'No Child' Law Fails to Narrow Racial Gap
Minority students lag behind whites despite overall improvements since 2004
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2009 1:35 AM CDT
Supporters of the No Child Left Behind Act say that improvements among elementary school students demonstrate the success of the act's approach.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The achievement gap between white and minority students has not been changed by federal No Child Left Behind initiative, the New York Times reports. Scores from a federal test considered to be the most accurate yardstick of reading and writing proficiency show that elementary students have improved across the board since the law went into effect in 2004. But the racial gap remains stubbornly wide despite the costly, controversial educational requirements.

The results show "we still have a lot of work to do," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who plans adjustments to the act before it comes up for reauthorization later this year. Supporters of No Child say that the improved results among elementary students show that the program's approach is working. The gains were not carried on into high school, however, a trend likely to lead to calls to switch the focus of the act.