Wednesday, October 9, 2013

No Child Left Behind Needs To Go!

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is very frustrating for teachers, administrators and people involved in our schools.

If you read my last post regarding dumbing down our young people, you know I addressed some issues pertaining to what I see happening to the education of our children in our schools today. Between comments I received on my blog and Facebook, people who work in schools are very frustrated with the effects of NCLB and its requirements.

One person posted this cartoon about NCLB and all students having to pass the same standardized test:

Click on the image to make it larger:

If indeed, a standardized test given to every student with varying abilities in the fifth grade is supposed to judge a school by its test scores with no regard for the school's demographics, part of the country, inner-city, suburban or rural school, how can every school compete on the same plane? I, for one, contend they cannot. That is why I believe, along with many others, NCLB needs to go the way of the dinosaur.

Personally, it has affected me because many schools do not want to give up that extra day in class they could get with their students to prepare them for the test rather than go hear a motivational speaker in the gymnasium or auditorium. 

I often get the excuse, "The last speaker we had was not very good."  Therefore, I get judged by the last guy and not on what I might be able to do for the students in that school. It is very difficult to convince a principal, other school administrator or teacher their students might benefit in taking the tests by listening to what I have to say.

What often happens at the end of the day is the person in charge will come up to me and say something like, "You were right, you could hold their attention for ninety minutes and give them something useful to take back to their classrooms." 

You can imagine what I am thinking about that time. I want to say, "I told you so," but that is not the appropriate time nor place to gloat. I want them to refer me to another administrator so I bite my tongue, smile and say, "Thank you, would you help me get into other schools by spreading the word with your contemporaries who might also like to bring me in?"

Going back to the cartoon, the rest of the comment was: "I started working in the Roseville School District in 2001, and have seen a steady decline in basic learning skills. In many cases, I see teacher spending more time doing the paperwork required by NCLB then teaching. NCLB has done more to harm our educational system than anything else in our history. I wrote a lot of papers on this subject when I was in school."

That is not exactly a ringing endorsement for No Child Left Behind!

I do not have all the answers, and I'm not sure anyone else does either. I do believe something needs to be done and done in a hurry because our children are falling farther and farther behind the rest of the developed world in national rankings and numbers of high quality, well-educated people ready for the workforce.

As always, I welcome your comments.



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