In his testimony, Gov. Wise discussed the critical need to expand No Child Left Behind so that all students, especially the six million at risk of dropping out, receive the support they need to stay in and finish high school.
“I am not here to criticize NCLB,” Gov. Wise testified. “I am here to tell you why it does not work for high schools. NCLB at its core is about accountability for improving student achievement. However, there is not true accountability at the high school level—the law looks at test scores but not if students actually graduate.”
Gov. Wise made the following recommendations to strengthen the law:
- Hold states, districts and high schools accountable for calculating graduation rates accurately and consistently, disaggregating them by subgroup, and significantly improving them over time.
- Require high quality assessments that are performance based and aligned to college and work standards (as well as to the 8th grade assessment) to be given for accountability purposes no earlier than the 11th grade.
- Create a High School Improvement Fund that would turn around low-performing high schools by leveraging state systems to differentiate school improvement strategies based on school-specific data and build the capacity of states and districts to ensure and support high school improvement. Both the Graduation Promise Act and the Graduate for a Better Future Act (S.765) advance these goals.
- Authorize the Striving Readers Act (S. 958) to ensure support for adolescent literacy in every state and help struggling middle and high school students achieve in all subjects by improving their literacy skills.
- Ensure that, by 2012, all states implement a longitudinal data system that includes the ten elements identified by the Data Quality Campaign and provide grants to develop, implement and use such data systems to improve teaching and learning.
- Provide incentives for states to adopt common standards aligned with college and workplace needs, and offer high-quality assessments to measure progress toward those standards, relieving states that choose to use them of the burden of producing NCLB-required assessments.
For Gov. Wise’s full written testimony, please visit here.
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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life.
For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit: www.all4ed.org.