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Does testing cause or solve America’s education problems?

LA School Report | May 4, 2015

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By Patricia Levesque and Kevin Welner | New York Times

It is much easier to correctly identify a problem than to come up with a workable solution.

When No Child Left Behind was signed into law in 2002, the United States did indeed have a problem — one that was identified, at least partially, by President George W. Bush’s condemnation of the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Since the nation’s inception, many children of color and those living in poor communities have been denied fair opportunities to learn and to succeed. N.C.L.B. was supposed to change that by demanding that by 2014, all students would be “proficient” in math and reading.

No Child Left Behind failed. Thirteen years on, an entire generation of students has been schooled under test-based accountability policies, and we have clear evidence that this approach was not a smart way to enhance educational opportunities in less advantaged communities.

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