September 27, 2007

No Child Left Behind “childrens learn”

Filed under: Uncategorized — N @ 11:08 am

As an educator I have watched in horror as Bush’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB)has decimated the education system in America. What could have been a good idea, making sure all children graduate from high school with the skills they need, became a nightmare of uncertainty for educators and a drive to test and test our children.

Bush defended his program Wednesday saying that the nation’s scores have improved dramatically. At and education event, Bush said “as yesterday’s positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured.” Now its tough to take Bush and his law seriously when my kindergartner speaks better than the president of the United States. While some scores have increased the overall level of competence of graduating seniors has dropped. Why? Because teachers are forced to teach to high stakes tests instead of providing students with a well rounded education. Sure kids can add and subtract and write a little but ask them who the governor of their state is or who the president and vice president of the United States is and you get a blank stare. Clearly Bush himself would have benefited from more grammar work and some public speaking, two things that are no longer important in the world of high stakes tests.

In addition, Bush’s law provided no funding to implement the tests and courses that the law requires. This has forced school districts to choose between teaching what is truly necessary and forgoing the tests or receiving federal money for other educational needs. No Child Left Behind has forced schools to do what the federal government wants or lose valuable funding. What it also does is force under preforming schools to close rather than improve. This happens because of the school choice part of the law that allows students to move to better preforming schools rather than stay in their local district. While this sound good, force schools to improve or close, the law provides no funding to help schools improve. Instead it forces schools to close by removing students, those that can afford transportation to other schools, or staying open with limited resources. The problem of under performing schools happens predominately in our inner cities where many students are forced to stay in under performing schools because they cannot afford to go elsewhere.

All in all, when the scores of the entire nation are averaged together, student performance has actually dropped. No one would argue that improving education in the US is a good thing. However, implementing a law that was originally approved because it had funding attached, but has been short in funding by close to $56 billion is not helping the country. The law is up for renewal and if Congress cares at all for education in America they will not renew NCLB and start from scratch.

1 Comment

  1. “THAT Old Mystic at Leroy’s Corral”
    Wondering what’s under a W bandage?

    Comment by tsumbra — September 27, 2007 @ 12:06 pm

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