PNS Daily Newscast - February 26, 2020 

Seven Democrats debate in South Carolina. And helping kelp forests off the West coast.

2020Talks - February 25, 2020 

Tonight's the last debate before the South Carolina primaries, but it's also the last before Super Tuesday, which includes California and its 494 delegates.

Pushing for More than a Single Test Score

June 28, 2007

Congress will decide this year whether to reauthorize the controversial No Child Left Behind Act, and they can expect some advice this weekend from over three million educators. Nevada State Education Association's Terry Hickman is one of 9,000 educators in Philadelphia, and he expects the NEA will send Congress the message that the No Child Left Behind Act needs fixing. To be specific, Hickman says the current law puts too much emphasis on a single test.

“Regardless of their learning disability, regardless of their language, they're all supposed to perform at the same level, and that is a ridiculous belief.”

President Bush appears ready for a fight on this issue, saying, "There is no compromise when it comes to setting high standards and measurement." Hickman believes the law needs to recognize that more factors go into measuring achievement than how a student scored one day out of the year on a standardized test.

Hickman notes a major problem with No Child Left Behind is that it forces students who have only been speaking English for a single year to take the same test as kids who have been speaking English their entire lives, and he says kids new to English are the fastest growing population in Nevada schools.

“It's a policy based upon an agenda, not upon the reality that children are not machines, that children learn at different rates. It's unconscionable that we are punishing our schools for the fact that our students are students.”

Hickman adds that Title One Schools, which serve "at risk" students, end up losing money under No Child Left Behind, and he believes that’s wrong. Instead of taking money away from schools struggling with achievement, Hickman argues the logical thing to do is give them more help.

Michael Clifford/Eric Mack, Public News Service - NV