Friday, January 16, 2004

NCLB and Utah

When I first saw this splendid editorial from Utah about NCLB, I wondered why in Utah?

But no more. Considering the continuing conflict between states rights and federalism, of course it makes total sense Utah would object to NCLB.

Under NCLB, the feds,although providing only 7% of the budget in most districts, now drastically dictate how schools are run.

So from the NYT we find this info:
    Republican lawmakers from the National Council of State Legislatures, who consider the law a violation of states' rights, took their complaints to the White House in November, where they got a chilly reception.

    Now, several say they will press their case in their home states. A Republican legislator has introduced a bill that would prohibit Utah authorities from complying with the law or accepting the $100 million it would bring the state. Half a dozen other state legislatures have voted to study similar action.
Accordingly, a nice summary of NCLB can be found in Utah:
    The law requires public schools to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) toward the ultimate goal of 100 percent student proficiency in language arts and math. It establishes up to 40 tripwires that schools must clear to meet state-defined AYP performance and participation benchmarks: percentage of students who pass state language arts and math tests and percentage of students who took the tests. (Attendance will factor into Utah's AYP measurements next year, and graduation rates will count for subgroups beginning in 2007.) The number of tripwires applicable to each school depends on the number of demographic subgroups at each school. The more diverse the school, the more tripwires apply. Under the law, failure to clear a single one means the school doesn't make AYP.