The Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the Kingsbury Center at Northwest Evaluation Association last week released a new study called The Accountability Illusion. It peels back layers of the No Child Left Behind Act as implemented and reveals an enormously uneven and misleading system of school accountability. Analysts took 36 real schools (18 elementary, 18 middle) and "moved" them from state to state (28 states in all) to see how many would make "adequate yearly progress" under each state's NCLB rules. The alarming results? In some states, nearly all of the elementary schools would make AYP while in others practically none of them would. These are the exact same schools. This tells us that the present system isn't working. A school's AYP status depends at least as much on what state it's in as on the performance of its students.
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