Why fix the schools…

March 9th, 2011

…when you can just “fix” the law?

The Department of Education estimates the number of schools not meeting targets will skyrocket from 37 to 82 percent in 2011 because states are toughening their standards to meet the requirements of the law. The schools will face sanctions ranging from offering tutoring to closing their doors.

“No Child Left Behind is broken and we need to fix it now, cialis thumb ” Duncan said in a statement. “This law has created a thousand ways for schools to fail and very few ways to help them succeed.”

I wish I could say I was surprised that there won’t be even a hint of shame from the educational system and its political apologists.

Entry Filed under: Observations

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Debunked  |  March 9th, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    I’m confused. Are you arguing that that the stringent requirements and rigid structure that NCLB places on schools is a good thing?

    From reading that short blurb, it sounds like schools aren’t getting worse – it is that the “passing” bar is being raised to a higher level – all while funding for schools that were already struggling has been being lowered for the past decade.

    That sounds like a recipe for failure to me.

    Indeed, the whole thing sounds to me like a plan which creates the artificial impression of failing schools, reducing their funding and causing them to actually fail, prompting the creation of a larger number of unmonitored private schools with no standards. The perfect illusion for an education system that cranks out mindless drones to serve the aristocracy.

    In a nutshell, Starve the Beast conservative philosophy applied directly to education. But you know, its all about the children.

  • 2. Dan  |  March 9th, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    I think the original intent of No Child Left Behind was good. It made schools improve.
    But the standards the Feds put on (not the States) is making it almost impossible for schools to pass NCLB now.
    You start off with having to test all students, even those with significant cognitive disabilities and those kids are supposed to pass the proficiency tests that are meant for regular education high school kids?
    Then the unrealistic goal that every child be proficient is impossible to get to, no matter how hard you try.
    So, when you have to test kids in special education along with unrealistic standards, of course there will be many failures.
    That being said, many schools are broken and need to be overhauled.

  • 3. Elliot  |  March 9th, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I’ll acknowledge I don’t know enough about the details of the law to say it’s fair or not, so this post makes me look like even more of an ass than usual.

    On the other hand, which of you is going to claim that we have a national educational system we should be proud of?

  • 4. Debunked  |  March 9th, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    I never said we didn’t have problems with our education system.

    But it sounds like you’re claiming the laws governing our schools don’t impact how well they do.

    So then, I ask, how do you propose we fix our education system overall?

    And I’ll just preempt what I expect your next response (which is, get rid of teacher unions and fire the bad teachers) with a quote of my own making:

    “Blaming the teachers for failing schools is like blaming tellers for the banking collapse.”

  • 5. Elliot  |  March 9th, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    1.) If removing bad teachers and replacing them with better ones is off the table then the schools can’t be fixed. Period.

    2.) In places where poverty really is the major problem with kids getting a good education (which I suspect are far fewer than the schools’ defenders claim), I agree with James Causey of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: I think we should give boarding schools a chance:

    http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/95873809.html

  • 6. Debunked  |  March 9th, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    You keep making the claim that you can not get rid of bad teachers as if it is some universal truth.

    News flash. It is not. Sure, you can find arbitrary news articles about various unions protecting bad employees. But that’s why they’re in the news. Because they don’t happen to every single person. On the whole teachers, like any profession, have good and bad employees. And most principals, like any other supervisors, can most certainly get rid of the bad teachers if they desire.

    Second, the article you linked is pretty much spot on with the analysis.

    I’m not going to go off on a tangent saying that high, quality childhood education is important. We all know it is. And if he can’t read well by 4th grade, I’m not going to blame the teachers or MPS.

    Indeed, amusingly enough, I mentioned a slightly more extreme version of this same solution over a year ago on this blog as a possible fix to the problems with our education system.

    http://www.fromwhereisit.org/?p=6999 :
    “Another would be all children, regardless of background, are put into a form of a boarding school from kindergarten through the end of grade school with no contact with parents.”

  • 7. Dan  |  March 10th, 2011 at 2:37 am

    I am a teacher and I had the rare opportunity to watch teachers teach. Clearly, there are some excellent teachers and there are crappy ones. If you are a teacher in math, science and special education, chances are, unless you seriously break the law, you are not going to be fired.
    If you teach in other subjects, then if you do something short of murder, then you may be fired.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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