Skip to comments.Get Congress Out of the Classroom
Posted on 10/02/2007 11:00:09 PM PDT by neverdem
DESPITE the rosy claims of the Bush administration, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 is fundamentally flawed. The latest national tests, released last week, show that academic gains since 2003 have been modest, less even than those posted in the years before the law was put in place. In eighth-grade reading, there have been no gains at all since 1998.
The main goal of the law that all children in the United States will be proficient in reading and mathematics by 2014 is simply unattainable. The primary strategy to test all children in those subjects in grades three through eight every year has unleashed an unhealthy obsession with standardized testing that has reduced the time available for teaching other important subjects. Furthermore, the law completely fractures the traditional limits on federal interference in the operation of local schools.
Unfortunately, the Congressional leaders in both parties seem determined to renew the law, probably after next years presidential election, with only minor changes. But No Child Left Behind should be radically overhauled, not just tweaked.
Under the law, the states devise their own standards and their own tests. Based on the test results, every school is expected to make adequate yearly progress in grades three to eight so as to be on track to meet that goal of universal proficiency by 2014. Schools that do not meet their annual target for every group of students as defined by race, poverty, language and disability status are subject to increasingly onerous sanctions written into the federal law.
Schools that fail to meet their target for two consecutive years must offer their students the choice to go to a more successful public school; if they fail the following year, they must provide tutoring to their students. If...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
It’s too hard to do...
we should quit.
From the post
“has unleashed an unhealthy obsession with standardized testing that has reduced the time available for teaching other important subjects”
I have a boy in first grade and all the teachers, if you can get then to tell you what they think, hate the test. There is so many other things they FEEL they should be teaching your child.
The largest sign in the school says “Save the Planet recycle”
I think I know what the “other things” are.
DITTOS!!! The teacher that hate "teaching to the test" are misleading in 3 ways:
1. If they simply taught the curriculum, the test would take care of itself. This should be 'teaching to the curriculum'.
2. The schools teach to the test as a shortcut. They want to juice their numbers, they want kids to do well without covering curriculum. They dont HAVE to 'teach to the test', no student or parent is demanding it. They CHOOSE to do this for their own bureaucratic reasons.
3. The 'other stuff' the kids learn that the edu-crats think is 'so important' is the useless PC cr*p that no child should be assaulted with. In Texas here, they 'taught to the test' by making kids write essay after essay. I was thrilled, as it was the *only* challenging writing they were giving in 4th grade. Who knows what junk filler they would have had without it.
Summary: Dont ever buy the 'standardized testing is bad because it makes us teach to the test'. That is BUNK.
Diane Ravitch wrote a very interesting book called “The Language Police”. It’s about how kids in school are losing access to good literature because everything offends somebody.
I got these three examples from the book from Wikipedia:
A true story about a blind mountain climber who scaled Mt. McKinley was deleted, allegedly because it implied that “people that are blind are somehow at a disadvantage compared to people who have normal sight”.
A story about a rotting stump providing shelter to various animals that contained a passage comparing the stump to an apartment building was unanimously rejected by a bias and sensitivity committee which felt that the reference was a negative stereotype about the residents of apartment buildings.
An entry describing owls was not accepted after a Native American member of the committee “said that owls were taboo for the Navajos”.
Excerpt - Wikipedia:
President Ronald Reagan promised during the 1980 presidential election to eliminate the Department of Education as a cabinet post, but he was not able to do so with a Democratic House of Representatives.
In the 1982 State of the Union Address, he pledged, “The budget plan I submit to you on Feb. 8 will realize major savings by dismantling the Department of Education.”
Throughout the 1980s, the abolition of the Department of Education was a part of the Republican Party platform (snip)
A great man, confronting Bolsheviks both foreign and domestic.
I sometimes wonder what the outcome of WWII would have been had government operated our factories, and I really wonder what language I might be using now.
Government, especially big centralized government, is ruining education.
They do teach to the test. I have 2 in HS and one in elementary. I cannot keep up with the curriculum in elementary. They change it every year, and they change it drastically. When you question them about it, it’s all about getting more kids to pass the test. They gloss over everything, trying to shove 10 lbs of you know what in a 5 lb bag.
There is exactly one presidential candidate who advocates a much smaller federal government, including eliminating the department of education, but we aren't supposed to talk about him on this site.
The “other things” contribute to the pathetic ignorance of public school victims.
“They do teach to the test. I have 2 in HS and one in elementary. I cannot keep up with the curriculum in elementary. They change it every year, and they change it drastically. “
Which raises all sorts of red flags all by itself.
I have some old (ie 100 year old) readers and elementary textbooks. You could use them today and do a better job than the texts they have now. ...
Yet another reason for school choice. The edu-crat agenda - of looking good for the powers-that-be, of being ‘interesting’ to teachers, of catering to the ‘system’ instead of child, of letting political correctness dictate to kids - all of it puts the kids last.
Let parents choose schools and school will part putting parents and kids *first* in order to attract and keep those students and parents.
“Reagan never did succeed in reducing the size of government, but at least he gave it lip service. Now the Republican party is just as bad about expanding the welfare state as the Dems.”
Not today. The Dems increased the welfare state by $50 billion in the SCHIP bill ... and Bush vetoed it.
Hats off to Bush for vetoing a bill the liberal MSM is screaming is oh so popular. ya know, medical care for kids, etc.
If you had read the tests (at least the released test questions for all the grades) I’m not sure you would make that comment.
For Hillary, There's No Such Thing as Dirty Money The Nation mag is getting in on the fun.
Donors Stir 'Bundling' Questions (another "shoe") I missed the original story.
From time to time, Ill ping on noteworthy articles about politics, foreign and military affairs. FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
Thanks for the ping!
Shows what a great name for a bill can accomplish. :’) Thanks neverdem.