Top Students Said to Stagnate Under NCLB
A new NCLB report finds that teachers shift attention toward low-performing students rather than achievement for all students. The report draws on national test-score data and results from a nationwide survey of 900 public school teachers in grades 3-12 to paint a portrait of a generation of high achievers left to fend for themselves as schools and teachers shift their time and resources toward educational strategies aimed more at bringing the bottom up than on raising achievement for all children.
The data show, for instance, that from 2000 to 2007, the scores of the top 10 percent of students essentially held steady on National Assessment of Educational Progress tests in reading and math. The scores for the bottom 10 percent of students, meanwhile, rose by 18 points on the 4th grade reading test and 13 points in 8th grade math—the equivalent of about a year’s worth of learning.
Thomas Fordham Foundation. (2008). High-Achieving Students in the Era of NCLB. Washington, DC: Author.