Revised 'No Child' would be carrot-and-stick

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Most of the country's public schools would have more freedom under a proposed rewrite of the No Child Left Behind law, according to The Washington Post.

Recently unveiled by the Obama administration, the new version would divide public schools into three categories. High performers would be rewarded, failing schools would face radical intervention, and those in between would be pushed to improve, but allowed to choose their own methods, The Post reported.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan termed the plan a "carrots-and- sticks across the board" approach, The Post reported.

Under current law, any school that fails to make "adequate yearly progress" faces sanctions ranging from offering tutoring to allowing children to transfer to better schools, according to The Post. Those requirements would become voluntary under the Obama administration's plan, the report said.

However, schools that rank in the lowest 15 percent on academic performance or that show large "achievement gaps" might have to replace their principals or make other mandated changes, The Post reported. The best schools would receive more funding, flexibility and autonomy, according to Duncan, The Post reported.

The Washington Post, "Updated 'No Child' law would focus on failing schools," March 16, 2010

Michigan Education Report, "The shell game of making AYP," March 18, 2009