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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

No Child Left Behind

This is one of my favorite posts on the subject of NCLB:

Democrats claim the President’s No Child Left Behind act is not working, and that in fact is hurting children. In fact, the DNC website claims that the “ most well-known policy failures” is “the No Child Left Behind Act.”

Democratic National Committee Press Secretary Stacie Paxton said:

“The broken promises of President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act are disgraceful. No matter how hard the Bush Administration tries to spin today’s events, they cannot hide the fact that President Bush’s repeated under-funding of his own No Child Left Behind legislation has denied millions of American schoolchildren the opportunity to succeed. Democrats will keep our promises to our schoolchildren with a new direction that makes sure every child in America has the opportunity to succeed in the classroom.”

Not to worry, this is more liberal rhetoric devoid of reality. If it was created by a Republican, it must be demonized. Democrats claim that:

Test Scores Raising Slower Than Before NCLB. From 2000 to 2003, before NCLB took full effect, the percentage of fourth graders scoring proficient in math rose eight percentage points, compared with four points this year. The percentage of eighth graders proficient in math rose three points before the law, compared with one point this year.

Click to read more ...

If you do read the rest of the post, the facts speak loudly for themselves. The No Child Left Behind act is doing the following:

1) Improving reading scores in schoolchildren
2) Improving their math scores
3) Raising the scores of minority kids
4) Raising the scores even in inner-city schools

It is also making teachers work hard at their craft and rewarding the schools that excel while denying extra funding to the schools that consistently fail. Who does this hurt? Not the kids who are learning more or the parents who are glad they are learning more. Just the incompetent teachers.

Hey, I believe more teachers are caring and hard-working individuals who give a lot of themselves to helping kids learn and grow and fewer just want to "mail it in." But it is the teacher's unions and the Democratic Party who are angry, largely because said teacher's unions contribute heavily to the Dems and many of the union rank-and-file are the lazy and incompetent among the teachers who are damaged by being made accountable for their work. The unions and the Dems want to put an end to NCLB, even though it works, for selfish ends. Shame on them!!!


highboy said...

I have to dig around and see if I can find a link, but over the summer back home in PA, my brother did a piece regarding a principle who was guaranteed a job even though 22 different school districts thought he wasnt' qualfied. But his union contract guaranteed him a job.

oriolebird38 said...

I'm not going to make some case on behalf teacher's unions and incompetent teachers.

But, there's a lot more to the NCLB act that makes it not all it's cracked up to be. In a lot of cases, schools will artificially inflate their test scores by classifying the lower score students as "special-needs" or some other similar title, despite them being completely normal kids. If I had time, I'd do some research on that claim, but I don't have time, so my word will have to do.

I believe Congress tried to remedy this inbalance by prohibiting the excessive use of "special needs" students classification, but that particularly screwed my elementary school. It was a gifted and talented school that also taught most of mentally-impaired kids in the area. Apparently, the "special needs" kids that actually had special neesd exceeded the limit, and the school got a severe reduction in funding. At best, the act needs a lot more oversight.

Of course, I don't believe that funding should be made a reward for schools that can perform well on a test, cause I think cutting funding to worse schools simply prolongs their substandard education. But that's a completely different debate.

Middle_America said...

I think oriolebird38 is referring to the IEP's. I know there are a few schools that utilize the IEP's in order to have the childs lower scores count as normal or in the high percentage overall scores.

There are many kids requiring a IEP. However, with everything there will be some that will take advantage of it.

Good call Radar.
Also they are putting in place a means to track the students. Basically, they give each student a student id (not their social security number). When that child transfers or moves, they can keep better track on which public school system they attend. The reasoning is to help the government provide the correct school system the money alotted for that student.

I think they should do the same for teachers and admins within the school system. A single database to allow the school board members access. This would simplify the school boards research upon hiring.