Should a revision of the No Child Left Behind Act give more power to the states and local authorities?

Comments (17)

Comment RSS
Julie Lumpkin (not verified)

My first recommendation is

Was this helpful?
0
My first recommendation is that everyone involved in education, including those who makes policies affecting education, read the "New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce" report that was released on Dec. 14, 2006. You can read the entire report at www.skillscommission.org. If you want to know what to do about education, this is a must read. We have failed to motivate our students to take tough courses requiring them to think and stretch their imaginations. We have failed to motivate them to have high work ethics and to work hard. We have failed by building systems in which the people who have the responsibility do not have the power, yet the people who have the power do not have the responsibility. Do we need a change in our educational system? Absolutely! Is NCLB the answer? I don't think so. It seems that we need a complete overhaul. The comment about the industrial age educational system is not working for the information age student. Amen!!
Debbie Perry (not verified)

The Teachers need to be able

Was this helpful?
0
The Teachers need to be able to stand in front of their classes as powerful adults. Teachers need the power over scheduling their students. Teachers need the power over disciplining their students. Teachers need the power over providing the curriculum required for their students. Until the power is given to the teachers, there will always be children left behind.
jim kilkenny (not verified)

The one thing that I want

Was this helpful?
0
The one thing that I want the reader to know is that I am hardly a radical educational reformist. When no child left behind first sprang on the nation, a series of state determined high stakes tests, we took a giant step sideways. I had been working in alternative education and I knew that districts could use the college of McD's to refocus young adults to a new respect for learning. Then NCLB happened. I looked at the actual effects and I saw school after school fall into an AYP void. It did not matter that the students in those schools scored high on the SAT or the ACT, what mattered was the high stakes get out of school test. State legislatures and school boards sat back and permitted these things to happen. Was there a period of shock and awe of the current administration, was there a national get out the union action? All I know is that millions of children are getting less than their money's worth from schools. This is because we focus on academic sameness rather than celebrating the creative individuals who may pull all of us from many of the social ills that face us. There are children out in our culture who will make sense of the human genome and make new discoveries of space and time, but not with a continuation of the mind set that is prevelent throughout our country. Sameness does not save us from anything. Giving total control of learning to state and local government is only a part of the solution. We need a national debate on education and children. What do we as a nation want from our educational centers. What does it mean to be a child in school? What regulations are needed? Does the school continue to qualify as in loco parentes? What policies help the children, the role of families, and the role of social services agencies? What we fund is what we get.
Joseph Chmielewski, M.S., L.P.C. (not verified)

The "Federal control, State

Was this helpful?
0
The "Federal control, State control or Local control" choice issue fogs the debate and distracts from the real issues. Instead of bureaucratic control we need to focus upon increasing teacher empowerment and, to borrow a phrase, "helping children become all that they can be." Politicians have no business meddling in education, period. Besides, the intent of NCLB was to handicap and cripple schools, or at least spin public opinion and perpetuate the "Myth of Defective Schools" due to "Less than qualified teachers." The purpose of NCLB was to promote church schools through the back door by means of a voucher system (or any other "Dirty Tricks" that our politicians might devise). "Federal Control," "State Control" and "Local Control" are oxymoron phrases. These "Rocks, Paper, Scissors" players (Government Meddlers) are gambling with the money that affects the future lives of our children. Our children (and their children) are the loosers. (In addition, higher education, business, and industry in our country are loosers because so many educational resources are wasted on high-stakes testing and other efforts that seek to prove how poor the teaching is in our public schools.) Local control predates the Industrial Revolution. Our school boards harken back to the days of the "One Room Schoolhouse." There are two things that need to be fixed at the local level to increase teacher empowerment... 1.) Teachers must become a "Super Majority" of voting school board members 2.) Local school management must decide that providing our children with "The best education that we can buy, cheaply" is a model that only sometimes worked with the "unmarried, school marm paradigm." This model provides a "Snake Oil" remedy for our children when our children need expensive, "Modern Education Medicine" for economic health in an "Information Society." In addition, empowered teachers must elevate their professional status to that of other professionals (such as physicians, psychologists, counselors, lawyers). This means developing a licensing system with a state board that is administered by teachers, rather than a certifying board that is run by politicians. It also means compensating teachers for all the "overtime" work that they do. Ridding our country of the NCLB Law is only a solution similar to stomping the roaches that we see romping through the kitchen...the infestation (of politicians) still remains in the cracks, crevices and back rooms. Lets see past the "Vouchers by Stealth" subterfuge of NCLB and focus our efforts on ousting our "Un-Highly-Qualified-Politicians" along with this law that handicaps and cripples learning. And, let's work to improve the status of teachers as decision-makers in the education of our children. Let's do this by the alchemy of converting education "Red Tape" into "Spendable Greenbacks" that teachers decide how to spend. Our children are worth the investment in education, and we need to start educating them when they are two or three years old. (Waiting until our children are five or six years old costs our society too much in lost potential, especially when, after starting two or three years too late, we squeeze children into a "lockstep," test-driven curriculum.) In my newsletter, Classroom Toolkit, I have a long standing challenge. For a year and a half, I have volunteered to interview (and showcase) any ("real," working) teacher who believes that the NCLB provides any benefit to our students. So far, no teacher has stepped forward. I believe that a teacher who believes that NCLB provides benefits to our students is a "Mythical Creature," along the lines of Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and an "Honest Lawyer." Millions of teachers can't be wrong. Let's start asking teachers how to improve education, and lets listen to their suggestions. Better yet, let's allow teachers to vote in a direct recall referendum on NCLB. Does anybody want to make a prediction on what fraction (of one percent of teachers) might vote to keep NCLB? Millions of teachers cannot be wrong, but the Federal, State and Local bureaucracies that fail to empower teachers certainly demonstrate a "wrong-headed meddling" in a field where they are not competent to make decisions.
Jared Bradford (not verified)

