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Argument: NCLB ridgedly punishes schools that are progressing, albeit slowly

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Claudia Wallis, Sonja Steptoe. "How to Fix No Child Left Behind". Time. May 24, 2007 - "One of the biggest problems: there are too many ways to fail, even when a school is moving in the right direction. Consider the case of Bud Carson Middle School in Hawthorne, Calif. In 2005 the school, which is 92% Latino and black, pulled out the stops to reverse its failing record and hit 20 out of its 21 AYP goals, lifting scores for blacks, Hispanics and special-ed students; closing achievement gaps; and raising attendance. Nonetheless, the school remained on the 'needs improvement' list that year because it narrowly missed the reading-score goal for its English-language learners. (Happily, it made AYP a year later.) Jack O'Connell, California's superintendent of public instruction, is one of many administrators around the country who find the AYP system too inflexible, too arbitrary and too punitive. Some California schools, he says, have made huge progress, but because they did not make AYP they are required to help students transfer to another school. 'So,' he laments, 'we have to take away resources that we can document are improving achievement and put them into transportation to bus kids to other schools.'"

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