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NCLB Meets School Realities

Lessons From the Field

The essential guide to understanding NCLB!!

Based on original research by The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, this text details how NCLB is put into practice, the issues it raises, how it affects minority youth, and how teachers view NCLB's efficacy. This book uses data from the field on the implementation of NCLB to recommend policy changes that will help achieve the law's goal—ensuring that all students learn. NCLB Meets School Realities includes:

  • Revealing data from 6 states and 11 districts
  • Examination of the role of supplemental education services
  • A review of graduate rate accountability
  • Schooling options for disadvantaged families

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781412915557
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2005
  • Page Count: 184
  • Publication date: June 01, 2005

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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Request Review Copy

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"A timely study on the implementation of NCLB in 6 states during the initial phase of the reform. The authors' policy recommendations will be particularly useful to policy makers and practitioners in designing more effective strategies to improve schooling quality for the least advantaged children. This book will be widely adopted in graduate courses in educational policy and intergovernmental relations."
Kenneth Wong, Professor
Peabody College, Vanderbilt University

"This is an important, topical book that provides a deep look at fundamental issues in the design and implementation of No Child Left Behind."
Richard F. Elmore, Gregory Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership
Harvard Graduate School of Education

"The well-documented and thorough approach to collecting the data is a major strength. The material fit with my experiences as a practicing principal. This book can serve as a catalyst for quality conversation that is so drastically needed about how to make NCLB do what it is intended to do—ensure that every child is successful!"
Bonnie Tryon, Principal, Golding Elementary School, Cobleskill, NY
Member, 2002-2003 NAESP Board of Directors  

The essential guide to understanding NCLB 

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is one of the biggest educational forces of our time. So why is it one of the least understood? NCLB Meets School Realities is an essential resource for educators wanting to explore and understand the issues raised by NCLB. Based on original research of 11 districts across 6 states by The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, this text details how NCLB is put into practice, the issues it raises, and how it affects minority and low-income students. The authors look closely at the implications of increased federal involvement in education, how states designed their accountability systems to meet the NCLB requirements, and the implications of the adequate yearly progress provisions for schools and students. They examine whether the transfer policy creates better schooling options for disadvantaged families, the ability of districts to implement supplemental educational services, and how teachers view the efficacy of NCLB's reforms. They also review one provision—graduate rate accountability—in light of the national graduation rate crisis.

NCLB Meets School Realities includes:

  • Practical methods to understanding the political implications of NCLB
  • A detailed look at how proficiency standards affect minority youth
  • Revealing data from 11 school districts across 6 states

Key features

- timely information on NCLB in action in schools

- offers implications for and detailed information on the policy in action in nearly all states

- provides information that school communities can use to be part of the debate and make the best decisions for their schools

- highlights teacher voice and district experience



Gail L. Sunderman photo

Gail L. Sunderman

Gail L. Sunderman is a senior research associate in K–12 Education for the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. Her research focuses on educational policy and politics, and urban school reform, including the development and implementation of education policy and the impact of policy on the educational opportunities for at-risk students. At the Civil Rights Project, she is project director on a five-year study examining the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and is coauthor of the book, NCLB Meets School Realities: Lessons from the Field, also from Corwin Press. Prior research includes studies on the implementation of Title I schoolwide programs, governance reform in the Chicago Public Schools, and understanding institutional and organizational constraints on implementing school reform initiatives. Her work has appeared in Harvard Educational Review, Teachers College Record, and Educational Researcher. She is a former Fulbright scholar and received her PhD in political science from the University of Chicago.
James S. Kim photo

James S. Kim

James S. Kim, Ed.D., is an assistant professor of education policy and program evaluation at the University of California, Irvine. He is a former history teacher in an ethnically diverse middle school, where he served as chair of the history and civics department. He received his doctorate in education policy and research from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While at Harvard, he worked as a research associate at the Center for Evaluation, where he conducted several studies on summer learning and the racial achievement gap. Most recently, he was a K-12 research associate at the Civil Rights Project at Harvard, and worked on a national study of the No Child Left Behind Act. His research interests include the use of quantitative methods to assess the effectiveness of compensatory education policies for disadvantaged students and the impact of reading programs on adolescent learning.
Gary Orfield photo

Gary Orfield

Gary Orfield is Professor of Education and Social Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Professor Orfield is interested in the study of civil rights, education policy, urban policy, and minority opportunity. He is Co-Founder and Director of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard, an initiative that is developing and publishing a new generation of research on multiracial civil rights issues. Orfield's central interest has been the development and implementation of social policy, with a central focus on the impact of policy on equal opportunity for success in American society. Recent works include studies of changing patterns of school desegregation and the impact of diversity on the educational experiences of law students. In addition to his scholarly work, Orfield has been involved with development of governmental policy and has served as an expert witness in court cases related to his research. He has participated as an expert witness of a court-appointed expert in several dozen civil rights cases, including the University of Michigan Supreme Court case which upheld the policy of affirmative action in 2003 and has been called to give testimony in civil rights suits by the United States Department of Justice and many civil rights, legal services, and educational organizations. In 1997, Orfield was awarded the American Political Science Association's Charles Merriam Award for his "contribution to the art of government through the application of social science research." A native Minnesotan, Orfield received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and travels annually to Latin America, where his research work is now expanding.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Authors

About the Contributors


1. When Federal Power Is Expanded: The Politics of Implementing the No Child Left Behind Act

2. Test-Based Accountability and the Achievement Gap

3. Does NCLB Provide Good Choices for Students in Underperforming Schools?

4. Increasing Bureaucracy or Increasing Opportunities? School District Experience With Supplemental Educational Services

5. Listening to Teachers: Classroom Realities and NCLB

6. Graduation Rate Accountability Under the No Child Left Behind Act

7. Conclusion: Rethinking No Child Left Behind






Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.