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Rolling Up Their Sleeves: Superintendents and Principals Talk About What's Needed to Fix Public Schools

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Public school superintendents and principals say their biggest headaches are funding and the time it takes to comply with a blizzard of local, state and federal mandates. Some 93 percent of superintendents and 88 percent of principals say their district has experienced "an enormous increase in responsibilities and mandates without getting the resources necessary to fulfill them." While unhappy with some of the specifics of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation, the vast majority of officials surveyed believe that the era of testing and accountability is here to stay. But almost nine in 10 call No Child Left Behind an "unfunded mandate," and most say the law "will require many adjustments before it can work." Superintendents from large school districts are much more likely to support the law's key components than their colleagues from smaller school systems.