And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

>>Obama Calls for Major Change in Education Law –

Posted on: March 14, 2010

Obama Calls for Major Change in Education Law –

The best thing that happened to education during the past 100 years was George Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” Program.   It wasn’t perfect because no program as broad as this one could be perfect.  There were areas that needed work.  I’m not sure yet but President Obama just may be on the right track to correcting some of the problems.  The fact that the teachers unions are against his plans  is a big PLUS as far as I am concerned!  The second thing I really approve about it is the provision that teachers be evaluated and not “helped to become proficient” as in the Bush plan, but simply fired as in the Obama plan.  It is about time We the People face up to and demand that incompetent people be gotten rid of.  Teachers and doctors seem to be untouchables no matter how bad they are at their jobs.

The administration’s proposals would also rework the law’s teacher-quality provisions by requiring states to develop evaluation procedures to distinguish effective instructors, partly based on whether their students are learning. These would replace the law’s current emphasis on certifying that all teachers have valid credentials, which has produced little except red tape, officials said.

Obama also wants to follow individual students progress regardless of the groups progress.  This may lead to outstanding students be given the opportunity to enroll in charter schools or better performing schools and not being held back because they are stuck in a certain “group”.

Under the current law, testing focuses on measuring the number of students who are proficient at each grade level. The administration instead wants to measure each student’s academic growth, regardless of the performance level at which they start.

Under the proposals, schools would also be judged on whether they are closing achievement gaps between poor and affluent students. No sanctions exist now for schools that fail in this area. Under the new proposals, states would be required to intervene even in seemingly high-performing schools in affluent districts where test scores and other indicators identify groups of students who are languishing, administration officials said.

Rewarding high performance has caused school districts to look at around at their best performing schools and follow that plan in order to qualify for more federal dollars.  Guess what?  Charter schools outperform non-charter schools in almost all cases.  (charter schools are public schools but they are independent in how they are operated.  In other words they operate like private schools without having the school administration and school board to contend with!)  This provision of rewarding the best outcomes is causing states to ramp up their charter schools programs.  North Carolina only has 100 Charter Schools at present and of course teachers unions and school boards and administrations are against them.  The state legislature just may override these protests to get more money and inadvertently do the best thing possible for our children!

The proposals would require states to use annual tests and other indicators to divide the nation’s nearly 100,000 public schools into several groups: some 10,000 to 15,000 high-performing schools that could receive rewards or recognition; some 10,000 failing or struggling schools requiring varying degrees of vigorous state intervention; about 5,000 schools that would be required to narrow unacceptably wide achievement gaps; and perhaps 70,000 or so schools in the middle that would be encouraged to figure out on their own how to improve.

“No Child Left Behind” focus on proficiency in reading and math.  Teacher complained  they were teaching to the test.  My thought was well better teaching to the test than teaching nothing!    If a child can read he will be able to do well any subject; if he can’t read you can push all kinds of history books and lectures  at him all day and half the night and he still will not understand or know history.  The same goes for math.  If he can not add, subtract, multiply and divide  even keeping a check book will be beyond him.  I am not sure Obama’s goal is any better.  It will allow teacher to teach as they want but in order to show improvement on the tests they will still have to spend more time and effort on the basics.

President Obama would replace the law’s requirement that every American child reach proficiency in reading and math, which administration officials have called utopian, with a new national target that could prove equally elusive: that all students should graduate from high school prepared for college and a career.

Guess we will have to wait and see what happens here.  It seems to me so far that regardless of the administrations touting a total revamping of No Child Left Behind Obama is merely closing some of the loop holes that have needed corrected.  And again I say with glee: the teacher’s unions are against it!


2 Responses to ">>Obama Calls for Major Change in Education Law –"

Surely you jest. NCLB is the biggest travesty to ever hit education. The only way to improve upon it is to dump it and get the Federal Government out of education. It’s unconstitutional to begin with. Education is the responsibility of the States, not the Feds, and only then if the States wish to fund it.

I quite agree with you that education is the responsibility of the parents and local government. First and foremost the Parents are responsible for their children’s education. I don’t think the states have any more business in education than the federal government.

However since the federal government is already into education and was a long time before Bush I think No Child Left Behind is a good program in that it at least forces the schools to attempt to teach something. They know they have these national tests coming up and if their school doesn’t do well the public will know about it, and the school will be put on suspension and given orders to shape up or else. Whereas before this the schools were able to hide their inadequacies even tho standardized tests have been given for decades.

It was the NCLB program that got the 78 teachers in Rhode Island fired. Their school was so bad that they were put under a special program and under a tough superintendent who told them to shape up or ship out. She laid out a specific program for the teachers in the miserable school to follow and the teachers actually refused to do so without getting more pay for the “extra” time. She offered them $30 and hour and they (their union) demanded $90 per hour. She fired the whole miserable _____ group! Without NCLB these teachers would have been allowed to continue to cheat the children of a decent education because of bad teaching.

Also because of NCLB more states are allowing Charter Schools. Charter Schools are public schools in that they get public funding and are free to the students with a first come first served basis of enrollment. (Some places have had to hold lottery type drawings for enrollment because so many parents wanted their children in the Charter Schools.) Anyhow even tho Charter Schools are public schools they are run like private schools in that they are independent of the school administrations and school boards meddling. Charter Schools have always out performed other or regular public schools. North Carolina only allows 100 Charter Schools in the state. The NCLB program by pointing out the failing schools are forcing states to allow more better performing programs which is Charter Schools.

President Bush did the children of this nation a huge service when he pushed thru this program.

By the way, the Texas text book content selection committee is taking back our country big time! Texas buys so many text books that publishers generally use the Texas model for all their text books so when the Conservative Texans put God back in the text books there is a possibility that other states will keep Him there too. Score one for the Lone Star State! BB

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