Recent Books on NCLB

K-12 Testing


In Many Children Left Behind: How the No Child Left Behind Act is Damaging Our Children and Our Schools, editors Deborah Meier and George Wood along with prominent education writers Alfie Kohn, Theodore Sizer, Linda Darling-Hammond and Stan Karp offer evidence of NCLB’s devastating effects on the very schools and children it was supposedly designed to benefit. FairTest Executive Director Monty Neill contributes a chapter on basic principles for genuine accountability.

The editors and authors are founding members of the Forum for Education and Democracy, a non-profit think tank that will launch in August 2004 and aims to restore the democratic purpose of education to the center of public debate. The book will be released September 30, 2004, by Beacon Press, $13. Check your local book store or a web vendor.

Saving Our Schools
argues that NCLB will have devastating effects on public education and represents “the climax of a long-term campaign to privatize American education.” The authors view NCLB’s use of testing, narrowly defined “scientific” reading programs, sanctions and “parental choice” through transfer rights less as ends in themselves than as means toward reorganizing schooling. Those who supported NCLB as a solution for education’s glaring inequities were, in this view, out-maneuvered by the privatizers. Regardless of whether the reader is convinced by this argument, there is a great deal worth considering in this readable collection of short pieces covering a range of NCLB-related issues. Edited by Ken Goodman, Patrick Shannon, Yetta Goodman and Roger Rapoport, it is available from RDR books at

Saving Our Schools
points out how the elements of NCLB are interconnected. In Reading the Naked Truth: Literacy, Legislation and Lies, Gerald Coles painstakingly dissects the questionable research and refutes the “scientific” status of the report of the National Reading Panel of the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development. That report was used to craft the Reading Initiative portion of No Child Left Behind. Available at