Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The losers of NCLB

Kevin Drum started a little discussion today on No Child Left Behind. Leaving aside the finer points of the argument, I agree with Kevin. NLCB is a stealth program designed to undermine public education. It was enacted almost solely to appease Christian evangelists who pulled their kids out of public schools because they were horrified they were teaching evolution instead of creationism in science classes.

The law is absurd on its face. Forcing school systems to spend the entire year teaching to a standardized test merely robs the students of an opportunity to learn critical thinking within the more holistic curricula that used to be the norm. And the reward system couldn't be more transparent in its agenda. If a school doesn't score 100% they lose funding? One would suppose the reason they failed to meet the criteria is because they were underfunded in the first place.

NCLB has nothing to do with kids and everything to do with money. It would have more honest to call it the No Child Will Be Allowed to Leave the Ghetto Act. The districts that already have the most money will do better on these tests, while those that are abysmally underfunded, generally those in the inner city ghettos, will continue to decline. Even in better funded districts, "extras" such as art, music and sports have become fee-based programs because more tax dollars are mandated for prisons than schools.

What chance does NCLB give the schools that need the most help, to prevent their students from being left behind? I'd say close to none, but it surely works to guarantee a ready pool of graduates who aren't fit for anything other than minimum wage service jobs. Do the math for yourself.

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Blogger Kathy said...

I just posted something about this on my blog. The GOP has been getting an earful from wealthy suburbanites who aren't happy with the NCLB Act. In response, 50 Republicans are introducing a bill today to allow states to opt out of testing mandates.

They said they were voting their "conscience." Yeah, right.

12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I saw that today but I didn't have time to read it. But it does go to my point. The progam does nothing to advance education.

9:29:00 PM  

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