Loophole Story Tests Bloggers' Political Instincts

This AP loophole story has continued to tie people in knots -- especially those who are (a) generally skeptical about NCLB or (b) somehow miffed that the AP story is getting so much attention.

What only a few bloggers seem to understand is how bad it looks to be against 2 million kids' scores being counted. That's why you haven't seen any lawmakers out there defending or even trying to explain the thing.


To see the first wave of reactions, check out my inital roundup of responses.

Since then, few bloggers seem clear or clean about what they think:

Over at a Constrained Vision, for example, Katie is skeptical about the breathless tone of the AP story. She goes back and forth about the thresholds, but concludes that “one national rule might be better.” Indeed.

Similarly, John and Beth from the AFT Blog are all over the place on this one. Initially they said they weren't defending the loopholes (like I said they were), but then on Thursday come back again to the issue again, calling the loophole story "hype" and detailing how schools can't afford to ignore kids regardless of the oversized thresholds. They still sound like they're overall pro-loophole to me, but who knows.

Ditto for Eduwonk, who goes for the "go ask your mother" answer by dismissing the AP story as a mere effort to sell papers that "doesn't convey the reality on the ground" and ignores statistical soundness but...sorry, I nodded off right about then.

Then there are those who just seem to fly whereeever they want to go on this one:

The NSBA's BoardBuzz tries to hijack the story to (a) argue for growth models -- huh? -- (b) blame USDE and the states (as if districts weren’t part of pushing for creating oversized subgroup thresholds), and (c) to argue that minority kids are actually over-counted under NCLB. Yikes.

The Gadfly soundly trounces the blame-the-states/Feds argument: "Local superintendents, school board members, and teachers associations abhor the spotlight and sanctions that come with tough accountability; they are responding by putting withering pressure on state officials to lower the bar. And, not surprising, some state officials are obliging."

Over at Schools Matter (I know, I know), Professor Horn is conflicted. He hates NCLB, of course, but he doesn't like the AYP loophole either. What to do? Blame the feds for segregation. Yeah, that'll do it.

The right answer, however, is that giving schools a pass on being held accountable for the scores of up to 50 minority kids at a time is ridiculous -- even if you hate NCLB.

That's just what AlterNet, the alternative weekly blog, has figured out, calling the thresholds "the most ridiculous loophole in the worst education act." I like it.


Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

I've spoken about this at my place, and basically, I worry about the exampole it sets when educators look dishonest.

9:30 PM  

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