This next item is from Missouri, but the theme is in Kansas as well: Area school administrators denounce federal benchmarks, Kansas City Star, August 17.

Among the other complaints by the superintendents: Some states supposedly game the system by setting low standards, allowing more students to score higher on tests; the law does a poor job of tracking student progress from grade to grade; and it focuses, in part, on certain groups that are hard to serve, such as special-education students and those who are not proficient in English.

Focuses on students that are hard to serve? Is that a bad thing? Given that parents must go to extraordinary measures to send their children to something other than the school district in which they live, high standards may just be in order.

That said, the article points out that No Child Left Behind does not take into account individual student performance. There’s a case to be made that tracking individual achievement gains is a better way of keeping score than using aggregate numbers.

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