Quick thoughts about No Child Left Behind

October 19, 2007 at 1:46 am Leave a comment

Noses to the grindstone Quick thoughts about No Child Left Behind

 

As a teacher and parent, I am interested in quality education for every child. Whether you have children in school, a homeowners worried about property values, or a concerned citizen wanting taxes dollars spent properly – the basic tenet of the NCLB act is great, every single child should have an equal and fair opportunity to learn. Schools ultimately bare the responsibility to offer a quality education to each child in that school. Not a soul will argue with the fact that our schools should provide quality education.

 

As a teacher in the trenches battling the war against ignorance, NLSB not only keeps me from doing my job but it frustrates me and unfairly gives schools and American education a black eye. The desire to improve education is through testing programs. Schools are required to test all students , regardless of disability. Students are expected to achieve certain levels on the test. Sounds good! But not all students have the same abilities or capabilities. For example, if you were to sign you child up for tee ball. (Have you ever seen 5 year-olds play tee ball. It’s a ball (sorry)!) Kids learn the fundamentals of baseball and have fun. There is no test! Kids run all over. Hit the ball and run. Does not make a difference if its toward third or the pitching  mound- just run. It’s fun! The coaches have fun, the parents have fun and everyone congratulates the kids . They also thank the coaches. The parents go home feeling good. Introduce NCLB to tee ball. Each child will be expected to hit the ball a certain distance, run in a correct direction, run so fast, and catch a ball hit to them. This may well be the goal we set for our children but we also want them to have fun. Now tell the coaches that they are accountable to see each and every child meets these standards. Failure to do so could result in disbanding this team and firing all the coaches. We quibble and vacillate whether this is good. Jeannie is a fantastic hitter and a very coordinated runner. She will probably be an outstanding athlete one day. Roger trips over his own feet and swings the bat with his eyes closed. He laughs and had as much fun as Jeanine but he is placed on a watch list. He may not want to become an athlete or a scholar or a doctor or lawyer. He likes cars. He wants to work with his hands. He does not read as well as Jeannine but NCLB does not care. Roger must have extra tutoring. He must be forced to improve. He is not to ne left behind! Roger is not behind. He is as happy as anything when he listens to the hum of a car engine and tell that the pistons need work. Will Jeanine know that? Roger wants the testing program to include car maintenance. Jeanine would now find herself in the “left behind” category. This is the frustration and unfair aspect of NCLB.

 

More to come on this highly controversial Act. It has become a political football.    

 

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Entry filed under: NCLB.

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