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Testing expert: Despite revamped No Child Left Behind, politicians, educators, parents at odds over accountability

Friday, July 17, 2015

LAWRENCE — The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed a revamped version of No Child Left Behind, the first time in 14 years Congress has managed to pass a new version of the highly criticized education law. The measure is in doubt, however, even after the House passed its own version the week prior. No measure has been sent to President Barack Obama yet, but both chambers of Congress have said they believe they can achieve that.

Neal Kingston, professor of educational psychology and director of the Achievement and Assessment Institute at the University of Kansas, is available to speak with media about the topic. An expert in educational measurement and research methodology, Kingston can discuss No Child Left Behind, criticism regarding the original Bush-era legislation, standardized testing the act requires, needed improvement, the revamped version of the act, states that have applied for a waiver from its requirements and similar topics.

When asked about how he reads the growing concerns about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Kingston replied, “It has been fascinating watching concerns about the reauthorization of ESEA grow over the last several years. Despite their many differences, both political parties and the split between House and Senate Republicans, most political leaders remain staunch proponents of similar types of test-based accountability systems. Educators and many parents (who make up the current opt-out movement) do not.”

Kingston is a former classroom teacher and has worked in assessment for more than 30 years as a psychometrician, test developer and systems developer. He has managed educational testing for general and alternate assessments at all levels and has published more than 100 articles, papers and book chapters on assessment.

To schedule an interview, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or mkrings@ku.edu.

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