components that are proven to be successful.
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