SPECIAL SERIES: No Child Left Behind

No Child Left Behind
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The No Child Left Behind Act went into effect only four years ago, but local educators say the standards set are having a lasting effect in our schools.
We look at how schools are dealing with the concept of one standard for all students, and why some educators say it's only segregating our classrooms.

"Many of our Latino kids, that we have in our system, are brilliant kids.... but, we as a system have placed a value judgement that unless they can do it in our language, we don't give them credit for it."
Andrew Kelly, the principal at Hug High School, says more than half of the student population at Hug High School is hispanic, and about 15-percent are labeled with having a limited english proficiency.

But, the principal notes while the state says those children have not made adequate yearly progress for the last two years, those students really ARE making progress just not at a rate that is measured by state and federal standards.
"Our city has, over time, allowed people to self segregate in many times by ethnicity and socio-economic status."

Hug is already making obvious gains that will be recognized in the standardized testing, despite a divide that makes it tough on some schools to catch up.
'We wind up having schools with high student populations or concentrations of kids that need extra support to be successful. As an educator in Washoe County, if we're really about getting all kids to meet the same standard, we've got to find a way to give schools with a more needier population more resources."

"We call it No Child Left Un-tested."
Anne Peer is an English as a second language teacher at Lena Juniper Elementary School, in Sparks.
She says she actually spends 11 weeks testing her kids out the 36 weeks spent with them... she says they make progress, but not at the standard set by No Child Left Behind.

"They have raised the bar so high that sometimes, it's almost impossible to make that amount of growth in a year."
She says the students she tutors actually take twice as many tests as their peers... tests that measure their comprehension of English... which is necessary when they do sit down in class to take the writing assessment or CRT that looks at reading and math skills.

"In Mexico, a child doesn't pass the grade if he doesn't pass the test. So, a lot of parents are very concerned... and kids will come in asking, 'am I going to pass?'"