We share evidence-based K-12 learning strategies that empower you to improve education.
I respectfully share that the ESEA Title's
are reauthorized and amended (changes made)
under every NEW PRESIDENT and their administration.
So to say does NCLB need a new name is incorrect.
It is not optional, there will be a new name
and changes made to the law.
It has been going on since 1965 when the Elementary and Secondary Education Act became law. (ESEA)
There are 9 titles and
each title covers various sections of the law as
it relates to education in every arena.
The new name has more than likely already been decided
and the public will learn about it when they decide
to release it and address the changes
the new administration and the Education Committees
I agree that we need to reduce what we are teaching. I often wonder why we have students in Science and Social Studies books that that can't even read. Wouldn't time spent trying to drag them thru those books be better spent teaching them to read. Yes those subjects are important but could be touched on in a better way, like basic map skills and hands on experiments occasionally but not reating as core subject in primary classroom. Also I wonder why so many topics are spread out over grades only to be touched on rather then allowing for complete mastery of a topics that are focused more heavily on in one grade. For instance why is basic geometry in all grades, and students learn fractions little by little. Why not wait until they are cognitively ready to the entire concept relating it to division? Why younger grades focus on basic computation? The problem is student don't have down basic computation and then are expected to do higher math.
The major assumption underlying government education programs is that when children do well, the teacher is doing a good job, and when children perform poorly, it's the teacher's fault. What about when a teacher has students who have no interest in learning, often due to derelict parents who neither supervise nor encourage academic achievement? Many failing schools are located in districts where the majority of families are single-parent homes where the child has often never met the father, crime is common, and drugs are readily available on street corners. We can't pin a kid's success or failure solely on the teacher via a test. Most of the educational crisis in this country is rooted in the family crisis in the inner cities. I'm not sure how to correct the problem, but to blame a teacher for a kid's poor score when there are other significant factors at work is irresponsible and naive.
It is a miracle that modern teaching methods have not entirely strangled the holy curiousity of inquiry. For what this delicate little plant needs more than anything, besides stimulation, is freedom. (EINSTEIN)
As a parent with a child with Special Needs, this mandate means much to me and my child. I have done enough research to know that my child can be successful if the bar is set realistic and high. I also know enough to see that until with begin the use of Universal Design for Learning and understanding that curriculums need to have a universal design, we will fail many children and cheat them of their dream. We'll need to think outside the box on this one to make NCLB work - but I do have faith that we as Americans are creative enough to figure it out. No child should be cheated of their dreams just because it is difficult to find a good formula.
As I read through the replies to the question of NCLB(change name/leave it/or don't bother), I felt such a sense of pride and joy in my fellow educators. There are still teachers "out there" who care and who understand what real education is about. I am retired now, but I was fortunate enough to have taught when teachers still had some say-so as to what and how they taught. That, too, had its problems, but the problems then and now have the same roots: WHO
is teaching what. As I taught through the years, I came to understand that the love of teaching itself - and the teaching of the love of learning - created a superior student, whether that student was on either end of the learning curve or in the middle.
"Presentation is everything" they say about real estate and about delivery of food. It's true, actually, about everything (excuse the pun). When there is a love of teaching, it radiates in the classroom and shows in the results that come out of that teacher's room. When there is a belief that the foundation of a good education is learning HOW to learn, that belief translates into the kind of teaching going on in the classroom. The love of teaching and the dedication to teaching how to learn produces in students a life-long enthusiasm for and appreciation of learning beyond the classroom. When students learn in such an environment, they respond and, no matter what level of learning they are capable of, they learn.
NO TEACHING TO TESTS WILL EVER REPLACE TRUE EDUCATION, and that is what I read over and over again in the responses
of teachers to this blog. I congratulate you all - I have no doubt that your students learn more than some others, even with the restraints of the current mentality of NCLB.
Here here! And let's take back the zillions of dollars spent on educational testing materials and preparation materials back, have it done in-house by a national education board for all 50 states and use the left-over zillions to fund technology and teacher salaries and really take care of providing the best education for our future citizens. The private companies now selling their products at a premium can just retool like the auto workers, coal workers, etc., whose industries are outgrowing their usefulness, they can partner with the federal government in the same way that enery companies will as we construct a new model for energy usage nationwide.
It's time for a new program. NCLB may have started with a great idea, but the implementation of the idea fell far short.
Accountability is good, but NCLB takes it to an extreme. Wait! Perhaps we should rebrand it as No Corporation Left Behind and apply the same accountability standards to the Boards of Directors. Let's rebrand it and apply it to financially incompetent corporations.
Rename or leave it the same. It doesn't really matter. What we as educators need to look at is reducing what we are teaching to what students really need in the 21st century. I worked with a U.S. History teacher who was trying to cram everything that he learned as a child into his class along with everything since WWII. We need to figure out what is essential that all children need to learn, so they can compete in the global economy we now entered. How are we (baby boomers and generation x's) keeping up with what Generation Y needs and the next generation?
Japan, Germany and other countries realized this some time ago. Reduce the number of "stuff" and teach the concepts they really need to know. Teach it to a deeper understanding. REDUCE, throw out the rote memory tests, and let's teach them how to think.
Does No Child Left Behind need a new name. No, it needs to be abandoned. NCLB is a noble concept but the fact is that it is an unobtainable standard that without extreme and across the board systemic change will never be obtained.
NCLB doesn't allow for the broad and varied types of learners in classrooms and by design it never will. Who will be left, english as a second language students, children with sensory and processing issues amplified by aspergers and high functioning autism, children that are held back from expressing creativity in problem solving in exchange for answering the test question right. Why because teachers are stretch beyond their limits, they lack the training necessary to effectively implement curriculum, and then add in the environmental (crowded classrooms, no budgets even in the wealthiest of districts, etc).
As long as coveted federal funding is attached to testing outcomes and parents continue to attach a high premium to these test scores as the basis of their decision making when it comes to their children--school districts will break the first rule of inquiry based education--they will teach to the test.
If we want to make a marked change, then there needs to be a mass movement in actually incorporating cognitive learning science, based on and refined by dynamic data sets.
The system is broken and until we are willing to truly reassess what we are doing in public education and begin to think outside the box regardless of the legislation or the intention, there will always be children left behind. Here is a thought--LMCA "Leave My Child ALONE!"