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Study: High-pressure school mandates eventually stall gains

The researchers on the NCLB study maintain that the way the Every Student Succeeds Act is structured gives it greater potential to improve long-term outcomes — but only if performance requirements come along with additional support for educators. Indeed, the kind of pressure that was part and parcel of NCLB can lead educators to try to “game the system” out of desperation to avoid school closures or firings. Top-down mandates can also lead to an atmosphere where educators stick to the same old approaches for fear of rocking the boat.

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