George W. Bush's signature 2002 No Child Left Behind law required schools to make "adequate yearly progress" on standardized tests administered by states. Data released yesterday shows that a mere 11 high schools, or two percent of the Illinois' 671 high schools, met this progress target.
With so many schools failing, the Illinois Board of Education blames the law, not the schools. Like many states, Illinois is seeking a waiver from federal requirements that call for 100 percent of students to be rated as proficient on state tests by 2014. In order to get the waiver, though, the state must link teacher evaluation to student test performance by the 2014-15 school year. Current state law does not require this link until the 2016-17 school year.