It seems that there are at least some that are coming to the realization that the goals as they were set forth in the original No Child Left Behind Act, are completely unattainable and unrealistic.
Washington Post (via MSNBC so you don’t need to register)
“There is a zero percent chance that we will ever reach a 100 percent target,” said Robert L. Linn, co-director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing at UCLA. “But because the title of the law is so rhetorically brilliant, politicians are afraid to change this completely unrealistic standard. They don’t want to be accused of leaving some children behind.”
So there you have the real problem. Not that people don’t know that the law is flawed nobody wants to be seen as “leaving a child behind” advocate. Much like the Patriot Act, the name keeps lawmakers voting FOR things they know they should vote against.
Foes and supporters alike praise the law for drawing attention to student achievement gaps. The law requires testing for all students in reading and math from grades 3 through 8 and once in high school; it also requires reporting of scores for groups of students including racial and ethnic minorities, those from low-income families, those with limited English skills and those with disabilities who receive special education.
Unlike those that blindly support the law without understanding what it is saying, those that are critical acknowledge that there are certainly good intentions in the law, but how it was constructed, and how you can hope to achieve a 100% rating when you include those that have limited English Skills and those with learning disabilities, is not short of just plain silly. So instead students with learning disorder get shipped around to other districts and such to help some districts (those “disposing” of the students) better “benchmarks” while it provides funds (the school shipping out the student generally pays the other district) to those districts that accept them. That is not education, it is a shell game, and the children are the little pebble being slid around under those shells.
They also much do away with the sanctions that are built into the law. These sanctions, are actually counterproductive, as they take away money from the areas and districts that by definition need it the most, the districts where the children are not faring as well. Does this make sense to anybody? “Your schools aren’t doing well, now go and improve them… with less money to accomplish it.” This is what they are in essence telling these districts.
We can’t allow NCLB to be reauthorized, just because it “sounds good.” It needs to be overhauled and fixed.