Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » THE BEGINNING OF THE END

    Filed at 9:29 am under by dcobranchi

    …of NCLB.

    Essentially every school district in the state of Minnesota is “failing.”

    A report today will estimate that 80 percent to 100 percent of Minnesota’s school districts will not meet expectations of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, according to a state official familiar with the report.

    …In a state that ranks at or near the top on many national student-achievement measures, the report’s findings that so many school districts are considered under-performing are sure to be unsettling. They also will add fuel to a smoldering rebellion at the Legislature on the No Child Left Behind Act.

    The state is considering forgoing federal dollars in order to opt out of NCLB. And, it’s only going to get worse.

    4 Responses to “THE BEGINNING OF THE END”

    Comment by
    Eric Holcombe
    February 26th, 2004
    at 4:13 pm

    “The Senate Education Committee tentatively passed a bill last week that would pull the state out of the federal education program, a move that would jeopardize $175 million to $240 million annually in federal funds.”

    Well, which is it, 175 or 240? Only about a 40% swing there. Of course it’s all peanuts compared to, was it Chicago’s budget of 3.1 billion?

    Please opt out of the federal funds. I may actually collect a social security check one day…

    Comment by
    judy aron
    February 27th, 2004
    at 8:52 am

    ok – under NCLB kids can move from failing schools to the ones that aren’t failing.. does this mean that the 20% of Minnesota schools that are not on the list now have to absorb the 80% that are failing?? (tongue in cheek here)

    or maybe the state has to give 80% of the students vouchers to attend the private schools in Minnesota..

    or maybe the 80% that are failing can be pushed out to homeschool!

    or maybe the state of Minnesota can just say no to federal mandates..

    or maybe the State Dept of Education in Minnesota can sit down and see why their schools are so abysmal – perhaps it is not just the kids that need assessment testing

    Comment by
    February 27th, 2004
    at 6:30 pm

    Our school system has pointed out another flaw in the way NCLB is implemented here. To get a diploma in this state, kids have to pass a Gateway test in algebra (among other things). It’s scheduled toward the end of the second semester of Algebra I. Because Tennessee already had an accountability program in place, of which the Gateway tests are a part, the state folks decided to use the Gateway tests as-is for compliance with NCLB.

    One of the many problems is that a lot of the smarter kids take Algebra I, and hence the Gateway, in 8th grade. This cannot count for high school. And it drops the average test score for that high school, because these are the high-achieving kids. At least two high schools in my county figured out that this alone put them on the target list.

    I’m convinced that NCLB puts states that already had an accountability program at a disadvantage. We have to scrap our program, which has taken several years and lots of money and effort to develop, or look like failures to people who read the NCLB stats and dismiss explanations like the above as “whining”. More and more, I hate NCLB.

    Comment by
    Eric Holcombe
    March 1st, 2004
    at 1:34 pm


    I believe I read that the passing score for those tests is very low – on the order of 50%. The schools in Knox Co. sure liked to crow about the 97% of 8th graders that passed the Biology gateway. I guess those are the good students you are talking about. Get a Knox News Sentinel from Sunday 2/29 and look at the amount of education funding that comes from federal sources. It is miniscule. The story harps on Knoxville being lowest in funding ($6600/student) compared to several other “similar” cities – which of course all have higher costs of living. I could send my children to two private schools in the area which perform well academically-speaking for about $3500 per year. I could use $3k/year for each of my three kids for college. It would beat the heck out of the so-called lottery scholarships at $4k/year ($39k vs $16k). The state should be able to teach high school kids algebra at a sufficient level to ‘pass’ the gateway at 50%. If they can’t, they shouldn’t be in the education business – even at twice the price. If they won’t, hopefully they will wean off the federal funds, which is also a good thing – and not nearly as financially significant as the schools let on.