Friday, December 4, 2009

did no child left behind work?

Thomas Dee (Swarthmore) and Brian Jacob (Harvard) empirically consider the impact of No Child Left Behind legislation in the U.S. From the abstract:
Our results indicate that NCLB generated statistically significant increases in the average math performance of 4th graders as well as improvements at the lower and top percentiles. There is also evidence of improvements in 8th grade math achievement, particularly among traditionally low-achieving groups and at the lower percentiles. However, we find no evidence that NCLB increased reading achievement in either 4th or 8th grade.
From the introduction:
The lack of any effect in reading, and the fact that NCLB appears to have generated only modestly larger impacts among disadvantaged subgroups in math (and thus only made minimal headway in closing achievement gaps), suggests that, to date, the impact of NCLB has fallen short of its ambitious “moon-shot rhetoric”
Download it here, or here.

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