"But more than 1,000 of California’s 9,500 schools are branded chronic failures, and the numbers are growing. Barring revisions in the law, state officials predict that all 6,063 public schools serving poor students will be declared in need of restructuring by 2014, when the law requires universal proficiency in math and reading.
“What are we supposed to do?” Ms. Paramo asked. “Shut down every school?”
With the education law now in its fifth year — the one in which its more severe penalties are supposed to come into wide play — California is not the only state overwhelmed by growing numbers of schools that cannot satisfy the law’s escalating demands.
In Florida, 441 schools could be candidates for closing. In Maryland, some 49 schools in Baltimore alone have fallen short of achievement targets for five years or more. In New York State, 77 schools were candidates for restructuring as of last year."
With these stats that question becomes, "Now what?"
“They’re so busy fighting No Child Left Behind,” said Mary Johnson, president of Parent U-Turn, a civic group. “If they would use some of that energy to implement the law, we would go farther.”
Is it teachers' unions? (Yes, I know the land mine I just stepped on. For public disclosure, my father was in a union nearly all his working life and unions have brought a lot of safety and equity issues forward in the U.S. Having said that, sometimes you have to wonder about the clash between teaching and protecting teachers within the union.) From the article:
"But the tensions voiced here are echoed by parents elsewhere, as well as by school officials.
At Woodrow Wilson High one recent morning, teachers broke into small groups over coffee studying test scores for areas of weakness. But there were limits to what they would learn.
The teachers analyzed results for the entire school, not for their own students. Roberto Martinez, the principal, said he had not given teachers the scores of their own students because their union objects, saying the scores were being used to evaluate teachers.
“And who suffers?” asked Veronica Garcia, an English teacher at Wilson. “The kids suffer, because the teacher never gets feedback.”
A. J. Duffy, president of United Teachers of Los Angeles, said the union supported test score reviews provided they did not affect teachers’ jobs. Mr. Duffy said the federal law glossed over the travails of teaching students living in poverty. “Everyone agrees that urban education needs a shot in the arm, but it is not as bleak as the naysayers would have it,” he said."Maybe a teacher can help me out here but as I recall Washington state teachers can't see their students' WASL tests when the scores come out. I find this hard to understand. Teachers need feedback. I remember when my son was in elementary school that the 4th grade teacher wished she could see the tests (this was for Spectrum) because sometimes the kids she thought would breeze through the math portion had low scores. She said she would have liked to be able to figure out what went wrong to be able to tell that child's 5th grade teacher. That's the kind of individual help kids need and I'm not sure it happens.