Past Features

December 28, 2015

Leaving California Behind
Why Congress repealed "No Child Left Behind"

San Jose Mercury News -- December 25, 2015  
California school scores tied to attendance, not proficiency
    For more than a decade, the release of federal scores indicating California public school students' progress --- or lack of it --- has incited alarm, anxiety and anguish among educators.
    But when those marks were ever so quietly posted this month, barely anyone noticed. And it seemed few cared. For the first time in years, California schools met federal standards --- but only because the yardstick had been replaced with an easier-to-meet measurement.
    It's the sign that the federal No Child Left Behind law, an effort to hold schools accountable for students' failure to learn, has lost its muscle a year before it expires. That retreat enrages reformers like former state Sen. Gloria Romero of Los Angeles. "There is an effort to minimize, whitewash and scrub the file so that parents don't have information," she said. "If you can kill the data, you can't have the reform."
    Since 2002, No Child Left Behind tied schools' federal grades to students' proficiency in math and English. But now, under a waiver granted in June, California bases those grades solely on attendance, test participation and graduation rate --- which itself has been inflated with the demise of the state high school exit exam.
    Those are much easier bars to hurdle --- and achieved by most California schools. [...]
    Without the fed's waiver, more schools would be facing more mandates if the yardstick were still based on proficiency. On standardized tests last spring, only 44 percent of California students tested proficient in English, and 33 percent proficient in math -- far short of No Child Left Behind's unrealistic expectation of 100 percent proficiency.

Glenn Spencer -- American Patrol Report
Denying Reality
    Next month will mark the beginning of my twenty-fourth year fighting for the rule of law. I was drawn into this battle by what illegal immigration was doing to the state of my birth - California.
    In 1996, I began documenting the effects of immigration law breaking on the Internet on A search of that site using the key words "California schools" produces 867 stories I posted.
    One of those stories, "Has Illegal Immigration Ruined Los Angeles Public Schools?” was written by a brilliant attorney who criticized the decision putting a hold on Proposition 187.
    I interviewed him on my radio show in 1999.
    The evidence was overwhelming that illegal immigration had sent California's K-12 education system into the tank. Instead of dealing with the problem and enforcing our laws, Congress threw in the towel and allowed California to lie about what was happening.
    Denying reality will only make the problem worse.
PS ---Those of us like Alan Favish and Alan C.Nelson have been right all along, while the liberal media, such as the Los Angeles Times, have been wrong. They don't like to remind people of this fact, so I am blacked out.