NCLB Under Scrutiny

For those of us in education, a lesson in leadership and its impact on policy is underway right now in Washington as hearings proceed on NCLB impact in advance of re-authorization sometime in the coming year.  Of particular import for leaders is the implications for the improvement of teachers, a key component of the legislation that called for Highly Qualified Teachers (HQT) in the classrooms of America’s schools.  Susanna Loeb, Stanford University is attributed as the key professional looking at this dimension and the summary slide from her presentation is instructive for leaders:

Susanna Loeb's reflections on NCLB impact and forward thinking views.

Clicking the image above will take you to an Evernote link and you can also click through to her entire PPT with the data to support her conclusions.  What’s most striking about this is the clear reference to teaching quality being in the hands of local authorities and the perception that quality cannot be adjudicated from the federal level.  This is consistent with most leadership studies and team development principles in the information age and consistent with the ongoing development of professional learning communities in our schools nationwide.

This presentation also highlights the ongoing challenges of the achievement gap between the richest and poorest districts and provides research summaries that confirm that HQTP, while effective in improving general teacher effectiveness is not closing the most important gap and a main goal of the legislation.  As pointed out, it does not address the issues of appeal when looking at difficult-to-staff schools.

More links on this topic: