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NCLB Facts

Drowning in paperwork:

The U.S. Department of Education has admitted that it will take state and local educators almost 6.5 million hours per year to complete the paperwork required by the law, costing states and schools $136 million.

Source: Notice in the Federal Register: October 19, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 202)

The cart before the horse:

A loophole created by the U.S. Department of Education allows teachers in alternate certification programs to be declared highly qualified for up to 3 years before they complete their program.

Source: Guidance from the Department of Education on highly qualified teachers.

The big squeeze:

Since 2002, when NCLB was passed, 71 percent of the nation's 15,000 school districts have reduced time spent on subjects like art, social studies, and history.

Sources: Two reports from the Center on Education Policy: Is NCLB Narrowing the Curriculum?; From the Capital to the Classroom: Year 4 of the No Child Left Behind Act

The experts agree:

Studies by a mix of researchers, think tanks, and foundations have all reached the same conclusion: between 75 percent and 99 percent of all schools eventually will be labeled "failing" under NCLB's ill-conceived AYP measure.

Here are the estimates: CA: 99%; CT: 93%; IL: 96-99%; IN: 94-99%; LA: 75%; MA: 74%; MI: 96-99%; MN: 81-86%; OH: 85-88%, PA: 77%; WI: 85-94%.

Sources: "Projecting AYP in Connecticut Schools" by Edward Moscovitch, Cape Ann Economics; "The Impact of the Adequate Yearly Progress Requirement of the Federal 'No Child Left Behind' Act on Schools in the Great Lakes Region" by Edward W. Wiley, William J. Mathis, David R. Garcia, Education Policy Studies Laboratory, "NCLB: A steep climb ahead: A case study of Louisiana's School Accountability System" by the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana; "Facing Reality: What happens when good schools are labeled 'failures'?" by Mass Partners for Public Schools.

A broken promise:

NCLB promised that schools labeled "in need of improvement" would receive school improvement funds to help address their supposed shortcomings and authorized $500 million per year for this purpose. For the first five years of NCLB, the total amount provided in school improvement funds? Zero dollars. Nada. Zilch.

The funding gap:

The gap between what was written into the law (authorized levels) and what has been funded (appropriations) comes to $56.1 billion over six years. In Title I alone, the cumulative shortfall is at $43.6 billion, and more than 3.5 million children will be left behind. (See enclosed charts on NCLB and Title I funding gaps.)

A chance for change:

Ownership of NCLB by Congress is declining. Of the 381 House members who voted for NCLB, 126 are no longer in Congress; of the 87 senators who voted for NCLB, 25 are no longer in the Senate.