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:”

Testing… Testing … Testing.. Do I Have Your Attention? I Thought So!!

child Head
What is Testing?
Bonnie Bracey-Sutton 
gerund or present participle: testing
  1. take measures to check the quality, performance, or reliability of (something), especially before putting it into widespread use or practice.
    “this range has not been tested on animals”
    synonyms: try out, put to the test, put through its paces, experiment with, pilot; More

    • reveal the strengths or capabilities of (someone or something) by putting them under strain.
      “such behavior would severely test any marriage”
      synonyms: put a strain on, strain, tax, try; More

    • give (someone) a short written or oral examination of their proficiency or knowledge.
      “all children are tested at eleven”
      This is just ONE definition of testing. What we are talking about today are the “tests” that are a measurement of success in schools as dictated by policy makers.
      Today the newspapers will be full of articles talking about testing, No Child Left Behind, PARRC, and Common Core. And others will explore assessments. Most people think about testing from their own experiences either giving or taking the tests.
      I used to love taking the tests. It was the one time when it was ok to be smart, to shine,to let people know what I knew. I went to Catholic Schools and we took a test in the fall and at the end of the year.You measured progress against your fall scores. And you were allowed to skip a grade if you were ready for the subject matter by the score on the test.

    Sadly , testing has become the engine of schools. That is, the tests run the schools and have for some time.

    All of a sudden, the engine may get a new signal. Parents and students have been protesting and making it known that the amount of testing has gone overboard.

    protesting testing
    Study: Students Take Too Many Redundant Tests
    An in-depth review of testing in the nation’s largest urban school districts concludes assessments are redundant, misaligned with standards, and often don’t address mastery of specific content.

    Review of 66 Urban Districts Gauges Scope of Practice  ( ED Week)

    Students across the nation are taking tests that are redundant, misaligned with college- and career-ready standards, and often don’t address students’ mastery of specific content, according to a long-awaited report that provides the first in-depth look at testing in the nation’s largest urban school districts.

    The comprehensive report by the Washington-based Council of the Great City Schools examines testing in 66 of the council’s 68 member school districts, looking at the types of tests administered, their frequency, and how they are used.

    But hey, I am just getting started. This is another interesting view of testing..

    Robert Pondiscio

    Obama’s Empty Testing Talk

    Teachers, read and enjoy!!

    The vast majority of tests that our children take are driven by states and school districts, as well individual schools and teachers, not by Washington. The best the president can do is use the bully pulpit to encourage less testing and even then there’s reason to be skeptical.

    The amount of time kids spend on testing is not the issue. It’s what the tests are used for that matters. Like my speech example, when you use standardized tests to make high-stakes judgments about schools and teachers, they are no longer a mere diagnostic. The testing tail wags the schooling dog. “

    In minority communities we have learned that the tests are one way out.

    The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation shows us that even with the testing showing up who can bridge the gap, there is an uneven playing field.  Equal Talents, Unequal Opportunities and we know that there is an Achievement Trap.


    “Today in America, there are millions of students who are overcoming challenging socioeconomic circumstances to excel academically. They defy the stereotype that poverty precludes high academic performance and that lowerincome and low academic achievement are inextricably linked. They demonstrate that economically disadvantaged children can learn at the highest levels and provide hope to other lower-income students seeking to follow the same path. Sadly, from the time they enter grade school through their postsecondary education, these students lose more educational ground and excel less frequently than their higher-income peers. Despite this tremendous loss in achievement, these remarkable young people are hidden from public view and absent from public policy debates.

    Instead of being recognized for their excellence and encouraged to strengthen their achievement, highachieving lower-income students enter what we call the “achievement trap” — educators, policymakers, and the public assume they can fend for themselves when the facts show otherwise. Very little is known about high-achieving students from lower-income families — defined in this report as students who score in the top 25 percent on nationally normed standardized tests and whose family incomes (adjusted for family size) are below the national median. We set out to change that fact and to focus public attention on this extraordinary group of students who can help reset our sights from standards of proficiency to standards of excellence. This report chronicles the experiences of highachieving lower-income students during elementary school, high school, college, and graduate school. In some respects, our findings are quite hopeful. There are millions of high-achieving lower-income students in urban, suburban, and rural communities all across America; they reflect the racial, ethnic, and gender composition of our nation’s schools; they drop out of high school at remarkably low rates; and more than 90 percent of them enter college. But there is also cause for alarm.

    Back Camera

    There are far fewer lower-income students achieving at the highest levels than there should be, they disproportionately fall out of the high-achieving group during elementary and high school, they rarely rise into the ranks of high achievers during those periods, and, perhaps most disturbingly, far too few ever graduate from college or go on to graduate school. Unless something is done, many more of America’s brightest lower-income students will meet this same educational fate, robbing them of opportunity and our nation of a valuable resource. This report discusses new and original research on this extraordinary population of students. Our findings come from three federal databases that during the past 20 years have tracked students in elementary and high school, college, and graduate school. The following principal findings about high-achieving lower-income students are important for policymakers, educators, business leaders, the media, and civic leaders to understand and explore as schools, communities, states, and the nation consider ways to ensure that all children succeed:”


    With the problems of unequal learning landscapes, and limited access, and lack of good teachers, in rural, remote, distance and poverty areas these students are not back to the future but back in the day, using old technology and missing the excellence of 21st Century initiatives that should, should make a difference.”

    “As we strive to close the achievement gaps between racial and economic groups, we will not succeed if our highestperforming students from lower-income families continue to slip through the cracks. Our failure to help them fulfill their demonstrated potential has significant implications for the social mobility of America’s lower-income families and the strength of our economy and society as a whole. The consequences are especially severe in a society in which the gap between rich and poor is growing and in an economy that increasingly rewards highly-skilled and highly-educated workers. By reversing the downward trajectory of their educational achievement, we will not only improve the lives of lower-income high-achievers, but also strengthen our nation by unleashing the potential of literally millions of young people who could be making great contributions to our communities and country

    More to confuse you?Look at this!! Large and Small Graphic

    Dipti Desai is a professor of the arts and art education at New York University. She teaches both pre-service and in-service art teachers. As she watched what was happening in the world of education, she decided to create a graphic to illustrate the “Educational Industrial Complex.” Readers may know that when President Dwight D. Eisenhower was leaving office after his second term, he warned voters to be wary of the “Military Industrial Complex.” Who knew that in 2015 we would have to keep our eyes on the “educational industrial complex,” a combination of corporations, philanthropies, government agencies, and the organizations that promote privatization and high-stakes testing?