May 30, 2007
Leading researchers will present new findings about the impact of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 on the nation's schools during a half-day conference June 12 in Washington D.C. Together the researchers will present long-term empirical studies on the impacts of the law at the state, school district, school and classroom levels.
Sponsored by the RAND Corporation, the Center on Education Policy and the American Institutes for Research, “Assessing Accountability Under the No Child Left Behind Act” will run from 9 a.m. to noon at the Cafritz Conference Center at George Washington University.
The conference is free, but online registration must be completed by June 8. Information is available on the RAND Calendar of Events.
“Recent research has found that No Child Left Behind has helped in areas such as bringing a greater focus to accountability, but there remain a number of areas of concern,” said Brian Stecher, a senior social scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “We hope this conference will provide useful information for education policymakers and legislators as No Child Left Behind comes up for reauthorization.”
The conference will feature four presentations, with opportunities for questions and discussion afterward. Collectively, they offer a multi-tiered review of the law's impacts:
- “State Accountability and Support Systems under NCLB,” Kerstin LeFloch and Jennifer O'Day, of the American Institutes for Research. How do states differ in terms of accountability systems, school identification and support provided?
- “Schools Identified for Improvement,” Jack Jennings, Caitlin Scott, Jennifer McMurrer, of the Center on Education Policy. How are districts responding to being identified for improvement? How has student achievement changed in general since the creation of NCLB? Is the curriculum being narrowed to increase instructional time for reading and mathematics?
- “School Improvement Efforts,” Brian Stecher, of RAND. What are schools doing to foster improvement, what assistance do they need, and what help do they receive?
- “Changes in the Classroom,” Laura Hamilton, RAND. What changes have occurred in the attitudes and practices of mathematics and science teachers in California, Georgia and Pennsylvania as a result of accountability?
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is widely seen as the most significant federal education law since the 1970s. The legislation was designed to improve the nation's public schools through an enhanced system of standards-based accountability. Each state is required to develop content and achievement standards, measure student progress through tests, and intervene when schools and districts do not meet their goals.
RAND Education, a division of the RAND Corporation, is a leader in providing objective, reliable research and analysis on educational challenges that is used to improve educational access, quality and outcomes in the United States and throughout the world. RAND's research includes analyses of attempts to improve K-12 assessment and accountability systems, school reforms, teachers and teaching reforms, higher education systems, military education and training provision and substance abuse and obesity prevention programs in schools.
The Center on Education Policy is a national, independent advocate for public education and for more effective public schools. The Center helps Americans better understand the role of public education in a democracy and the need to improve the academic quality of public schools.
The American Institutes for Research is one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world. Its goal is to use the best science available to bring the most effective ideas and approaches to enhancing everyday life.