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Jun 2005

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Cover Story


For most education watchers, Connecticut's recent foray into the fight over No Child Left Behind began the moment state Commissioner of Education Betty J. Sternberg sent a letter to Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. That letter asked, in part, that Connecticut receive a waiver to avoid the law's required annual tests.

Sitting in his one-story office in the town of Brandon, nestled among the Green Mountains of Vermont, William Mathis stares out his rain-splattered window as he contemplates education in the nation and his district, a few miles north of Rutland.

Quick--think special education. The typical district leader groans at high costs, paperwork and inefficiency. The assessment is frighteningly accurate, but a few districts are bucking the status quo by embracing technology.

When parents come to hear Ruth Parker of Mathematics Education Collaborative speak on quality mathematics education, they're expecting some answers. But what they may well get is a heavy dose of confusion and frustration.


Generally, the more frequently students change schools for reasons other than grade promotion, the more likely they are to have lower achievement and behavioral problems. They are also more likely to drop out. Research confirms this. So, if we could just convince families to stop moving around so much, we could increase student achievement, right?

Her child's asthma used to dictate Tonya Randolph's schedule. When Nikea, now in middle school, was younger, Randolph or her husband would be called away from work every few weeks to bring their daughter to the doctor for an emergency nebulizer treatment. The parents lost work hours and Nikea missed class.



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