Teachers Challenge No Child Left Behind

Despite the group's belief that funding has not been adequate, the NASBE is not ready to join the NEA and the AASA in any legal action, Hill said.

"Our approach has been, 'This is the law,' " Hill said. "You don't get to choose which laws you like. You keep the focus on the kids, on doing everything you can to give them the best education you can."

Start of Penalties

Unlike exit exams, which students must pass in order to graduate from high school, the testing regime under NCLB has consequences for schools and school districts.

Schools are assessed not only on how the student body does as a whole, but also based on various demographic groups within the student body. Every group must show improvement for a school not to be penalized.

Beginning this year, students in schools that were identified as low performing for the second straight year and failed to show sufficient improvement were allowed to transfer to other schools in the district, costing the failing school the child's share of its federal funding.

States have had to develop tests to comply with the federal law, which requires that every child in grades 3 through 8 take annual standardized statewide assessment tests in math and reading by the 2005-06 school year. A test in science must be in place by the 2007-08 school year.

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