Cover image for America's "failing" schools : how parents and teachers can cope with No Child Left Behind
America's "failing" schools : how parents and teachers can cope with No Child Left Behind
Popham, W. James.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : RoutledgeFalmer, 2004.
Physical Description:
ix, 157 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LA217.2 .P65 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
LA217.2 .P65 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In America's "Failing" Schools, W. James Popham provides parents and teachers explanations of No Child Left Behind as a whole, walking them through the implications for standardized testing in particular, in language that is uncomplicated and straightforward. Popham offers definitions of the law and its key terms, explanations of what it really means when a school is labeled "failing," and concrete suggestions for what can be done in response.

Author Notes

W. James Popham is a nationally recognized expert on educational testing. For 30 years he taught courses at UCLA in instructional methods for prospective teachers and courses in evaluation and measurement

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Popham, an expert on educational testing, explains the implications of the controversial No Child Left Behind (NCLB) policy. The law calling for expanded student testing and stricter accountability standards, tying federal funds for disadvantaged children to school performance, has called into question the ways we measure the success or failure of schools. In part 1, Popham details the provisions of the law, its requirements, sanctions that can be taken against schools that fail, and the measurements for progress that will cause many schools to be undeservedly labeled as failing. In part 2, Popham looks at the educational tests that are behind NCLB and other school-reform efforts and how the reliance on tests has actually eroded the quality of education, even as teachers and schools react to pressure to improve student performance on tests. In the final section, he examines how parents can evaluate the intangible factors that go into school quality that cannot be measured by tests. This is a valuable resource for parents and teachers struggling to understand the new school-reform policy. --Vanessa Bush Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Popham, a nationally recognized expert on educational testing, reveals what he says are the potentially devastating effects that the ?No Child Left Behind? act may have on America?s public schools. In a compelling, if occasionally dry argument, the author warns that this new education legislation will drive many states to inadvertently set up their ?school?s teachers for near-certain failure? in meeting the reform?s unusually restrictive provisions. He praises national standardized tests for correctly fulfilling their original function?to rate students? academic achievement?but writes that the tests inadequately measure teachers and schools and ?were never intended to be used to evaluate [them], and they just can?t do that properly.? Instead, the school report cards will make it increasingly difficult to distinguish between truly ?failing? schools and those that simply failed to conform to the legislation. He predicts that overwhelming failure rates for schools all over the country will eventually push lawmakers to revise the legislation. In the meantime though, he fears ?thousands of children will be educationally marred, perhaps permanently? while the regulations remain in place. It?s impossible to know yet if Popham?s prediction will prove true, but when states release the first report cards to parents this June, many readers will want to take further steps to understand the way their local schools are now evaluated?and, more importantly, how to improve them both on paper and in the classroom. For those parents, educators and other concerned citizens, Popham closes his argument with a galvanizing call to get involved in how their states implement the new rules. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Table of Contents

Dedicationp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Schools Under Scrutinyp. 1
Part I. The No Child Left Behind Act
1. A Major Education Law's Testing Requirementsp. 13
2. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): Little Letters, Big Impactp. 21
3. Report Cards and Sanctionsp. 37
Part II. Educational Tests: The Heart of the Matter
4. Some Nuts and Bolts of Educational Testingp. 49
5. Measuring Temperature with a Tablespoonp. 61
6. Today's Standards-Based Testsp. 75
7. Instructionally Supportive Accountability Testsp. 83
Part III. Evaluating Schools
8. The Evidence Needed to Evaluate Schoolsp. 95
9. Student Affectp. 105
10. Determining a Particular School's Qualityp. 117
Conclusion: What to Do Now?p. 133
Additional Readingp. 153
Notesp. 157