Will current proposed revisions to the No Child Left Behind Act benefit public education?

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lisa sonnier (not verified)

nclb act

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I think it is a good thing to have the nclb act, it helps to enable a better understanding of education and the teacher(teachers are the very primary source for education)Also i do believe parents and there children including the teacher together makes it all better. Just because a child is slow does mean that child can't learn like everbody else, so this is where the no child left behind act does a lot of good. No child should not be treated different from another because of there ability to learn, it would be a question of why he/she is being treated that way. Today many children are being denied a right to learn or play sports because the have there students pick out on who they like the most or who can play better and the rest is left behind. So it really is a good thing for the NCLB ACT. Children are being pick because of the talent and the others are on the side line,a gifted child is smart but does that mean a slow learner can't learn just like others. I have a gifted child and also have a child in the learning center, so what does that make him?

Duelix (not verified)

NCLB is a failed way to

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NCLB is a failed way to address a problem. To start out, instead of boosting average scores, it simply makes less people fail. When the only two levels are PROFICIENT and FAILING, priority goes to making people on the failing side become proficient. Never mind that the proficient is just above the bar. Second, the main problem with United States education is not the teachers (who in my opinion are excellent), but the parents. If a parent lets their kids play video-games 5 hours a day, sleep for another 5, and spend the rest of the time texting, we're not going to get anywhere. The attitude in school is to daydream during classes, maybe pay half attention for some time. The fact that NCLB makes classes boring test reviews doesn't make people want to listen more. If we want to make progress, lets deal with everyone equally. Maybe we should segregate grades by intelligence and ability instead of age (I feel that a lot of people in my grade are smarter than many people who are three years ahead.) If learning is fun, and grades actually indicate performance (not just below and above the bar), we might get somewhere. And maybe students should realize that getting a good education is more in there own hands than those of a teacher (government education official, for that matter).

Michael (not verified)

Survey Questions

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I am forced to agree with the comment that the survey questions yield misleading results. When making the point that someone was not grasping basic concepts, my father would ask, "Do you walk to work or carry your lunch?"

Perhaps a more useful (although time consuming) survey would look at the various pieces of the law, asking respondents to support, reject or comment on each.

TomH (not verified)

teaching to the test

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You apparently don't understand the reality. It is not the teachers who miss the point. It is the states, and the school boards. It is the fed. Teachers want to teach. They want to teach creatively and with the zest and zeal that comes with being a true teacher. At least in Texas, this has been all but driven out of us. Elementary schools no longer have recess in many areas because they need that time to teach state testing strategies...to 6 year olds! It only gets worse from there.

No, the standards are good. But rigid standards that do not take into account the scenario a school finds itself in are broken before day 1. Should a school that has a 60% non-English speaking population be held accountable in the same manner that a school in white bread upper middle class suburbs are? How about a school that has an unusually high population of special needs students?

The standards aren't bad. The implementation is bad, and has been since day one. And parents who don't understand, along with politicians, and failed educators like Margarette Spellings have botched this. Your children, and the teachers who teach them, pay for it every day.

Alpha Quincy (not verified)

Learning environment

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Sudents don't learn through threats and punishment,the NCLB way ....but through inspiration and motivation. Their environment should be rich with real world events that they are eager to find out about through exploration. A small class and small school with a bright teacher is the structure that allows for learning and must be provided by interested parents, the public, and necessary resources.

Anonymous (not verified)

NCLB ruins it for all of us - it must be completely ELIMINATED

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The ONLY way to leave no child behind is to do exactly what NCLB has done = dumb down everything and make the bar so low that anybody with a 70 IQ can fall over it.

There will always be plenty of children left behind.

What NCLB does is ignore everybody capable of average achievement or excellence.

It is all disgusting and depressing.

My advice: group by ability and let natural selection take back over! It will eventually anyway.

If I had it to do over I would definitely go private or home school 100% for my children's schooling.

I am a 30 year veteran.

blah.

Anonymous (not verified)

Always blame the NEA

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The NEA is not against the NCLB. They want it to be better for our children and properly funded. It amazes me that no one listens to what the teachers know what would work. Politicians don't listen to their constituents, as they say they do, and are making decisions on topics they have no clue about. For one week, I would like to see legislators come and walk around the schools or substitute, so they know what some schools are dealing with. We have people coming to work in our building that worked in the private sector that are amazed at what teachers are expected to accept. They say that they had no clue things were so bad. The NEA is the only cheerleader that teachers can count on.

C Torrey (not verified)

NCLB

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Since the enactment of NCLB we have gained no ground in international scene in Math, Science and reading. All the areas taught in testing area. The gifted population is taken down to the lowest with the “Mathew effect“. Extra programs for enrichment are gone. Wake up America! Speak up this is not working. We need to realize that not everyone will be a rocket scientist. If they were we would starve and have no where to live. But, in reality my son is not a football player, he was not given the build for it. It is not in the gene pack. I do not tell the NFL the he must play. I realize the limitations and his gifts are in other areas, but why should my gifted child have a limited future???????????????????

