Monday, July 11, 2005

Are NCLB changes coming down the road?

The Washington Post has reported that Margaret Spellings may be open to changes in the federal reg's that outline how state's report progress on NCLB.

Evidently the feds may be open to a more student-centered approach by looking at individual student growth.

Hmmmm - a step in the right direction. But getting 100% of all students to attain proficiency by 2013-2014 is still a noble goal and an unscientific and unrealistic law.

4 Comments:

At Tuesday, July 12, 2005, Blogger EdWonk said...

What bothers me most about NCLB is the fact that it holds educators accountable for student achievement without any accountability at all being placed upon the parents (or the students themselves) for the academic success of their children. And then there's underfunding...

Take a look at this study by the Broward County School District which shows disappointing results about NCLB. (I blogged about it today.)

 
At Tuesday, July 12, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edwonk -- I would like to put your question about NCLB and students a little differently. As a parent I wonder when teachers are going to raise their hands and say they cannot not take on any more responsibilities of raising/educating students that belong to the parents.

Seems to me there is a catch 22. Parents have been let off the hook because education said it was willing to be the parent. Teachers are stuck in the middle trying to be all things to all people - some are successful, some are treading water and many are failing miserably.

So...teachers need, in my opinion, to do two things. First is true peer review -- I would like to see the teachers in each grade hold each other and the teachers who sent the students to them accountable for having students ready to excel at the next grade level. Second, parents need to send their children to school ready to learn each day. I do not think the second will happen until teachers, without their unions or force their unions, stand up and say we are here for the children, our job is to teach, to educate. These are our expectations of the students...

Before the days of forced schooling, oh so long ago, students had to be literate (and probably had to know how to write) before they could come to school. It would be great to have high expectations of student readiness again.

Just my two cents worth --

Elizabeth

 
At Tuesday, July 12, 2005, Blogger Indiana Public School Superintendent said...

Elizabeth:

I want to thank you for your comments on this site from time-to-time. I wish more parents were interested and involved.

I tend to agree with you that educators have willingly taken on more and more responsibilities that were formally parental duties. It wasn't that long ago that serving lunch at school as a government subsidy was a big deal -now most parents depend on the "government" to provide an adequate lunch for $1.50.

The list goes on and on. Where educators are caught between a rock and a hard place is that it sounds defensive and whiny if we try to say some of these things are parental responibilities. Then we sound like we are blaming parents.

Public education is not nearly as bad as it is made out to be - nor is it's potential for good - near as great as it is made out to be.

One fact will NEVER be different - It is much easier for good parenting to overcome bad schooling than it is for good schooling to overcome bad parenting.

And... I do not say that to excuse any school from "bad schooling" nor am I trying to diminish the good work that public schooling does when it is effective.

Parents will always be the first and most influential forces in a child's life.

I have been doing reading lately on the development of the child's brain based on emerging brain research and I am convinced that good parents are the key and that schooling is very important but still overrated.

 
At Wednesday, July 13, 2005, Anonymous The Rock said...

Parents are the key, but what about students who virtually have no parents? Should we send them to the orphanage with Oliver Twist and let them run the streets picking the pockets of our taxpayers. (That really wasn't a cynical as it sounded.) My point is we (educators) are the only parents some children have. So, raising children and teaching have both become jobs that we have taken on or have been given, it doesn't matter to me what the perspective is.

What I think is unfair, is that schools aren't funded when mandates are given. We've all decided that we're not going to become rich in education, we just need the available funds to give our children the best.

 

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