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Does NCLB leave some children behind?

What happens to struggling students in schools that make adequate yearly progress under NCLB? Are they left behind? NCLB is making it worse for some students because resources are directed to schools not making AYP instead of individual students, says Scott Young, senior policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In 2004, for example, more than 82,000 Minnesota students who scored poorly on state tests may have slipped through the cracks. In some cases, the school scored well, masking the low number of low scoring students. In others, struggling students attend one of the 60 percent of schools that aren't Title 1. Non-Title 1 schools are ineligible for NCLB funds for supplemental services to help improve test scores.

But Bill Walsh, Minnesota Department of Education spokesman, says that just because students aren't receiving supplemental services "doesn't mean the law isn't working." Schools should provide services for struggling students regardless of NCLB funds for supplemental services, he says.

Walsh says the education department is providing schools with more data to help drive instruction for students. For example, each Minnesota student's third grade math test score is broken down into sections, such as computation, and delivered to fourthgrade teachers in the fall.

This pattern--test, analyze, instruct, re-test--is NCLB's intent. "NCLB is designed to give states time to reach 100 percent proficiency. Eventually these students will catch up," says Darla Marburger of the U.S. Department of Education.
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Title Annotation:Inside the Law: Analyzing, Debating and Explaining No Child Left Behind
Author:Fratt, Lisa
Publication:District Administration
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U4MN
Date:May 1, 2005
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