Thursday, August 31, 2006

Quick Fix to No Child Left Behind

It never ceases to amaze me how someone names Spellings can be such an idiot when it comes to education. But that point is proven time and again when I read the words of the Education Secretary Margaret Spellings. Her ideas on education and No Child Left Behind are so ignorant it blows my mind. Why is it that someone so far removed from the classroom has any say on how I or anyone else teaches. That is the major problem I have with this law. The people that wrote it are not teachers and know nothing of the profession.
In an interview, Spellings said, "I talk about No Child Left Behind like Ivory soap: It's 99.9 percent pure or something." "Or something" is right Ms. Spellings. I talk about No Child Left Behind like a big pile of crap. It stinks and I don't like it. The law is ridiculous on all levels. It does not measure student achievement. It does nothing to improve schools. It does not focus on student responsibility. It does not create quality teachers. But it does do "something."
First, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) does not measure student achievement. Students as young as 5K should not be taking standardized tests. For one thing, these test give no useful information about the child that took it. When the scores on these test are compared to classroom achievement, there is usually no correlation. In education we would say that the standardized test has no value. And it doesn't. By the time students reach high school, they will have taken test after test after test. And then they are told they must pass four more tests to graduate. On top of passing all their classes and taking the ACT and SAT. When is enough enough?
Secondly, NCLB does nothing to improve schools. If anything, it is killing the public school system. When the punishment for low tests scores is everyone is fired and the state runs the school, do you think the kids are going to be ok? Of course not. Low test scores on a test that wasn't even made by teachers determines the fate of a school, something is wrong. Someone needs to get a clue. Public education can work if legislation stops holding it back.
Next, NCLB does nothing to increase or expect student responsibility. A child's education is by far their own responsibility. A teacher can teach all day, but the student has to do the learning. This is not accounted for by some standardized test. I have personally seen a teacher do their job all year long and the kids do badly on the state test. Mostly because the kids didn't do their work or bother to study. Who is at fault in that situation? NCLB would say the teacher. NCLB is stupid.
Lastly, NCLB runs qualified teachers away from the education field. As stated before, this is killing public education. No professional should have to work under the conditions of this tyrannical education law. And no teacher should. I'm not anymore. If the US government wants me to teach a worthless curriculum so some kids can pass a test, they can kiss my ass.
You can't argue with teachers on this issue. Being a teacher automatically means they know more than ANYONE on the subject of education. The opinions of the parents, students, governors, principals, popes, and president DO NOT MATTER. We the teachers know more than all of them about or profession.
So I don't want to hear about this perfect education law that our dear president signed. It is a worthless piece of crap. Currently, there are a couple of committees in Congress holding hearings to update the law. My quick fix, get rid of the damn thing and leave the teaching to the people that know how.

1 comment:

Cristrista said...

I have noticed that, at least in mississippi, Teachers who work in the wealthier districts are a lot happier with the law, than the teachers who work in poverty stricken districts. I think its just another law that will allow the rich to keep on getting richer and the poor to become poorer. If you are struggeling to eat, does a stupid test really matter to you? Watcher you actually teach what Do you think about this Idea of Wealth playing a role? Does NCLB cater to wealthier districts, while it hinders poorer ones?