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No Child Left Behind

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Recent federal changes to No Child Left Behind have allowed Montana to lower the annual yearly progress requirements for its students, but the decreased benchmarks didn't change the status of any Helena schools. Beartooth NBC’s Kaelyn Kelly found out how the district is reacting to the new attainment.

Only five Helena schools were rated proficient in reading and math under the new No Child Left Behind annual yearly progress requirements. Interim superintendent Keith Meyer says the district won't ignore the data. 

"I want our staff and I want all of us to be able to examine and then use it to the best benefit that will, in the end, help kids learn,” says Meyer. He says while meeting Washington DC’s guideline is ideal, it's not the most important mark of success. "Our goal is to show that each student has made growth year after year after year.  The growth may not be at the percentage that's been expected by the federal government, but I'm more concerned about making sure students are showing growth year after year,” says Meyer.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau says while Montana does very well in other measures of progress, the No Child Left Behind score makes people lose faith in the education system. "It's hurtful to the public education community, it's hurtful to schools, it's hurtful to the people that work in those schools and that's why we really need to see a change,” says Juneau.

Juneau and Meyer both say a better indicator of progress in Montana would be a growth over time model rather than a score based on one annual test. Juneau says she hopes to see a growth-based model become a reality, when the law comes up for discussion.


Story by Kaelyn Kelly, Beartooth NBC.
Copyright ©2011 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved.

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Denise Juneau, Helena school district, Keith Meyer, No Child Left Behind

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