No Child (except those who are part of statistically insignificant racial groups) Left Behind

The most ridiculous loophole in the worst education act
The Associated Press reported this week that the test scores of about 2 million students, mostly minorities, were not being reported under the No Child Left Behind Act. The kicker – the feds allowed states to underreport minorities on purpose.

Calling it "quite a scam," Steve Benen writes:
"The administration insists the tests will help show which students need the most help, but the administration allows 2 million minority students' results to be quietly set aside to help states avoid NCLB penalties."
AP explains:
The plight of... two second-graders shows how a loophole in the law is allowing schools to count fewer minorities in required racial categories.

There are about 220 students at West View Elementary School in Knoxville, Tenn., where President Bush marked the second anniversary of the law's enactment in 2004. Tennessee schools have federal permission to exclude students' scores in required racial categories if there are fewer than 45 students in a group.

There are more than 45 white students. Victoria counts.

There are fewer than 45 black students. Laquanya does not.

One of the consequences is that educators are creating a false picture of academic progress.

Silly me, but I thought the act was supposed to ensure that No Child – not even minority children – got Left Behind in their academic achievement. Right? Well apparently, it should have been called the No Child Left Behind (Unless They’re Part of a Statistically Insignificant Racial Group) Act.

Here’s more from AP...
Maria Luisa Tucker is a staff writer at AlterNet and associate editor of the Columbia Journal of American Studies.
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