re: “Does this mean it will once again be OK to let the failures fail, and the hard workers succeed?”
No Child Left Behind was intended to force public schools to make sure every kid was able to meet reading, math, and science standards set by the Dept. of Ed.
Aside from the fact that there should be no federal dept. of education, and that the feds have no business in influencing states on how their state’s public schools should be run - the “intent” was to “help”.
As usual, with most government programs that were “intended” to “help”, it had unintended consequences.
First, every school was evaluated by a federal standard in reading, math, and science through testing, testing, then more testing.
Each school was to divide its students into “groups” - by ethnicity and by test scores. Once these groups were identified, the feds said the school had to set a certain percentage of “growth” in test scores for each group. These growth goals had to be increased year after year. Any school that failed to meet the growth goals were put on a watch list, if during the second year they didn’t make it again, they were taken over by the state’s education department, everyone fired, and basically a whole new administrator and faculty were chosen to get the school back on track.
The problem is, as time went on, EVERY SCHOOL sooner or later would fail to meet the ever increasing growth goals set by the feds. Some schools that already tested very high in math, science, and language arts (reading) had no problem meeting the standards the first or second year, but by the third year they could not reach the growth goals for a majority of the “groups” within the school. Each group HAD to demonstrate an increase in their test scores so it didn’t matter if six out of ten groups did show growth - that was not acceptable -ALL of the groups must show growth. Sooner or later every school was going to reach a ceiling which they just could not pass.
Initially, this did help some of the more dismal low-testing schools to get moving. But, as I said, sooner or later each school would reach that ceiling. What was happening was more and more schools could not reach the growth goals and these schools were “taken over” to get them back on reaching the goals. The problem was that that didn’t work either. And, testing became the PRIMARY activity for all schools because you HAD to reach those goals or else.
This contributed to cheating by schools in order to meet those ever increasing goals.
Kids whose parents cared about their education did perform well, but with our society so screwed up that an intact family is no longer the norm, the kids in that group had mixed results. Many of the parents that either did not value education, or were in survival mode and had no time to help their kids with reading, math, science - or, with some parents who were screwed up emotionally that their kids actually ran the house - those kids had an especially tough row to hoe.
In the end, this is all about control by the federal government. If the states did not cooperate with the feds on NCLB (no child left behind), they lost that always tempting tax money.
Again, the goal was an attempt to make public schools be “accountable”, but it just wound up, in the long run, to create more problems than it fixed.
The states should be held accountable by the people of those individual states, the state legislatures are the ones who “approve” of their states curriculum, the local school districts must be directly accountable to their constituents on their district’s performance - not the federal government.
The federal government has also been offering “national certification” for teachers. If these teachers take the courses and get “nationally certified”, then they got an increase in salary paid for by us, the taxpayer.
What business does the federal government have in certifying teachers??? Sooner or later I believe this “national certification” will become a requirement in every state and then all teachers will have to be “federal government” approved in order to teach. You think it is bad now, just wait til that happens.
Government should have no role in determining an education in America. How did we get here without state and federal education standards? Today’s modern teachers in government schools are wholly incapable of producing a Madison, Mason, Jefferson, Hamilton, Franklin, Washington or any of the Founders. Their beliefs, perspective and politics preclude the generation that produced America.
Government rules and regulations encourage cheating and lying. Whenever you create laws contrary to human nature you get cheating and lying.