by Cheri Pierson Yecke
Center of the American Experiment
October 28, 2004
The federal law known as No Child Left Behind has changed the dialogue about education in this country. In the past, the underperformance of minority children was masked when schools reported student achievement only in the aggregate. Those days are over. All schools are now required to report achievement for all groups of their students, and are being held accountable for helping students to meet specific academic goals. The dialogue in Minnesota has started to change as well. In the past, we were able to stand proudly as our students were proclaimed as leading the nation on the ACT exam, or being among the top states in the nation on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). But now these proud accomplishments are tempered with recognition of the vast gap in achievement in Minnesota between white students and students of color.