"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Monday, September 10, 2007

"That" time of year...

Yes...it is that time of year...the time of year students - and their teachers - dread...it is time for "The TEST!"

All over Indiana teachers are cramming facts into kids heads in a futile attempt to give them one extra point on the test. All over Indiana teachers are giving kids "test-taking tips" in a futile attempt to get kids to do better by manipulating the process of the test rather than the process of learning. All over Indiana teaching has deteriorated to this mindless, test-driven focus.

In our nation's capital the congress is babbling over No Child Left Behind in a futile attempt to fix the law that has all but crippled American education. Secretary of Education Spellings continues to blather about how NCLB has worked to improve teaching learning and lessen the achievement gap, when, in fact, none of these things have happened.

Standardized testing is no longer used for diagnosing educational needs. It's now just a way of ranking kids. It would be cheaper and just as accurate...and we would get the same results...if we ranked kids by ZIP code. Poverty is the number one obstacle causing the so-called "achievement gap" in the country today. And politics is the number one obstacle to educating children in general.

Poverty, as the media is fond of saying, is no excuse. Gerald Bracey, educational researcher, replies that, true, poverty is not an excuse...it is a condition, just like gravity. "Gravity affects everything you do on the planet. So does poverty." Poverty doesn't disappear. In fact, the number of children in poverty has increased under the Bush administration. The number of children who are being denied adequate food, clothing, shelter and health care has increased. What's happening in Washington?

Yesterday's newspaper had an article about the super-rich...and how it is the "in" thing to buy a $50,000 handbag.

Read the last two paragraphs again...I'll wait...

It's time to close the Bush tax gifts to the wealthy. It's time to pass the No Child Left Unfed Act, the No Child Left Without Health Care Act, the No Child Left Homeless Act and the No Child Left in Poverty Act. That's the way to make sure that no child gets left behind and to eliminate the "achievement gap."

Read the Declaration of Independence From High Stakes Testing

No Child Left Behind is leaving thousands of children behind!
Dismantle NCLB!
Sign the petition by clicking on the link on the side.
More than 30,000 signatures so far...

No comments: