In this Book

No Child Left Behind and the Public Schools
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“A powerful, detailed, and exceptionally balanced critique of NCLB. It offers some hope for how we might overcome its faults. No legislator or educational expert should be allowed to get away with not reading it—whether to agree or disagree. It’s a must learning experience.” —Deborah Meier, Senior Scholar and Adjunct Professor, Steinhardt School of Education, New York University, and author of In Schools We Trust “A concise, highly readable, and balanced account of NCLB, with insightful and realistic suggestions for reform. Teachers, professors, policymakers, and parents—this is the one book about NCLB you ought to read.” —James E. Ryan, William L. Matheson and Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor, University of Virginia School of Law This far-reaching new study looks at the successes and failures of one of the most ambitious and controversial educational initiatives since desegregation—the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. NCLB’s opponents criticize it as underfunded and unworkable, while supporters see it as a radical but necessary educational reform that evens the score between advantaged and disadvantaged students. Yet the most basic and important question remains unasked: “Can we ever really know if a child’s education is good?” Ultimately, Scott Franklin Abernathy argues, policymakers must begin from this question, rather than assuming that any test can accurately measure the elusive thing we call “good” education.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. 1. The Best-Laid Plans
  2. pp. 1-24
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  1. 2. The Problem of Quality
  2. pp. 25-45
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  1. 3. Making the Grade (or Not): Success and Failure in NCLB’s World
  2. pp. 46-73
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  1. 4. Top-Down and Bottom-Up: NCLB, Charter Schools, and the Public School Principalship
  2. pp. 74-106
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  1. 5. Rethinking Assessment
  2. pp. 107-129
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  1. 6. Carrots, Sticks, and Unbroken Windows: Making NCLB Live Up to Its Promises
  2. pp. 130-150
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  1. Appendix: Supplementary Tables
  2. pp. 151-168
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 169-187
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  1. References
  2. pp. 189-199
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 201-206
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