Think tank urges uniform standards for education reform

An analysis by the Rand Corp., says that the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) should be rewritten to promote more uniform academic standards. The non-profit think tank concludes that the flexibility given to states in the 2001 education reform legislation has led to a confusing array of more than 50 different accountability systems.

The Rand report recommends that Congress should rework NCLB to include several provisions:

  • Promote more uniform academic standards
    The report states that the inconsistencies from state to state have put some at a disadvantage in preparing students for college and careers.

  • Promote more uniform teacher qualification requirements
    States have wide variations in what constitutes a "highly qualified teacher," the report says.

  • Set more appropriate improvement targets
    The report concludes that the NCLB goal of having 100 percent of the nation's students proficient by 2014 is unattainable.

Other recommended changes: broaden the measures of student testing; provide incentives for teachers to work in low-performing schools; allow for a more flexible system of interventions; and broaden staff development.

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