NCLB Goal: A Balloon Payment

No Child Left Behind calls for 100 percent student proficiency by 2014, though it has let each state decide its timetable for getting there. The Obama Administration plans to redo the law, a fact I mentioned yesterday.

Lisa Snell, an education policy analyst for the Reason Foundation, has a short write-up of the law as it stands now. She uses a metaphor I’ve never thought of, but which is apt:

The 2014 deadline which requires that all states have students that are 100 percent proficient is a balloon payment that the states were never planning to pay. In California, for example, in 2010 the state still does not require that even 50 percent of students are proficient in reading and math to meet the federal benchmark of “adequate yearly progress.” The states were counting on a change in administration long before the 2014 deadline.

The most obvious result of NCLB, she argues, is that it’s resulted in more spending, not more results.

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