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No Child Left Behind

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The latest annual report card for Utah schools under No Child Left Behind reveals once again how seriously flawed the five-year-old process is for measuring student progress. According to the report, 28 percent of Utah schools - 256 of them - failed to make "Adequate Yearly Progress."

"Failed!" Such a harsh word, especially in education circles!

There's absolutely nothing wrong with holding schools, their teachers and their students accountable. Progress rather than failure is the obvious goal. In that sense, NCLB is well-intentioned. But does anyone really believe that 256 Utah schools are in actuality failing and that the majority of students aren't progressing?

NCLB is a classic example of Washington trying to do the right thing, but floundering, as is often the case, because one size simply doesn't fit all. Every state, every community, every school is different.

With the measure coming up for reauthorization this fall, KSL realizes the chances of dumping it altogether, as it probably should be in favor of a state-based program, are virtually nil. But, it can and should be modified to correct its most glaring deficiencies. Let NCLB continue to focus on the need for improvement in education, while giving more latitude to the states. Washington shouldn't be micromanaging education at the local level.

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