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PNS Daily Newscast - September 25, 2020 


Democrats reported to be preparing a smaller pandemic relief package; vote-by-mail awaits a court decision in Montana.


2020Talks - September 25, 2020 


Senators respond to President Donald Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. And, former military and national security officials endorse Joe Biden.

Did "No Child Left Behind" Leave Children Behind?

January 8, 2007


Today marks the fifth anniversary of the federal "No Child Left Behind Act," an effort to give all kids an equal educational opportunity in life. The phrase came from a Children's Defense Fund slogan, but Minnesota Representative Mark Kimball says the law hasn't lived up to expectations.

"The law was intended to increase standards and accountability for our schools, to make sure the kids learn at a rate that is measurable. The problem is that after it was passed it was underfunded by billions of dollars."

Kimball thinks the goals of the law are good, but it needs to be revised to replace test scores with measures to improve school quality and to close achievement gaps among students.

"...To make sure that the expectations put on schools are realistic, and are not penalizing kids, teachers, schools and school districts for not living up to standards, which may or may not be the best for that school or those kids. After all, the point of all this is: 'Are kids learning better?'"

Kimball says standardized tests don't measure the diversity of knowledge and achievement, or give a complete view of student and school performance. Another problem is that it doesn't address the needs of special education students or high-achievers. He says schools need that flexibility.

Over a hundred education, children's, and civil rights groups are calling on the new Congress to overhaul the law.

The "No Child Left Behind" law was signed by President Bush January 8, 2002. More online at www.educcountability.org.

Jim Wishner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MN