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Pain and Gain

Pain and Gain: Implementing No Child Left Behind in Three States, 2004-2006

Brian M. Stecher
Scott Epstein
Laura S. Hamilton
Julie A. Marsh
Abby Robyn
Jennifer Sloan McCombs
Jennifer Russell
Scott Naftel
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 168
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  • Book Info
    Pain and Gain
    Book Description:

    The Implementing Standards-Based Accountability (ISBA) study was designed to examine the strategies that states, districts, and schools are using to implement standards-based accountability under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). This monograph presents information regarding the implementation of NCLB in California, Georgia, and Pennsylvania from 2003-2004 through 2005-2006, including the final results of the ISBA project.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4643-7
    Subjects: Sociology, Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xv-xx)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction and Methods
    (pp. 1-10)

    The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. § 6311 et seq.) is currently the preeminent federal policy relating to K–12 public education, and at its center are its standards-based accountability (SBA) provisions. NCLB requires that each state create an SBA system that includes three main components: (1) academic standards, (2) assessments to measure student mastery of the standards, and (3) incentives to improve performance. In the case of NCLB, the incentives take the form of a series of interventions and sanctions for schools and districts whose students fail to demonstrate mastery on the assessments. The...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Implementation of SBA in California
    (pp. 11-30)

    California had already developed an SBA system when NCLB was enacted. The California State Board of Education adopted content standards for English language arts and mathematics in 1997 and science, history, and social science in 1998 (California State Board of Education, 2008). These standards cover all grades from kindergarten through twelfth and were deemed to be among the highest-quality state standards in the nation by the Fordham Foundation, whose rankings focus on clarity, rigor, and quality of content (Finn, Petrilli, and Julian, 2006). In 1999, the California legislature passed the Public School Accountability Act (PSAA), which created a test-based accountability...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Implementation of SBA in Georgia
    (pp. 31-46)

    Georgia was in the process of creating an SBA system in 2001 when NCLB was enacted. Georgia has had academic standards in some form for over 20 years. The state Quality Basic Education Act of 1985 created the Quality Core Curriculum (QCC), which covered reading, ELA, mathematics, science, social studies, foreign languages, fine arts, health, physical education, technology and career education, and agriculture. The standards described what students should learn in each grade from kindergarten to eight and in high school focusing primarily on facts to be learned rather than broader concepts. However, an external audit by Phi Delta Kappa...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Implementation of SBA in Pennsylvania
    (pp. 47-62)

    Of the three states in the ISBA study, Pennsylvania had the least developed SBA system prior to NCLB. Pennsylvania has a tradition of local control in education, with minimal interference from the state. Prior to NCLB, Pennsylvania had content standards and testing for reading and math in grades three, five, eight, and eleven, and science standards in grades four, seven, ten, and twelve. The Pennsylvania State Board of Education academic standards were cumulative, describing what students should know by the end of the grade, including material learned in earlier grades. However, the standards were not designed to indicate what material...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions
    (pp. 63-76)

    Although this study examined only three states, we think the results can be valuable to educators and policymakers concerned with the implementation of No Child Left Behind, in particular, and the application of standards-based accountability, in general. First, we observed common responses across districts and schools in California, Georgia, and Pennsylvania that may generalize to other states. Respondents had strong opinions about NCLB itself, steps that were taken to implement it, and its impact on their practices. Understanding these reactions from the field can be beneficial in thinking about how to achieve the goals of the existing legislation and improve...

  14. APPENDIX A Sampling and Response Rate Tables
    (pp. 77-80)
  15. APPENDIX B Results Tables
    (pp. 81-142)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 143-144)