Fri, Dec 07, 2007
'... Something needs to be done now'
Poor showing on international exam prompts calls for better science instruction
From eSchool News staff and wire service reports
Primary Topic Channel: Global competitiveness

National standards, a high regard for teachers and the teaching profession, more equitable distribution of resources, autonomy at the school level to implement reforms, and opportunities to personalize instruction: These are some of the key reasons Finland saw its students earn the highest marks in both science and math on a recent international exam.

U.S. students, in contrast, were outperformed on average by 16 other industrialized countries in science—and by 23 in math.

The poor showing of U.S. students on the latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) has renewed calls to improve math and science instruction to keep the nation competitive in the new global economy.

And in light of the results, many observers say the U.S. has much to learn from other countries.

The test was given to 15-year-olds in 30 industrialized countries last year. It focused on science but also included a math portion. The 30 countries, including the United States, make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which runs the international test.

The issue is not that U.S. students did so poorly on the exam; it’s that other countries have made significant strides in the last few years.

There was no change in U.S. math scores since 2003, the last time the test was given. Yet students in other nations—such as Poland and Estonia—improved enough to leapfrog U.S. students in the results. (The science scores aren’t comparable between 2003 and 2006, because the tests weren’t the same.)

Finland’s 15-year-olds did the best on the science test, followed by students in Hong Kong and Canada. Students in Finland, Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong were the top performers in math.

The results serve as a harsh wake-up call to U.S. educators and policy makers, many observers said—especially as the economy becomes more global, and the need to compete with businesses and employees from other nations intensifies.

At a Dec. 4 briefing to discuss the PISA results, representatives from six national organizations—the Alliance for Excellent Education, Asia Society, Business Roundtable, Council of Chief State School Officers, ED in ’08, and National Governors Association—called for more emphasis on the teaching of 21st-century skills in U.S. schools.

“Our students’ performance today is the best indicator of America’s global competitiveness tomorrow,” said Raymond Scheppach, executive director of the National Governors Association. “The United States faces emerging challenges across the international marketplace. The countries that thrive in this new global, entrepreneurial, and knowledge-based economy will be those that have the most highly skilled and educated workforce.”

Business Roundtable President John J. Castellani questioned the lack of outrage that accompanied the test results.

“It is difficult to understand why mediocre achievement by U.S. teenagers on international math and science assessments produces less concern and outcry than mediocre performance by a football or basketball team,” Castellani said.

He added: “There is worldwide competition for people with strong backgrounds in math and science who have the analytic and problem-solving skills needed to create tomorrow’s innovations. We need to take a serious look at what the U.S. can learn from the education systems that routinely pass us by.”

Andreas Schleicher, head of the indicators and analysis division of OECD’s Directorate for Education, discussed some of the characteristics shared by the highest performing nations on the exam, such as Finland.

One thing that stands out about the achievement of Finland’s students is the minimal disparity in scores from school to school, Schleicher said—even those reflecting different socio-economic environments.

“Everyone needs to be competent; it’s not just for the rich or elite anymore,” he said. “In Finland, parents don’t have to worry about which school their children attend, because no matter which school a child attends, the level of educational performance is [about] the same.”

That stands in sharp contrast to the United States, Schleicher said, which has one of the largest gaps between its top-performing students and its lowest-performing students of any industrialized nation.

The No Child Left Behind Act was supposed to solve this problem. But, though it has brought greater accountability to the nation’s schools, critics of the law say the federal government hasn’t provided enough funding for educators to fully realize its goals.

Anonymous (not verified)

Does anyone else have a

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Does anyone else have a problem with the "poll" questions? This is simply another example of gathering skewed data and then reporting that "everyone believes the law must be changed or thrown out". I would like to see a choice that states "I believe the law is fundamentally sound, and some minor revisions will make it even better."

Some of the current proposed revisions will help refine the law to make it better, but other proposed changes are simply foolish and will lessen the accountability provisions to something anyone with a pulse can meet (public education "accountability" over the last few decades). In my 20+ years in public education, the biggest improvement I have seen as a result of this law is that administrators and teachers alike are now discussing what it is that students should learn and how we will know whether they learned it. While it may seem obvious, this discussion was sadly lacking for years before NCLB.

Of course the law can be improved - but some of the proposed changes from the "professional organizations" simply eliminate any real accountability - allowing business as usual with lower income and minority students left to suffer while the system goes on unchanged.

Rita Margue (not verified)

UNIONS DRIVE THE HATE DEBATE

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Mr. Spurgeon understands the difference between teaching to the test and teaching to the standards. Bravo, there is at least one other teacher who actually GETS the whole rationale behind setting standards - and the need for this law.
I've seen children left behind - minorities, boys, etc. - for years!!!
Most teachers are getting their negative attitudes and misinformation about NCLB from the NEA and their local unions, which hate the law because it takes away their choke-hold-control of teachers.
The NEA is the biggest obstacle to educational reform and the biggest enemy of NCLB.

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