Yesterday we noted this U.S. Chamber of Commerce report on the positive effects of the No Child Left Behind law’s requirements for assessment, public reporting of data, and accountability for performance.
Today, much closer to home, appears an op-ed in The News Tribune by Curtis High School (University Place) principal Eric Brubaker.
In University Place Schools, and across our nation, efforts to comply with NCLB have led to higher student achievement and graduation rates for minority students. For the first time since NCLB required tracking of subgroup performance, Curtis High School graduation rates for minority students surpassed our overall school average of 88.8 percent – eliminating long-standing gaps in these rates.
Both Hispanic students (89.5 percent) and students of two or more races (88.9 percent) outperformed white students (86.8 percent).
The most significant increase in graduation rate was seen among African-American students at Curtis, where 92.9 percent of students graduated in 2014 – a rate more than 20 points higher than 2003 (one year after Congress last updated NCLB).
… clear, timely and accessible achievement data for all students must continue. As a high school principal, I believe that common sense accountability –based in regular testing – has an important place in a reauthorized NCLB.
Ultimately, graduation and achievement gains are earned by students with the support of loving parents, talented teachers, and dedicated support staff and administrators who are committed to the core principle of No Child Left Behind: that all students should have the opportunity to learn.
Washington must also continue to make gains in student achievement by closing achievement gaps between groups of students and raising the high school graduation rate. These efforts will ensure every student is prepared for life-long career success in a dynamic economy, capable of fully realizing the abundant opportunities for rewarding civic, community, and workplace achievement.