School Performance Will Fail to Meet Legislated Benchmarks

Ben Hoffman

M.J. Bryant, K.A. Hammond, M.M. Bocian, M.F. Rettig, C.A. Miller, R.A. Cardullo
Science Magazine
September 2008

This limp but well-meaning report checks in on the progress of California elementary schools towards NCLB's 2014 "universal proficiency" target. The study finds--you might want to sit down for this shocker--that not all students will, in fact, be proficient by then. Discouraging indeed, but scarcely news to anyone who (a) has set foot inside a struggling school; (b) follows education reform; or (c) breathes. As Mike already opined, this is about as groundbreaking as discovering that baseball sluggers are unlikely to bat 1.000. On a more helpful, if still unsurprising, note, the study does determine that the low-income and limited-English-proficiency subgroups are least likely to attain AYP. Current trends indicate that virtually no California schools will meet AYP six years from now, despite modest statewide gains in the percentage of students scoring proficient. It's only fitting that a report with such obvious findings would offer up this pearl of wisdom: "we must not lose sight of the importance of educating our children well." Luckily for readers, a meatier evaluation of "proficiency" was published by yours truly just last year, and a new Fordham-Northwest Evaluation Association analysis of AYP is due out in December. You can read more about the Science article here and here.