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Validity or Lack of Validity, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 417

Research Paper

Validity or Lack of Validity in the “No Child Left Behind” Program

Thesis: With so many measurements, statistical, and testing “sleights of hand” evident,the question of validity of this program is troubling.

Imagine that one is asked to choose between two crystal balls. The first can exactly tell whether a program improved the lives of past participants, and the second can exactly tell whether a program will improve the lives of future participants. If one is like most in this profession, the crystal ball that predicts the future is far more desirable because evaluation is action-oriented – one engages the world in order to improve it. The main shift of this paper is to shift the discussion of validity as it relates to outcome evaluation from the past to the future, from concepts of validity to lack of validity in the “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) program.

The NCLB was implemented to address strong concerns of business in the US that the ‘product’ of education needed to improve. The goals of the NCLB are laudable, reasonable, and certainly not attainable (Farenga, et al, 2011, p. xii). However, the once simplistic goal of ensuring “No Child Left Behind” has been transformed into a measurement and assessment nightmare (Reese, 2011, p. 2). With so many measurements, statistical, and testing “sleights of hand” evident, the question of validity is troubling. This leads back to one of the original concerns regarding the NCLB: what impact will any failures in assessing the performance of school systems have on the fields of measurement, statistics, and testing (Reese, 2011, p. 3). If the NCLB is ultimately deemed as unsuccessful, it is hope this lack of success will be correctly attributed to educational policy and not inappropriately attributed to measurement and assessment methods.

The intent of the NCLB was to “leave no child behind” by holding schools accountable for the education of all students. However, the measurement models developed as part of the NCLB have evolved into quagmire of measures that raise serious questions about the validity of the ‘labels’ assigned to school system (Farenga, et al, 2011). However, there has been some face, internal and external validity of many of the measurement models approved and employed as part of the NCLB.

References

Farenga, Stephen J., & Ness, Daniel, & Johnson, Bonnie, & Johnson, Dale D. (2011). The Importance of Average: Playing the Game of School to Increase Success and Achievement. Rowman & Littlefield.

Reese, William J. (2011). America’s Public Schools: From the Common School to “No Child Left Behind”. JHU Press.

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