Flawed Thinking: Why NCLB Failed to Produce Equity and High Quality

Cross-posted at Education Week

The prospects for a successful rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act are uncertain after the House’s failure to hold a floor vote last Friday. But Senate staff are busy working to achieve HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander’s vision of a compromise measure capable of gaining approval from the upper chamber. As Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Senator Patty Murray continue their work in the Senate, I thought it might be helpful to stand back and ask what it is that we are trying to achieve with the reauthorization.

I recently participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE). In my remarks, which you can view below, I spoke about how NCLB was the result of a federal government too consumed with demanding accountability for its investment, and not sufficiently focused on building a system designed to improve student achievement. It is a call for putting accountability in perspective.