Students of education are aware of the story of public education, of legendary figures like Horace Mann riding from district to district trying to improve the American school by establishing a common school fund and developing teacher-training programs. Those who followed worked hard to broaden the mission and refine the institution. While advancing the distribution of textbooks, developing curriculum materials and employing testing tools, even as early as 1845, standardized testing was used to see if it all worked. Advocates used the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 to make accessible to all an education of worth for social advancement. Yet today's No Child Left Behind Act, signed in 2002 is, ironically so, a reform driven not by the advocates, but by public education's most ardent detractors. NCLB appears to be an attempt to change the public education system fundamentally, from the perspective that it is broken, its mission in need of radical revision.
Todd Alan Price, Ph.D., is an assistant professor, Educational Foundations and Inquiry, National-Louis University. He has published several articles on No Child Left Behind, and produced a documentary, No Child Left Behind Report: Public Education in the Crosshairs. Elizabeth A. Peterson, Ed.D, is an associate professor in the Department of Adult Education at National-Louis University. She currently teaches doctoral and masters students of adult education.
Chapter 1 1. The Book of Testing Chapter 2 2. The Chicken Wins: The History of Assessment Chapter 3 3. ETS and the American Dream Chapter 4 4. Fuzzy Math: Missing Tests, Missing Students, Missing the Mark Chapter 5 5. Drop Out or Pushed Out? Who's Counted Out in High Stakes Testing Chapter 6 6. English Language Learners in an Era of NCLB Chapter 7 7. Who is Being Left Behind? Chapter 8 8. Public Education and Privatization in the Ownership Society Chapter 9 9. Hawaii, the Fiftieth State: A Case Study of the Plantation Blues Chapter 10 10. The Modification of School Improvement and Staff Development Efforts in Response to the Failure to Make Adequate Yearly Progress Chapter 11 11. Unintended Consequences: The Teacher's Story Chapter 12 12. A Ray of Hope: Service Learning Insures Success for All