"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

Sunday, January 15, 2012

10 Years of NCLB -- Part 2

Ten years of No Child Left Behind has damaged public education nation-wide.

Susan Ohanian has offered a snippet of each state's experience -- pulled from news items from her web site. Keep in mind that much of the damage done by NCLB is because of the false assumption that our schools are failing...and that test scores are valid indications of that failure. (See Here and Here)

Some of her examples...
Colorado: "Michael has an IQ of about 70," his mother said. "No amount of testing is going to change that. But I have a 28-page document that explains exactly what his teachers and his parents expect of him. So why, when testing comes around, do we throw (the plan) out the window?" --2004

"I watched my son struggle all year long thinking it was too much pressure to read faster, he was feeling like a failure. He lost his confidence. He felt punished for not reading "good enough." Every reading test he failed meant that much longer without science class. No experiments. No take-home projects. No fun science books like the smart kids. My son was excluded.--June 2007

Hawaii: Board chairman Herbert Watanabe cited an analysis of Hawai'i public school students that found 51 percent are "at risk" because they come from economically disadvantaged families, have limited English proficiency or are special-education students. "This is what we have ... don't blame everything on the public schools," he said. "Read the facts. When you're looking at figures like this, the feds gotta have their heads examined sometimes."--Sept. 2003

Kansas: The De Soto school board will consider removing an optional fifth-grade band program from students' instructional day. Band students currently spend about an hour a week in the class. But that's time that could be spent polishing the reading skills that are tested in fifth grade. "We're trying to recapture some instructional core academic time at the fifth-grade level to meet the demands of No Child Left Behind," said Superintendent Sharon Zoellner.--April 2004

Michigan: Gov. Jennifer Granholm said she will call on social services workers, churches and others to help educators fix troubled schools identified under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.--March 28, 2003

Kindergarten teacher required to make 27,575 data entry points in her classroom.-- August 2011

Minnesota: It's cheaper to measure failure than to fund success. Sen. Mark Dayton, May 2003

Pennsylvania: In Philadelphia, if enough parents seek NCLB tutoring, that could mean more than $15 million a year going to for-profit firms, nonprofit community organizations, individuals, even faith-based groups. That's money the district could otherwise spend in the schools for such things as smaller classes and teacher training.-- July 2003

Rhode Island: With the school board's decision on Tuesday to dismiss the entire faculty as part of an NCLB turnaround plan for the chronically underperforming school, some say they are losing one of the few constants in the state's poorest city, where 41 percent of children live in poverty and 63 percent of the high school's students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.--Feb. 2010
Was NCLB a purposeful attempt to destroy public education in the United States? It doesn't really matter any more whether the "conspiracy" theory is correct or not. The result is plain...the public school system in this country is dying and No Child Left Behind is killing it.

It's time for teachers to step up and do something. Kelly Flynn spoke clearly in her blog entry, Kelly Flynn: Teachers Hold the Key. They Always Have.
...we can...harness [the power of social networking] to beat back the corporate-reformers.

I believe in the power of the online community. But the problem is what it has always been - too few voices, speaking much too quietly.

It's time for every teacher in this country, from the tiniest island in Hawaii to the shores of Eastport, Maine, to muster their courage and combine their voices in one long, loud, ferocious rebel yell, and turn the tide on this thing.

(Click here for 10 years of NCLB -- Part 1)
(Click here for 10 years of NCLB -- Part 3)

You might also be interested in...

This week, the Chester Upland School District in Pennsylvania filed suit against the state in order to gain funding to keep the district running. Employees are working without pay to keep the schools open, but the state government and the governor are fans of privatization and charters.

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