NCLB says top schools ‘in need of improvement’

Griffin Memorial School in Litchfield, N.H. had 91 percent of its elementary students score proficient or better on the state’s reading exam last fall, placing it among the top 10 schools in the state. But by state and federal standards, Griffin is considered “in need of improvement,” just like all 17 schools in neighboring Nashua, the Huffington Post reports.

“[It] just doesn’t make sense,” Litchfield Superintendent Elaine Cutler told the Nashua Telegraph. “It’s not a logical sequence of events. We all want to do better and continuously improve, but it is never enough.”

The “in need of improvement” label has also been attached to Nashua’s schools based on Adequate Yearly Progress reports by the state Department of Education. In compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind law, schools must meet annual benchmarks set for state-mandated standardized tests. Schools that don’t meet goals for two consecutive years are deemed “in need of improvement,” followed by a series of intervening initiatives like transferring students to a higher performing school, offering tutoring, replacing staff or even closing the school…

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