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:”

“A Teacher’s Essential Guide to Engaging in STEM Learning: Practice-Proven Projects and Programs.”

Community Outreach to Girls, at a Special Conference in Washington DC

In the nation's capitol, there was held a conference to share workforce ideas with girls

This is going to be an e-book. I am sharing the chapters as I develop them hoping for feedback and enrichment from interested others.

.Bonnie Bracey Sutton, Teacher Agent of Change

This is a difficult time for teachers , there is a ground swell for STEM , transformational teaching and new practices in all teaching involving media in the United States. There have been more than 22 major meetings to address the STEM problem the most important meeting being the:

The Convocation on Rising Above the Gathering Storm

National Academies Press, 2007  ( nothing much has happened in spite of this)

This  NASbook is on line free of charge for online use

In a world where advanced knowledge is widespread and low-cost labor is readily available, U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. A comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolster U.S. competitiveness and pre-eminence in these areas. This congressionally requested report by a pre-eminent committee makes four recommendations along with 20 implementation actions that federal policy makers should take to create high-quality jobs and focus new science and technology efforts on meeting the nation’s needs, especially in the area of clean, affordable energy: 1) increase America’s talent pool by vastly improving K-12 mathematics and science education.

  1. )Sustain and strengthen the nation’s commitment to long-term basic research.3) Develop, recruit, and retain top students, scientists, and engineers from both the United States and abroad. 4) Ensure that the United States is the premier place in the world for innovation. Some actions will involve changing existing laws, while others will require financial support that would come from reallocating existing budgets or increasing them. Rising Above the Gathering Storm will be of great interest to federal and state government agencies, educators and schools, public decision makers, research sponsors, regulatory analysts, and scholars.

More »

Norman R. Augustine, Chair of the “Committee on Prospering the Global Economy of the 21st Century” that produced the influential 2005 National Academies report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, met with members of the NSB Commission on 21st Century Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics during their first meeting, August 3 – 4, 2006. source

This is a difficult time for school systems, funds are limited, resources are stretched and professional development needs a recharge, a transformation.There is not a depth of knowledge about STEM at grass roots.

Online, teachers are still asking me what is STEM? The reason for transformational change has not gotten to the grass roots level. We know that everyone is not online. I also know that STEAM is the attempt to infuse the arts into STEM. I am a DaVinci teacher, always have and that is another chapter coming up. For those who cannot wait, go to the Exploratorium site. 

Most of the meetings did not involve teachers, but rather cast the blame on teachers. Many teachers are working in a culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation” and the gating caused by NCLB.

. This discussion will give credence to the search for change, provide referenced research and case studies of good practices, and new resources. It is a loving guide to what works. Teachers can help save our schools and help enrich the community by involving citizens in the transformational change.

Computers and “connected” mobile devices may be ubiquitous, but there are still many people who do not know how to turn on a laptop, create an email account or open Internet Explorer, says Stuart Freiman, director of the R.I. Economic Development Corporation’s Broadband Rhode Island project.

Some children own the tools to transform their thinking and learning.

The notion of the digital divide truly exists,” said Freiman, who estimates 30 to 35 percent of Americans do not use the Internet. “As we move into the 21st century, that’s going to be more and more important in every aspect of our lives: access to health care, the government and public-safety issues.” Teachers know what reseachers get paid big money to find out. Many learning communities are not connected .Sadly the groups that used to be teacher advocacy groups are turning commercial and becoming a part that widens the digital divide.

We have a lot of people who are NOT connected in communities. Here is a state model that was developed to help people in Iowa understand the problem.

 SHIFT HAPPENS – a media presentation A State Model

Here is an application of those ideas toward state policies.

Iowa, Did You Know?8/4/2011Once again XPLANE | Dachis Group has teamed up with Dr. Scott McLeod of Iowa State University to create a thought-provoking video. The brand-new “Iowa, Did You Know …

Research is a component of this work, citations, case studies urls, and references will be a part of the last chapter for reference, grant writing, ideas that teachers use to prepare presentations.

These teachers, and administrators can share with school boards, and invite the community to help them with STEM..The ideas are important because many teachers are without broadband and cannot search fully for the resources they need. The work that is being shared has been vetted by teacher national organizations or the National Academy of Sciences. Most of the many, many papers, books and research ideas are not about practice.

There is a lack of known resources or knowledgenetworks,for many US teachers based on budget difficulties , and there are teachers who have little or no professional development in how to effectively use new media. Much of the instruction for the use of new media is online and those who are uncomfortable, cannot rely on the sources to give them the help they need for academic reasons. The lack of online content access for low-income and underserved American’s is one of the digital divide’s frontiers. 

Prior Resource

The resources in this chapter are the kind of support, help and sharing that Marc Prensky talked about in his recent book. He did the hard work of helping teachers organize their practices to prepare for change..He created a wonderful road map to getting to the nuts and bolts of what kinds of essential changes, behavior modification and partnering that can happen to provide transformational learning. There are some initiatives widely scattered around the Internet.

There are about 19 documents on various subjects that are on line at the National Academy of Sciences

    STEM Education Innovation & America’s Economic Success

Depend on the awareness of the problem, change and creating connectedideas in learning communities

Important Ingredients to Come

  • Engaging and Broadening Engagement in STEM for Underserved and underexposed populations
  • Successful Models for Innovating Change in STEM Education
  • A First Look at the New Science Education Framework
  • A look at Common Core Standards and their significance
  • Educational Organizations and Connected Communities
  • Workforce Readiness,Career Pathways

Legislation Introduced to Fund Nontraditional STEM Programs

Congress is currently considering legislation that would provide funding for nontraditional programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM. The Innovation Inspiration School Grant Program is intended to broaden student access and interest in STEM careers in order to grow the pipeline for a globally competitive workforce. We must demystify the STEM problem.

The initiative would provide competitive grants to districts and high schools, giving priority to rural, urban, and low-performing schools, or those that serve low income students. The Innovation Inspiration School grants would fund nontraditional STEM programs, like robotics, in high schools. Districts would be required to partner with the private sector for 50% matching funds and to recruit STEM mentors to serve as role models.

The bill, H.R. 2247, was recently introduced in the House by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Rep. James Langevin (D-RI)For more than four years now the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, originally passed by the Johnson administration in 1965, has been overdue for congressional reauthorization. That’s due in no small part to provisions in the act’s latest incarnation, 2001’s much-maligned No Child Left Behind act.

No Child Left Behind is still with us.(since President Barack Obama’s announcement last month that he would begin allowing states to individually opt out of some of NCLB’s requirements, more than half of U.S. states have taken the offer, with 27 now either in the process or strongly pushing for such an opt out.)