The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

“No Child Left Behind”:
What help for children?

Oct 24, 2005

In October, results for nationwide testing on students in fourth grade and eighth grade showed math scores up slightly and reading scores down slightly. President Bush wanted to claim the results proved the value of his education act, No Child Left Behind. “It shows there’s an achievement gap in America that is closing,” he said.

But Tom Loveless, a scholar at the conservative Brookings Institute, could not support the administration the way Brookings usually does. He said, “... reading scores were flat and math scores on the rise before No Child Left Behind, and reading scores are flat and math scores are still up after No Child Left Behind. It’s impossible to know whether [it] had an impact – either positively or negatively.”The tests have been given nationally every two years since 1992. They show that, among fourth grade students, 36% are proficient in math, and 31% are considered proficient in reading. In eighth grade, 30% of students are considered proficient in math, and 31% are proficient in reading.

When about one child in three is scoring at the average for their grade level, and two children out of three are not, the school systems are leaving the majority of children behind!

Until real money is invested in schools, for good resources and smaller classes and well-educated teachers, Most Children will be Left Behind. The rest is noise for political campaigning.