America's Failing Schools: How Parents and Teachers Can Cope With No Child Left Behind

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9780415951289: America's Failing Schools: How Parents and Teachers Can Cope With No Child Left Behind

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.

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About the Author:

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. He has written 20 books and more than 250 articles, reports, and papers on the subject.

From Publishers Weekly:

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.
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