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No Child Left Behind: A conspiracy against public education that too few called out

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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:37 PM
Original message
No Child Left Behind: A conspiracy against public education that too few called out
Weve done it now. Eleven years we had to educate the public, to register our protests and do everything in our power to warn people what was coming, and we blew it. We knew the moment would eventually come and we hem-hawed, looked at the ground, kicked at the dirt with our shoes and failed to look the opposition in the eye and face them down. All of us saw this coming, but very few took a stand and now we and our students are paying the price. We could have been prophets but failed the test.

We allowed the proponents of NCLB to control the discussion from the beginning. They wrote the language, sent out the media notices and explanations, wrote the definitions of AYP, Highly Qualified and leaned heavily on the fact that none of us would dare protest anything to do with a name that implies we would be providing a high quality education for every single child in America. They were right. We chose not to speak out, not to fight against a system we knew from the beginning would set us all up for failure, and instead, in our best Dudley DoRight impersonations we set about to change the way we taught and measured and tested and graded and thought.

We knew from the outset that NCLB and its goal of 100 percent every child proficient in every area as determined by a single test on a single day each year was patently, blatantly and insidiously absurd, but we took no concerted action. We knew Adequate Yearly Progress was a sham, and we literally and figuratively rolled over and tried our best to meet whatever impossible goals they set for us and our students. We knew that Federal law in NCLB was a violation of Federal law in IDEA but we went along with the insanity of testing Students with Disabilities based on chronological age rather than by IEP.

We learned very quickly and much to our chagrin that some student scores usually the lowest ones were counted not once, not twice, but often as many as three times, but we went along to get along. All of us were aware that Highly Qualified, for all the high rhetoric that went along with it, only served to make certification as much of a barrier as humanly possible for Special Education teachers regardless of degree or experience. It seems the teachers we needed most were subjected to the greatest roadblocks to reaching the nirvana of HiQ certification.

<skip>


I hope the generation of teachers and administrators that follows has learned something from the failure of our generation to ward off those determined to destroy public education. We didnt stand up to be counted, we didnt stand in the schoolhouse door and tell them they couldnt do that to our kids, and we didnt educate the public about what a gigantic failure another one size fits all education policy would be. In the words of that great educator and philosopher Jimmy Buffet: Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

We have all been left behind.

more . . . http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2011/08/31/no-ch...
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. In a few years
those in favor of NCLB will be screaming to build more prisons.
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erinlough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. I screamed about it
Edited on Sun Sep-04-11 10:00 PM by erinlough
I confronted administrators, Intermediate school district personnel, hell I even confronted my state reps. I was the unrealistic one, I was the old one trying to hold on to the old order. The worst ones were the new teachers who saw me as nothing but an impediment. Last year I gave up on fighting, and this will be the last year I teach. Even though this law flew in the face of reason, it was upheld by a lot of teachers, administrators and parents, so......maybe their right, I hope they are because they are the ones who will have to live with it. I'm out.
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blkmusclmachine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
3. Now called Race to the Top:
Edited on Sun Sep-04-11 10:08 PM by blkmusclmachine
The religious overtures of being "Left Behind," etc., are a wink-of-the-eye to Christian Dominionists that want to subvert Public Education as one of their so-called "7 Mountains." And it appears that President Obama is fully onboard.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Bingo!
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. I thought it was an allusion to the Army's "leave no man behind" principle.

:shrug:
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Frustratedlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. I spoke out early as a grandmother and mother of teachers. I saw the time wasted...
and the anxiety in the grandchildren because of the testing. They were also losing interest in school. Then, the school started sliding because all the enthusiasm was fading.

A lost education for a whole bunch of kids.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. We've lost at least one generation
It's shameful. When will we stop the loss of another generation?
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
6. It followed from the assumptions.
Oddly, the assumptions are still widely held to be true. I think they've finally reached unfalsifiable status and are more of a creed than a set of scientific hypotheses.

BTW, Texas, at least, doesn't have a single high stakes test administered to all kids one time on one day. There are retest opportunities and accommodations/modifications (these being a national kind of thing).

Of course, NCLB hasn't hurt public education. The numbers aren't that much different over time. What is different is that in many schools achievement's "topped" (in the same sense that you can top a tree, cut off the upper part). It's stopped increasing for the top 25% and has even decreased, in the effort to meet NCLB goals and narrow the achievement gap. It's foolishness, but until they abandon the foolish assumptions that's what we'll get.
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Lifelong Protester Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
7. I have spoken out, and will CONTINUE to speak out on the
sorry-a**ed state of what passes for 'educational reform' by this govermnet.

Race to the Top, my backside. Really? What is it, we are either "racing to the top" and leaving some 'child behind', or we are NOT leaving any children behind by making crappy competitions.

Which is it?
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Reader Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
10. I have been speaking out from the beginning.
I've written letters to and Op-Ed piece for the local newspaper. I have been labeled a troublemaker in my school and district for my efforts. People who speak out become targeted. I'll continue to speak out, but I'm waiting for the day when my district finally attempts to threaten my job as a result.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. That's one of the reasons they want to take tenure away
To shut up trouble makers like us.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Yep. nt
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