July 10, 2007
For immediate release
Professor John Yun of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School questions report that claims
No Child Left Behind success
A report released in June by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) is being used to argue that student achievement has increased since the implementation of the federal No Child Left Behind law. Dr. John Yun, a professor at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, has reviewed this report and asserts it suffers from important weaknesses and that the wording of numerous findings and key conclusions imply a much stronger connection between NCLB and increased achievement than can be substantiated by the data.
The CEP’s report, entitled Answering the Question That Matters Most: Has Student Achievement Increased Since No Child Left Behind, has already been lauded by U.S. Secretary of Education of Education Margaret Spellings. Spellings used the report to argue for NCLB reauthorization. Her official statement said, “This study confirms that [NCLB] has struck a chord of success with our nation’s schools and students….We know the law is working, so now is the time to reauthorize [it].”
Dr. Yun’s review, prepared as part of the Think Twice think tank review project, recognized the importance of the study and the need to determine NCLB’s efficacy. Nonetheless, Yun concludes the report overstates NCLB’s success. “The report acknowledges several important methodological weaknesses, but other such weaknesses are never mentioned,” Yun writes. “Among these additional problems are issues of scope, measurement, and selection – all of which ultimately call into question the robustness of the findings, rendering the report’s conclusions far from definitive.”
Yun’s review can be read on-line.
Dr. John Yun is an assistant professor in the Department of Education at the Gevirtz School. His research focuses on issues of equity in education, specifically patterns of school segregation; educational differences between private and public schools; the effect of funding, poverty, and opportunity on educational outcomes; and the educative/counter-educative impacts of high-stakes testing. Yun is a former San Antonio high school science teacher and past solicitations editor of the Harvard Educational Review.
[John Yun is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
– end –