NCLB is foolish

The No Child Left Behind mandate by our federal government is based upon entirely foolish assumptions. We need the Federal Government to shrink its footprint in our children’s education or at a minimum, look at basic educational research before it pronounces mandates.

From the 2001 law it is clear the Feds are wrong:

“SEC. 1001. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this title is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging State academic achievement standards and state academic assessments”.

The law’s underlying assumption is all children can reach, at a minimum, proficiency as measured by State academic assessments. Even today, with some measures of proficiency being modified downwards all students are not close to meeting proficiency let alone going beyond the benchmark. These results should not be surprising; not all children have the same inherent intelligence and academic motivations. Charles Murray got it right in Real Education when he said, “Half of the children are below average”. If Murray is correct then a standard designed to be met only by average students will not be met by those who are below average and one half of our students are below average.

It would be best if the Federal Government exited education and left its operations to parents and teachers.

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4 thoughts on “NCLB is foolish

  1. That Murray book, like most of his work, is outstanding.

    Since half of our children are below average, not only are most educational reforms futile, but so too is the ridiculous notion that more people need to go to college. At this point, it’s clearly the reverse.

    Any thoughts on Common Core?

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  2. The entire US educational system is flawed and Common Core just adds to the morass. The overriding problem is not Common Core but instead our singular government controlled system which presents a ‘college preparatory’ curriculum to all and assumes (NCLB) all will achieve within this system. Unlike our European and ASIAN competitors, we do not offer multiple curriculum tracks to our students. There are some vocational classes in schools but not a state of the art vocational curriculum which if a student successfully completes, would lead to some type of entry-level certification. For example, after completing an automotive-based curriculum one would graduate and be ready for more advanced training and ultimate certification.

    The theory behind Common Core is not bad per se as it states that an eighth grade student should demonstrate a defined set of skills and knowledge if they are to be considered proficient. Same goes for other grades. This in itself is not an evil concept. However, there are many flaws…

    1. Most schools have not been able to completely modify their curriculum to reflect all CC standards
    2. Most teachers have not been trained to address the issue mentioned in point one
    3. The standards are targeted at only English and Math
    4. Students of lower intelligence may never be able to grasp the CC standards so continual measurement of their efforts may be futile
    5. Students who have low motivation or the ‘free spirit screw da man attitude’ will treat the CC testing with disdain; keep in mind, the test in no way effects their grades or transcript so the approach is often, ‘who cares”!

    Given all of these flaws I would not proceed with CC.

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