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10 Years of No Child Left Behind: Flawed Beyond Fixing?

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With the impasse in Congress and the desire to change a law widely seen to be flawed and a failure, President Obama used his executive authority to enact reforms that allow states to apply for waivers (including the 2014 deadline for proficiency), if they carry out certain reforms (includingmore rigorous teacher evaluation systems).

What’s Next For NCLB?

Senator Lamar Alexander (R.-Tennessee) has said that NCLB “has been a noble experiment” but that control of education should reside in local governments. Despite President Obama’s waiver plan, test preparation will continue to be a focus. In other words, as Care2 blogger Judy Molland wrote, the basic provisions of NCLB will remain and schools with low-scoring students could still receive failing grades. Focusing on students taking standardized tests in math and reading has meant that “history, the arts, foreign languages, P.E and even recess” have all been shortchanged.

The one thing that we can (perhaps) all agree about is that no one has been entirely happy about NCLB, and many have been, and will continue to be, deeply frustrated with it. Were national, federally-mandated requirements for education a mistake from the start, or might they be effective if carried out differently — perhaps without such an emphasis on standardized test scores?

 

Related Care2 Coverage

Leaving Behind No Child Left Behind

No Child Left Behind The War Is On!

Goodbye To No Child Left Behind? Not So Fast

 

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199 comments

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10:35AM PST on Jan 24, 2012

NCLB might be good at creating worker bees able to operate the machinery of production (visions of Metropolis dance in my head), but it is not going to bring the best out in our children. All across the country, school systems are cutting programs and curriculum just to meet the minimum "standards" of NCLB.

What ever it's intentions were, it has been a stab in the back for an entire generation.

8:07PM PST on Jan 17, 2012

Marylin, welcome to the United Corporations of America, est.d January 2010.

6:17PM PST on Jan 17, 2012

Why are school systems shoving teachers and students through the yearly curiculum at warp speed? How can a teacher teach or a student learn if being rushed through the subject before understanding it? What is the rush?
School systems only concern is obtaining funding from the state; at the expense of student and teacher. There is no personal concern for the students. When money becomes the only vision people suffer a great loss, as is our student body in America. Student's are beginning to feel stupid and beginning to hate school and learning. That is not a sign of sucess. S

7:45PM PST on Jan 15, 2012

Up front, I have opposed NCLB since before it was implemented. More testing means less teaching. and now there are situations where teachers jobs are dependent upon those test scores. In order for teachers to get their students to pass the tests, they are forced to "teach to the test" or in extreme (but rare) cases, even cheat for them. Teachers cannot spend any time on more engaging and experimental teaching methods. Things like living history, arts, and recess are all being ignored at the expense of sitting in a chair for a lecture. Kids need active things so that their brain will work in the classroom. Many students are simply poor test takers, the stress gets to them and they cannot perform very well. As a student who was performing above average, another concern that I had was the idea of making everyone average. First off we must no what average means. It is taking all of the scores together and dividing them among how many students. If someone scores extremely high, the average will show up higher, same thing if someone is low. In order to make everyone average we also have to bring the high achievers down. And that is all that this program has succeeded in doing. Boring students with great potential to the point that they do not care. Between teachers not being able to teach effectively, the boredom of students, and the pent-up energy distracting them, it is no wonder that NCLB has failed so miserably.

1:00PM PST on Jan 13, 2012

Please sign this petition for ADHD children rights at school http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/support-teacher-staff-training-adhd/, THANKS

6:22PM PST on Jan 10, 2012

i have taken standardized tests throughout middle school and will have to take them again this year (my junior year in highschool) they distract teachers and students, we spend weeks learing and reviewing things that might be on the tests and my school spends money to get packets and such that are supposed to help us prepare for the tests, it's rediculous and it takes way too much time away from what we really should be learing.

11:03AM PST on Jan 10, 2012

ITS WORTH REPEATING, thanks Mari A.,

Michele Rhee founder of Students First also attended. DO NOT SIGN STUDENTS FIRST PETITIONS. Rhee is attempting to raise $1 billion for education ‘reform’. Students First petitions are a means to glean email addresses to appeal for funds with deceptive claims for ‘reform’. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SCAM!


5:12AM PST on Jan 10, 2012

Marc P.: ----- I think you're quite right. If it weren't so sad, I would find it amusing that one of the "dumbest" presidents we've ever had, was the one who came up with the NCLB and did not fund it properly to begin with. This Law has been a burden on educators ever since then, and now children NO LONGER receive a well-rounded education. A few years back, I recall seeing in our main newspaper's editorial section a letter from the Principal of a High School APOLOGIZING to parents for being RESTRAINED from giving a well-rounded education to students because of the restrictions of NCLB. He said that with all the focus on testing that children were losing out on all the other courses that used to be available to help a child grow into a career of his/her choosing and to develop and succeed with their own individual talents. It was a very honest, sincere and sad letter that pretty much summed up the damage done to this country's youth because of this misguided and self-serving law. NCLB makes our children into brainwashed zombies, learning what the government has forced them to learn.

I totally agree with you that the intent of the GWB administration was not to help the children of this country.

11:49PM PST on Jan 9, 2012

I was never a fan. When NCLB started, history classes stopped.

8:58PM PST on Jan 9, 2012

** I should have added... Charter schools do not always have the same testing accountability that public schools have. Thus, they cannot often be compared in the same ways because they are often not measured in the same way....

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