Thomas Toch

Measure For Measure

If any school should be a poster child for President Bush’s signature education reform, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), it’s Herbert Marcus Elementary School. The inner-city Dallas, Texas, school is exactly the kind that the law was designed to improve. It’s a shabby, overcrowded place on the edge of a grim indus­ trial zone,… Read more »

Hire Ed

You might expect, then, that California would have been in a good position to handle a key NCLB provision, that each state rank the proficiency of each of its schools. Instead, when that provision kicked in last year, California stumbled. The agency in charge of the task, the California Department of Education, gave failing grades… Read more »

Divide and Conquer

A typical example of a sprawling inner-city school was the Julia Richman High School on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Though located in a high-rent neighborhood and once a prestigious school, by the early 1990s, Richman was one of the city’s worst. Buffeted by a changing student population, sharp staffing cuts, and other forces, the enormous… Read more »

Bush’s Big Test

Powden, then Sen. Jim Jeffords’s staff director on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, was part of a bipartisan group of congressional staffers readying the Bush plan for a vote by the full Senate. The House and Senate committees had already signed off on the plan and its core proposal to test every… Read more »