Nearly four years after the No Child Left Behind Act took effect, the nation's urban school districts have shown little benefit from the law, which mandated annual reading and mathematics tests for all students in grades 3 through 8.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often referred to as the "Nation's Report Card," over the last two years most fourth- and eighth-graders in 11 city school districts made very modest progress in reading and math. And most continue to perform well below the national average.
But the most worrisome trend is that the achievement gap between white and minority students has stayed the same and may even be widening. That's bad news for the Bush administration, which has insisted the gap has been closing under the No Child Left Behind Act.