Thursday, May 26, 2005

No Child Left Behind...

On my way home from work today, I heard a commercial message on the radio, sponsored by the teachers union, about the "No Child Left Behind " act.They lamented that it isn't working, that it unfairly judges some schools, labels some schools as failures when they are making real academic progress, and basically is a horrible thing."IT'S TIME TO FIX IT!"they say.Okay,lets fix it.
First of all,in order to fix something, we must accurately diagnose what is wrong with it, and in my opinion, one of the main things wrong with the "No Child Left Behind " act is that it was authored by our old friend, the original deep sea driver,Ted Kennedy. G.W.B. brought him in on the education bill in order to "bridge the gap" between republicans and democrats, to set a "new tone" in Washington. Well, we all see how well that worked out. The democrats hate the president more than anyone has ever hated anyone in the history of the world, and the republicans can't pass a bill to come in out of the rain, so the "No Child Left Behind"act was a failure before a single child could even be brought up to speed. It wasn't enacted for the purpose of educating children, it was enacted for the purpose of making friends with democrats.
The funny thing about this whole situation is that the teachers unions, parents and school personel lay the blame for the whole fiasco at the feet of George W. Bush, and Kennedy, who laid this egg in the first place, is free to criticize the president for being stupid enough to go along with Kennedy's OWN PROPOSAL.
Well, it was pretty stupid. We shouldn't be trying to make friends with democrats. They aren't trying to make friends with us. They don't think straight,will stop at nothing to install their agenda, and need to be defeated, converted, and educated until they become conservatives.
The next thing that is horribly wrong with the "No Child" act is that it assumes that as raw material, all children are created equal. They are not.
Let's take, for example, a class of thirty students. Of these thirty, five are living in single working mom households or in households where both parents work in the evenings.These people work very hard, but there is no one home at night to make sure that they do their homework, go to bed on time, eat a decent meal, or take a bath.
Five are the children of religious zealots. These children always eat a home cooked meal at 5:00pm every day,they don't own a television set, and when they finish their homework, they still have two hours of Bible study to look forward to. They get eight and a half hours of sleep every night, and a bath once a week in a galvanized tub in the back yard, whether they need it or not. They can never cut their hair, Pick out their own clothes, or fit in with the other students in any way. They are MISERABLE, but they get phenomenal grades.
Five more students live with their single dads. These five get frozen pizza or take - out Chinese food for dinner, they get out of bed twenty minutes before time to be at school, and play video games until 1:00am three nights a week with Dad.
Five more are the thugs.These kids have grown up in an environment in which education is not valued, and in some cases, even discouraged by their parents and friends. These kids are the future drug dealers, pimps, hoes, rappers and NBA stars. They all believe they would be millionares if only they didn't have to waste all this time in school. The seats of their pants drag the ground, and they watch MTV and BET ten hours a day, and they stay out until they are fat good and ready to come home every night. They don't have to do ANYTHING ANYONE tells them to do, and spend as much time in In School Suspension as they spend in class.
Still five more speak only broken English, or hardly any English at all. Of these five, three really want a good education,and will work their butts off to get it. The other two aren't interested and won't do anything. Can't be helped.
The other five children are the kids of doctors, lawyers, local politicians and buisnessmen and women. They have never known what it is to be hungry, cold, tired or uncomfortable in any way.Their parents are the movers and shakers, and are determined that their kids are all going to be the president some day. These parents, for the most part, are fanatical about their kid's grades, because THEIR kid has to be smarter than the lawyer's kid from two doors down.
Does anyone really believe that all thirty of these kids can be expected to get the same grades, or the same education, And if there are inequities, do we really think it is the fault of the the teacher, or the school?
The main thing wrong with "No Child" is that it measures performance by the lowest common denominator.When we pledge to leave no one behind,we slow the whole group down to the speed of the slowest member.
If we are really serious about fixing the "No Child" act,then we need to change it to the "Every Child Must Keep Up"act. The responsibility for the education of our children must rest on everyone in the child's life, from the teachers ,to the school administrators, to the preachers,friends and enemies of each child. But most of all ,it must rest on the shoulders of the parents. As long as parents continue to pass the blame for the failures of their children on to teachers and schools, ALL of the children will continue to be left behind.

1 comment:

alaletos said...

I could not agree more the "nclb" is the dumbest idea ever created by a smart person! Who can say all children learn at the same pace. no one. Not to mention all the "change" its caused for the teachers who last time I checked where doing pretty well w/out the help of some dingelberry in D.C. My mom is a teacher down south and she recieved the "teacher of the year" award at her school, but with this kind of stuff she cant even teach properly cause of all the stupid paperwork given by just such things. However they are right about one thing something needs to change, they need to take all the money that bonehead ideas like this costs to think up and give it to the schools and leave them be!