Interesting comments. I like

Was this helpful?
0
Interesting comments. I like the idea above of a national debate. A year long ongoing big time discussion of major issues. If we can spend a trillion dollars on IRAQ, why not a few mill to really dig in poke around in the guts of public education. Someone up there said, "This is because we focus on academic sameness rather than celebrating the creative individuals who may pull all of us from many of the social ills that face us." SERIOUSLY people, you think public education was THAT much better before NCLB? Maybe in the random rogue school every once in a while, but get a grip. Public education was about teaching to "the good kids." Did you REALLY see widespread "celebrating the creative individuals?" I see little chunks of that, and lots of talk of that, but I was a public education student in about 4 different schools in 4 different states, and I never saw much of that. I also have been in the education field for about 20 years now. I think NCLB is a hideous bastardization of Federal "help" but pre-NCLB was just unmonitored mediocre mess as well, just without as many acronyms and federal "guidance."
Chuck Fellows (not verified)

Education isn't is the

Was this helpful?
0
Education isn't is the problem. We spend $750 Billion annually on education and fail to provide an opportunity for learning growth for 100% of students. We in fact attempt to place limits on creativity, imagination and inspiration. Just ask Einstein...... Focus on the customers needs and wants, not upon the suppliers (bureaucracies) needs and wants. Translation - follow the student's lead in learning. It's less expensive and more effective than what we do today, expecting something to change when the same old solutions are applied.
Leonard Isenberg (not verified)

Whether or not more power

Was this helpful?
0
Whether or not more power should be given to the states under a modified No Child Left Behind is not a question that is susceptible to a simple yes or no answer, but rather a question of balancing the equities involved in arguments for and against this idea in a manner which will incorporate the strengthens of both. The strongest argument in favor of a nationally defined standard of educational excellence is that it creates a standard that is not compromised by local prejudices or agendas. Ironically, there is a great deal of evidence to show that the prejudices and agendas that one normally associates with provincial local interests are now being championed by the federal government through disproportionate influence of reactionary local interests. Rather than promoting a pragmatic approach to turning around a failed public educational system that takes into consideration the present subjective reality of this system in an honest attempt to achieve excellence, one is left with the impression that No Child Left Behind is trying to put the final nail in the coffin of public education so that vouchers will allow those who started abandoning public education after the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision to get their hands on the public treasury to finance their private schools. On the other hand, local input into a federal legal regiment like No Child Left Behind is the only way to have the two-way accountability necessary to avoid the corruption and waste associated with programs that have no effective element of local oversight and input to the federal government to change and modify elements of the program that need subsequent changing.
see more see less