FACT CHECK: Are 82 percent of schools ‘failing’?

President Barack Obama declared this week that four of five public schools could be labeled as “failing” this year under the No Child Left Behind Act if Congress does not take action to rewrite the law, the Associated Press reports. “That’s an astonishing number,” he said at a Virginia middle school. “We know that four out of five schools in this country aren’t failing.” Obama’s terminology wasn’t quite right, though. There is no “failing” label in the No Child Left Behind Act. And schools that do not meet growth targets — aimed at getting 100 percent of students proficient in math, reading and science by 2014 — for one year are not subject to any intervention. Those unable to do so for two or more consecutive years are considered “in need of improvement.” The consequences then become stiffer each year, starting with offering students an opportunity to attend another school, and escalating if the targets remain unmet…

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Laura Ascione
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