U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan feels that the old standard, No Child Left Behind "was, frankly, broken." He explains, "it was far too punitive -- everybody was going to be labeled a failure, eventually."
"Growth and gain" is the standard by which schools will be measured going forward. For example, Duncan elaborates, "under No Child Left Behind, if you are a sixth grade teacher and I came to you three grade levels behind, if I left you a year behind, you'd be labeled a failure, and your school would be labeled a failure."
"That's not fair, says Duncan, because the teacher has actually made tremendous gains with the student. "Not only are you a good teacher, you're an amazing teacher... We need to be learning from that teacher... That teacher's an absolute hero." Duncan hopes the focus on the growth and gain achieved by schools, not absolute test scores, will level the playing field."