How Can No Child Left Behind Be Made More Effective?
Should Congress reauthorize NCLB, RAND researchers recommend that it consider the following changes:
- Promote more uniform academic standards and teacher qualification requirements across states.
- Set more appropriate improvement targets using alternative accountability approaches that incorporate growth without the current targeting structure.
- Broaden test measures and hold schools accountable in some way for subjects other than reading and mathematics.
- Provide incentives for teachers to teach in low-performing schools, such as a higher salary or lower class loads for “highly qualified” teachers.
- Allow for a more flexible system of interventions that enables states and districts to identify and prioritize the schools most in need and to design consequences to address their particular needs.
- Broaden staff development beyond academic content and effective instruction to include approaches to problem solving, the development of interventions geared to the problems identified, and tools and practices for effective implementation of interventions.
- Recognize the limited benefits of school choice, at least at this time, and focus efforts for school improvement on all schools while continuing to offer school choice.
- Commit more resources to find better instructional methods and programs, especially for students with limited English proficiency and learning disabilities.
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