No Child Left Behind set arbitrary goals for education, Daniel Koretz says.
Question: How did Bush change education policy?
Daniel Koretz: Well the effects of a [mixed] at best, the centerpiece of the administration’s policy was, of course, no child left behind in [IB] which had, I think, a few commendable goals. And for that reason, it was supported by people across the isle as well by George Miller, for instance, in the house by Teddy Kennedy. One of the goals was, as George Miller predicted, shine light in the corners, to make it very hard for schools that did well on average to hide the data if they were doing poorly with disadvantaged kids. So there was a real emphasis in proving [unimproving] equity. The problem is, in my view, it’s a very poorly crafted policy. It was a real sledgehammer. Required setting arbitrary targets many of which are unreachable by, what I would consider, legitimate means and it made test scores the end all and be all of education, it made it impossible, very difficult for teachers to consider anything but raising scores on tests.