Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said Kentucky schools overall aren't progressing fast enough to meet the rising standards of No Child Left Behind, which requires all schools to reach proficiency in math and reading by 2014.At one Louisville school, the Olmsted Academy, the district spent $2 million "to reduce class sizes, add technology and provide more professional development for teachers, many of whom had to reapply for their jobs." But student scores went up only "slightly," and the school will face sanctions under No Child Left Behind this year.
Many schools are falling short because they can't meet the testing standards among their minority, low-income, learning-disabled or limited-English students. If even one group should fail to meet the reading or math goals, then the school is judged to be failing, which Holliday says “isn't fair.”
“By 2014, there will be no school in America that will make adequate yearly progress if they have any sort of diversity in their building,” Holliday said.
If scores don't improve quickly, it's possible the Olmsted Academy could be closed. That's what happened to Sam Houston High School in Houston, TX, where the school was deemed a failure because a small group of black students underperformed on a state-mandated math exam year after year. The school was only 4% black and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to raise black scores, to no avail. The school was closed, and 2,400 white and Hispanic students had to be relocated.
To fund an increasing amount of remedial instruction for blacks, schools across the country have been closing science labs, dropping French, German, and Latin courses, eliminating honors programs, and leaving high-achieving white and Asian students to fend for themselves.
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