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Navigating Educational Change: Creating P-12 NCLB Resource Guides
Unformatted Document Text:  Navigating Educational Change: Creating P-12 NCLB Resource Guides SECTION 1: CONTENTWhen Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in 2001, the federal government’s role in education went from being primarily a source of funding--now about 9% of every public school dollar--to being a major factor in shaping the substance of P-12 curriculum and instruction. Although philosophically, leaving no child behind makes sense, the reality of accomplishing this is quite a different philosophical issue. This philosophical dichotomy has led to much controversy over this highly touted, bipartisan bill. The 2002-03 school years were the first to document and publish results of testing. Based on initial reports many districts have not made the appointed adequate yearly progress (AYP) needed to avoid intervention. Reports in the local media on an unintended consequence of NCLB were captured in a Bracey Report (2003) that reported the following headlines in three states: • California, “Most Schools in State Failing” Los Angeles Daily News, 24 July 2003; • Michigan, “State Adds 544 Schools to Failing List-for Now,” Grand Rapids Press, 12 July 2003; and • North Carolina, It’s Pass or Fail; All or Nothing,” Raleigh News Observer, 13 July 2003. And, most recently, as reported on the front page of the Chicago Tribune (2005, April 8) About 15 states are challenging the law. Utah leaders, for example, will vote later this month whether to give priority to Utah's education laws and forgo about $1 million in federal aid. Connecticut is on the verge of becoming the first state to sue, contending the law illegally requires communities to spend more money to comply than the federal government provides. And, Ottawa Township High School District 140, 80 miles southwest of Chicago, sued the Education Department in federal court in February, arguing that No Child Left Behind conflicts with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which requires individual academic plans for special education students. These reports have prompted Secretary of Education Spelling, in collaboration with the Chief State School Officers to announce a plan that “could lead to broad changes in the Bush administration's education reforms… they are open to relaxing requirements for states that show a commitment to improve” (Cohen, 2005, p. 1). According to this report, Secretary Spelling and the Chief State School Officers hoped that “the plan, may help defuse a growing rebellion against No Child Left Behind, a law criticized as unfunded and an intrusion into state control” (p. 1). One issue was made clear, “education officials are adamant that the cornerstone of the law--having all students reading and doing math at grade level by 2014--will not change” (p. 1). Although NCLB will continue to evolve, it is clear that the major components of the law, such as literacy, math, teacher quality, and school safety, will no doubt remain. The problem is that many stakeholders are unaware of the specific requirements and/or components of NCLB. For those who are aware, many do not know where to find information to better inform them about resources available to help them navigate change. A faculty member at one Midwestern state university has created a project designed to guide teachers and administrators, through the process of researching and compiling resource guides for each of the seven major components of

Authors: Lieberman, Joyce.
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Navigating Educational Change: Creating P-12 NCLB Resource Guides
SECTION 1: CONTENT
When Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 as
the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in 2001, the federal government’s role in education went
from being primarily a source of funding--now about 9% of every public school dollar--to being
a major factor in shaping the substance of P-12 curriculum and instruction. Although
philosophically, leaving no child behind makes sense, the reality of accomplishing this is quite a
different philosophical issue. This philosophical dichotomy has led to much controversy over
this highly touted, bipartisan bill.
The 2002-03 school years were the first to document and publish results of testing. Based on
initial reports many districts have not made the appointed adequate yearly progress (AYP)
needed to avoid intervention. Reports in the local media on an unintended consequence of
NCLB were captured in a Bracey Report (2003) that reported the following headlines in three
states:
California, “Most Schools in State Failing” Los Angeles Daily News, 24 July 2003;
Michigan, “State Adds 544 Schools to Failing List-for Now,” Grand Rapids Press, 12
July 2003; and
North Carolina, It’s Pass or Fail; All or Nothing,” Raleigh News Observer, 13 July 2003.
And, most recently, as reported on the front page of the Chicago Tribune (2005, April 8)
About 15 states are challenging the law. Utah leaders, for example, will vote later this
month whether to give priority to Utah's education laws and forgo about $1 million in
federal aid. Connecticut is on the verge of becoming the first state to sue, contending the
law illegally requires communities to spend more money to comply than the federal
government provides. And, Ottawa Township High School District 140, 80 miles
southwest of Chicago, sued the Education Department in federal court in February,
arguing that No Child Left Behind conflicts with the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act, which requires individual academic plans for special education students.
These reports have prompted Secretary of Education Spelling, in collaboration with the Chief
State School Officers to announce a plan that “could lead to broad changes in the Bush
administration's education reforms… they are open to relaxing requirements for states that show
a commitment to improve” (Cohen, 2005, p. 1). According to this report, Secretary Spelling and
the Chief State School Officers hoped that “the plan, may help defuse a growing rebellion
against No Child Left Behind, a law criticized as unfunded and an intrusion into state control” (p.
1). One issue was made clear, “education officials are adamant that the cornerstone of the law--
having all students reading and doing math at grade level by 2014--will not change” (p. 1).
Although NCLB will continue to evolve, it is clear that the major components of the law, such as
literacy, math, teacher quality, and school safety, will no doubt remain. The problem is that
many stakeholders are unaware of the specific requirements and/or components of NCLB. For
those who are aware, many do not know where to find information to better inform them about
resources available to help them navigate change. A faculty member at one Midwestern state
university has created a project designed to guide teachers and administrators, through the
process of researching and compiling resource guides for each of the seven major components of


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