Winning educational arguments is painful because it takes so very long. Many of us with the skills that are needed for the 21st Century classrooms have either left the classroom or been pushed out in the name of NCLB.
I remember the day that my principal had the custodian to throw away my AAAS hands on materials. Then I was transferred ( too innovative, too many hands on and project based learning. I am not the only one ). We wrote to each other. We changed careers.We left teaching and learning.
Finally! A Change
If you need the peculiar politics that brought us NCLB it is here. It is deep research for sure. In September 2015, Thirty -eight states...now there are 38 states, plus the District of Columbia—the U.S. Department of Education just renewed Pennsylvania’s waiver from many of the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act, for one year.
In 2000, George W. Bush took the stage at the NAACP’s annual convention and laid out, for the first time ever, an education policy overhaul he called No Child Left Behind. “Strong civil rights enforcement will be the cornerstone of my administration,” the Texas governor and presidential candidate announced to thunderous applause. “I will confront another form of bias: the soft bigotry of low expectations.”
Fifteen years later, NCLB is recognized less for its civil rights origins than for the era of high-stakes testing it ushered into American classrooms. Teachers have complained about having to teach to flawed and limited tests, and schools whose test scores have failed to meet the program’s test-based benchmarks have lost funding and in many cases have been closed or privatized.
After years of frustration with the program, Congress was weighing two bills to revamp it. And while the general consensus is that NCLB needs to change, the proposed measures are as politically thorny as the program itself. Both advocates of strong federal efforts to ensure education equality and opponents of a federally imposed testing regime have taken swipes at the legislation, raising the likely prospect that the reforms to NCLB won’t satisfy its defenders or its critics.
The cheerleaders for NCLB have been long gone except Margaret Spellings. I can’t even remember the name of the Black guy who was Bush’s champion of NCLB. Do you remember him?
We had this interim stage.
Until recently, we were all holding our breath. what would they do to NCLB Next?
“If you believe that the federal government ought to take a stronger hand in [school curricula] or testing, you’re going to be disappointed,” says Peter Cookson, a program director at the American Institutes for Research and author of Class Rules: Exposing Inequality in America’s High Schools. “On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who think the federal government has too much authority over local and regional state education, this is not a game changer.”
OBAMA ANNOUNCES ‘NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND’ FINALLY LEFT BEHIND–KIDS NEED TEACHERS, NOT TESTS (VIDEO)
“It has taken a while and it will take some time to see how well the rhetoric matches the action in the classrooms, but perhaps the ship of education, learning, has made a slight turn in the right direction. I do recognize a few of those phrases:”