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wordpix2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-18-06 10:32 PM
Original message
No Dentist Left Behind (No Child Left Behind Analogy)
Edited on Sun Jun-18-06 10:33 PM by wordpix2
This puts the RIDICULOUSNESS of the "No Child Left Behind" nonsense into perspective. Whether you're a teacher or the friend of one, I hope you'll appreciate the analogy. Be sure to read to the end...

No Dentist Left Behind

My dentist is great! He sends me reminders so I don't forget checkups. He uses the latest techniques based on research. He never hurts me, and I've got all my teeth.

When I ran into him the other day, I was eager to see if he'd heard about the new state program. I knew he'd think it was great.

"Did you hear about the new state program to measure effectiveness of dentists with their young patients?" I said.

"No," he said. He didn't seem too thrilled. "How will they do that?" "It's quite simple," I said. "They will just count the number of cavities each patient has at age 10, 14, and 18 and average that to determine a dentist's rating. Dentists will be rated as excellent, good, average, below average, and unsatisfactory.That way parents will know which are the best dentists. The plan will also
encourage the less effective dentists to get better," I said. "Poor dentists who don't improve could lose their licenses to practice."

"That's terrible," he said.

"What? That's not a good attitude," I said. "Don't you think we should try to improve children's dental health in this state?"

"Sure I do," he said, "but that's not a fair way to determine who is practicing good dentistry."

Why not?" I said. "It makes perfect sense to me."

"Well, it's so obvious," he said. "Don't you see that dentists don't all work with the same clientele, and that much depends on things we can't control? For example, I work in a rural area with a high percentage of patients from deprived homes, while some of my colleagues
work in upper middle-class neighborhoods. Many of the parents I work with don't bring their children to see me until there is some kind of problem, and I don't get to do much preventive work. Also many of the parents I
serve let their kids eat way too much candy from an early age, unlike more educated parents who understand the relationship between sugar and decay. To top it all off, so many of my clients have well water, which is untreated and has no fluoride in it. Do you have any idea how much difference early use of fluoride can make?"

"It sounds like you're making excuses," I said. "I can't believe that you, my dentist, would be so defensive. After all, you do a great job, and you needn't fear a little accountability."

"I am not being defensive!" he said. "My best patients are as good as anyone's, my work is as good as anyone's, but my average cavity count is going to be higher than a lot of other
dentists because I chose to work where I am needed most."

"Don't' get touchy," I said.

"Touchy?" he said. His face had turned red, and from the way he was clenching and unclenching his jaws, I was afraid he was going to damage his teeth.

"Try furious! In a system like this, I will end up being rated average, below average, or worse. The few educated patients I have who see these ratings may believe this so-called
rating is an actual measure of my ability and proficiency as a dentist. They may leave me, and I'll be left with only the most needy patients. And my cavity average score will get even worse. On top of that, how will I attract good dental hygienists and other excellent dentists to my practice if it is labeled below average?"

"I think you are overreacting," I said. "'Complaining, excuse-making and stonewalling won't improve dental health'...I am quoting from a leading member of the DOC," I noted.

"What's the DOC?" he asked.

"It's the Dental Oversight Committee," I said, "a group made up of mostly lay persons to make sure dentistry in this state gets improved."

"Spare me," he said, "I can't believe this. Reasonable people won't buy it," he said hopefully.

The program sounded reasonable to me, so I asked, "How else would you measure good dentistry?"

"Come watch me work," he said. "Observe my processes."

"That's too complicated, expensive and time-consuming," I said. "Cavities are the bottom line, and you can't argue with the bottom line. It's an absolute measure."

"That's what I'm afraid my parents and prospective patients will think. This can't be happening," he said despairingly.

"Now, now," I said, "don't despair. The state will help you some."

"How?" he asked.

"If you receive a poor rating, they'll send a dentist who is rated excellent to help straighten you out," I said brightly.

"You mean," he said, "they'll send a dentist with a wealthy clientele to show me how to work on severe juvenile dental problems with which I have probably had much more experience? BIG HELP!"

"There you go again," I said. "You aren't acting professionally at all."

"You don't get it," he said. "Doing this would be like grading schools and teachers on an average score made on a test of children's progress with no regard to influences outside the school, the home, the community served and stuff like that. Why would they do something so unfair to dentists? No one would ever think of doing that to schools."

