Latest test scores a mixed bag

    The federal No Child Left Behind Act mandates 100% proficiency by 2014, but if the district continues improving at its current rate, all students would not reach proficiency until the year 2123.

    The latest test scores for Philadelphia School District students are a mixed bag. The number of students performing at grade level in math and reading was up about 3 percentage points from the previous year, but that still leaves less than half of students reading at grade level. The federal No Child Left Behind Act mandates 100% proficiency by 2014, but if the district continues improving at its current rate, all students would not reach proficiency until the year 2123.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090813lftest.mp3]

    Andy Porter is the Dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He says Philadelphia is not alone.

    Porter: It’s becoming increasingly clear that many many schools across the country both urban and rural are not going to meet the 100% proficient by the 2014 target. When that target was set people knew it was ambitious and ambitious targets can be good but there was no existence proof that schools could or had been able to meet that target.

    Porter says many experts believe if and when Congress reauthorizes the No Child Left Behind Act, some of its goals will likely be changed: for example the date could be pushed back from 2014, or the proficiency target could be lowered from 100%.

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