In an Op-Ed for Roll Call pointed at the congressional debate regarding the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (commonly called “No Child Left Behind”), Professor James J. Heckman argues that we can do better!
James J. Heckman is the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, a Nobel Memorial Prize winner in economics and an expert in the economics of human development.
Professor Heckman provides wise counsel about the need for early childhood education particularly for disadvantaged students. He argues that the country would benefit if ESEA took into account the importance of teaching and measuring character skills, not just cognitive skills, in evaluating school performance.
No Child Left Behind wasted a great deal of effort and money and produced too few benefits because it addressed problems in our educational system too late in the lives of children and removed incentives for schools to develop the full range of intellectual, emotional and social skills necessary for individuals to flourish in the 21st century economy.
Professor Heckman is right. We can do better than No Child Left Behind.