I just shook my head sadly, but he had brightened. "I'm going to write my representatives and senators," he said. "I'll use the school analogy. Surely they will see the point."

He walked off with that look of hope mixed with fear and suppressed anger that I, a teacher, see in the mirror so often lately.
*********************
If you don't understand why educators resent the recent federal NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT, this may help. If you do understand, you'll enjoy this analogy, which was forwarded by:

John S. Taylor, Superintendent of Schools for the Lancaster County, PA, School District.

Be a friend to a teacher and pass this on.


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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-18-06 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. Here is another good analogy
BTW, thanks for posting this. It is an excellent way to illustrate the flaws in NCLB.



No Child Left Behind --The Football Version

1. All teams must make the state playoffs, and all will win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable.

2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the same time and in the same conditions. No exceptions will be made for interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities. ALL KIDS WILL PLAY FOOTBALL AT A PROFICIENT LEVEL.

3. Talented players will be asked to work out on their own without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who aren't interested in
football, have limited athletic ability, or whose parents don't like football.

4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be kept in the 4th, 8th and 11th games.

5. This will create a New Age of sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimal goals. If no child gets ahead, then no child will be left behind.



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wordpix2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-18-06 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. that's good, too
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-18-06 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. And another one
As a principal facing the task of figuring out all the complexities of the No Child Left Behind legislation and its impact on education I have decided that there is a strong belief that testing students is the answer to bringing about improvements in student performance.

Since testing seems to be a cornerstone to improving performance I dont understand why this principle isnt applied to other businesses that are not performing up to expectations. I was thinking about the problem of falling milk prices and wondering why testing cows wouldnt be effective in bringing up prices since testing students is going to bring up test scores.

The federal government should mandate testing all cows every year starting at age 2. Now I know that it will take time out of the farmers necessary work to do this testing every year and that it may be necessary to spend inordinate amounts of money on the testing equipment but that should not detract us from what must be done.

Im sure there are plenty of statistics to show what good milk producing performance looks like and the characteristics of cows who achieve this level of performance. It should, therefore, be easy to figure out the characteristics necessary to meet this standard. We will begin our testing finding out which cows now meet the standard, which almost meet the standard, which meet the standard with honors and which show little evidence of achievement. Points will be assigned in each category and it will be necessary to achieve a certain average score. If this score is not achieved, the Department of Agriculture will send in experts to give advice for improvement. If improvements do not occur over a couple of years, the state will take over your farm or even force you to sell.

Now Im sure farms have a mix of cows in the barn but it is important to remember that every cow can meet the standard. There should be no exceptions and no excuses. I dont want to hear about the cows that just came to the barn from the farm down the road that didnt provide the proper nutrition or a proper living environment. All cows need to meet the standard.

Another key factor will be the placement of a highly qualified farmer in each barn. I know many of you have been farming for many years but it will be necessary for all farmers to become certified. This will mean some more paperwork and testing on your knowledge of cows but in the end this will lead to the benefit of all.

It will also be necessary to allow barn choice for the cows. If cows are not meeting the standard in certain farms they will be allowed to go to the barn of their choice. Transportation may become an issue but it is critical that cows be allowed to leave their low performing barns. This will force low performing farms to meet the standard or else they will simply go out of business.

Some small farms will be probably go out of business as a result of this new legislation. Simply put, the cost per cow is too high. As taxpayers we can not be expected to foot the bill to subsidize farms with dairy compacts. Even though no one really knows what the ideal cost is to keep cows content the legislature will set a cost per cow. Expenditures too far above this cost will be penalized. Since everyone knows that there are economies of scale, small farms will probably be forced to close and those cows will merge into larger farms.

Some farmers may be upset that I proclaim to know what is best for these cows but I certainly consider myself capable of making these recommendations. I grew up next to a farm and I drink milk. I hope you will consider this advice in the spirit it is given and I hope you will agree that the NO COW LEFT BEHIND legislation may not be best for a small state like Vermont.



Kenneth Remsen is the author and is the principal at Underhill

I.D. School in Jericho, Vermont.
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ariellyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-18-06 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. That's an outstanding analogy. I'm emailing it to my friends. nt
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ariellyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-19-06 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
5. kick!
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