Here’s my story — a global exclusive! — from today’s front page:
Texas officials have tried to artificially boost test scores by eliminating 10 percent of the state’s students from the No Child Left Behind accountability system – including many of the state’s most disadvantaged children.
But federal authorities quietly blocked the attempt last month – along with three other proposed changes that would have improved the appearance, if not the reality, of Texas schools’ performance.
It’s the latest step in the continuing dance between the U.S. Department of Education and states seeking to make life easier for their schools.
“We have this race-to-the-bottom problem,” said Kevin Carey, a researcher at the Education Sector think tank who has studied how states negotiate with the federal government. “One state comes up with a particular wrinkle that has the effect of reducing pressure on schools to achieve. Other states notice it and say, ‘Oh, yeah, can we do that too?’ “
Congratulations on the front page feature. No joking, it's the reason I bought the paper today. And not at all because you wrote it.
Perhaps that didn't come out right, but its meant in a positive sense. :)
Joshua Benton is the director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University, among other things. Before that, he was a staff writer and columnist for The Dallas Morning News. (More.)
Any opinions expressed here are solely mine, and not those of my employer. In many cases, they may not even be mine.