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ERIC Number: EJ767453
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
The Seven Deadly Sins of No Child Left Behind
Houston, Paul D.
Phi Delta Kappan, v88 n10 p744-748 Jun 2007
For five years the major school reform agenda in America has been the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, which was part of the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Now ESEA is up for another reauthorization by Congress, and everyone is wondering what is going to happen next. One could argue that there is much in the U.S. education system that is not effective and needs to change and that NCLB's focus on accountability has helped to illuminate this need. NCLB, which adopts assessment as its key strategy, does not deal with education in a systemic way. The author believes that the law has been taking U.S. education in entirely the wrong direction and that a totally new agenda is needed. This article discusses the "seven deadly sins" of NCLB: (1) assuming that schools are broken; (2) conflating testing with education; (3) harming poor children and ignoring the realities of poverty; (4) relying on fear and coercion; (5) lacking clarity; (6) leaving out the experts; and (7) undermining our international competitiveness.
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-1789. Tel: 800-766-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001