Under the original No Child Left Behind, schools that failed to teach at-risk students would be flagged if one group wasn't keeping pace. If one of the subgroups failed to meet its performance targets for two consecutive years, officials were required to stage an intervention to turn the entire school around.No Child Left Behind was a disaster, of course, but scrapping requirements to track how at-risk groups of students do relative to other groups is a recipe for weakening efforts to support students who already face huge challenges.
But the advocates' review finds those in-depth reporting requirements have fallen by the wayside under the waivers. An intervention is no longer automatically triggered in as many as 19 states, meaning those efforts that once were at the center of the law are now optional. In 16 states, student groups are lumped together and treated as one bloc of at-risk pupils, essentially scrapping the reporting of at-risk groups by label.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's No Child Left Behind waivers don't just try to force teachers to teach to the test, it turns out. They also leave behind some disadvantaged students. Under the waivers, states no longer have to as carefully track results for students of color, poor students, English language learners, and students with disabilities: