NCLB? How Many Teachers Were Left Behind ? Will Things Change ?

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

The Obama Administration does not support the rewrite of NCLB.  SIGH!!

Obama's stunning reversal on standardized testing: Why his latest comments could spell doom for

If you need the peculiar politics that brought us NCLB it is here. It is deep research for sure. In September 2015, Thirty -eight 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?

Update 7/17/15: The Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act on Thursday afternoon by a vote of 81 to 17. The House and Senate bills will now go to a conference committee, where a bipartisan team of legislators from both chambers will merge the bills into a final version for Congress to vote on and send to President Obama for a signature or veto.

Obama’s stunning reversal on standardized testing: Why his latest comments could spell doom for “reformers

“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.”


 Some are hopeful: Lew Frederick says

“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:”

SETDA Leadership Summit- Leveraging Technology for Learning

Yesterday was the leadership summit of SETDA. It was a great event. For the first thing, it was located at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, in National Harbor, MD. That made it easy to get to, and there was no hassle in parking. No rush hour traffic. Nice. The National Harbor is an inviting place to hold a conference and it is beautiful. It is near Washington , DC.

We signed in and got our resources. I had new sources of information that are also on line, If you go to you can access all of the publications and tools. Lots of information there. You can access the reports and research here. Doug Levin is the executive director of the group. What a wonderful day he crafted for us.

Arnie Duncan

Then there was the event itself. It was titled, ” Leveraging Technology for Learning” and it started with Lee Rainie from the Pew Charitable Trust, who shared ideas in the initial keynote. We got a review of the state of broadband, some ideas of where our students are in the use of technology and some Pew data on the use of mobility. You have probably already seen the Pew Reports. We enjoyed the mash up of data regarding their most recent findings.

Digital Learning Now,  is a report you will want to have.

Many  groups contributed to the report and you can access their information at the bottom of the document..Online access to the document and information about the ten elements of digital learning are on line at www, You want more than the PDF because the roadmap to reform that we talked about all day, is here.

Thomas G. Carroll, President, National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future was his usual perfect self in presentation. He talked about how we as artisans, in teaching needed to move on and collectivize . Karen Cator lead a very lively discussion on transforming teaching and learning and Tom was the star of that panel..
What you missed  by not being at the leadership conference was being with the movers and shakers in education from various areas and groups and geographical regions. NCTET, vendors, CSSO and the alphabet of educational group leadership was in full force. It was exciting,. We questioned, not much debating, but the discussions were lively.

Maine Shares its Excellence Technology Initiatives

SETDA members work nationally and collaboratively with a wide range of state and local colleagues and in public-private partnerships to address two core education leadership questions: (1) How can states deploy technology in meaningful, sustainable and scalable ways to help educators, schools and districts meet longstanding goals for education, especially those goals that have been most challenging for public education to meet?; and (2), what must the education system do to remain responsive to evolving expectations for what students should know and be able to do and for what students, educators, parents and the public expect of schools vis-à-vis technology?

Bob Gabrys was there from NASA, Stan Silverman from NYIT, Idit Caperton, Globaloria, Mike Haney, NSF, a bunch of Einstein Fellows, the most interesting characters and principal people from many leading educational organizations. Just walking around was a great networking event. A colleague reminded me that it was 25 years since I had been trained in geography by the National Geographic Society. that was Charlie Fitzpatrick  from ESRI. . So you can see that there wasconversation about all kinds of things going on. The state groups shared too.

A highlight of the conference is always the information shared with students, teachers and individual from a state. This year’s group was from Maine. You had to be there to understand the importance of their ability to use technology. It would be hard to explain as well as they did ,how technology influenced their lives.
Most of us know the effects of the One to One Computer Initiative in Maine. Jeff Mao gave us a perspective and shared the long range effects of the program. We heard from a high school, and students involved in technology. This part of the conference helps to frame the importance of the uses of technology.  We also talked about the initiation of the project in Maine way back when Angus KIng  started the idea and created the possibility for it to happen.

California shared Brokers of Expertise..

There was a plenary panel on the visions of the future of education. I know a little about analytics, but not enough to communicate what they were taking about. It was after lunch and maybe I was not paying attention as well as I should have. But I do know the Gates Foundation ideas, and have some ideas of what Gov. Wise , Jeb Bush and others are doing . I attend their workshops too.

Share.  Find.  Use. Amplify

The Learning Registry

Excitement was in the room. You have to go look at this project to see why.
Your investment of time will be well worth it. Explanations are at

It won’t be as nice as the presentation by Steve Midgely, but it will work for your understanding.

The cheering began. The groups that participated in the project the Learning Registry shared their ideational scaffolding and the idea of the mission.
With Common Core, it is easy to create innovations for Learning through Sharing.
We had Arnie Duncen, sharing his ideas, with total enthusiasm and interest.

Aneesh Copra guiding us through the thinking that created the project, and others shared the way in which they all worked together.  The military sharing with education and thinking of ways to help us access the resources that are available for us. Awesome.

The star of the show, Steve Midgely, demonstrated the project for us. We were enthused. We were excited.

It was a long day, with benefits. It was worth the investment of time, talent and
technology to learn with and from our educational leaders.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton