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Daily Archives: January 8th, 2009

 

Gee, NCLB Bill, you did away with social equity from poor schools when you became law.

Boy: Gee, NCLB Bill you are a sad scrap of paper, you did away with social equity in poor schools when you became law.

Since the inception No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, I have been asked by friends and folks on the street, “As a teacher, what do you think about NCLB?”  My reply always turned into a series of emotion filled rants.   By now we all know it is not working but if you’ve wanted to put your thumb on the reason why, check out Institute For Language Education Policy site and read the piece by James Crawford.  Crawford explains why No Child Left Behind is bad for public school reform by starting at the beginning when Bush and Rove rode the presidential ticket promoting education reform that would eliminate achievement gaps.  This  resulted in a law that targets teachers, schools and children as main culprits of the failure in pubic schools.  He points out that the federally mandated No Child Left Behind law diminishes civil rights through its shift in language from equal educational opportunity as found in the former federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act to eliminating achievement gaps as found in the current Act.  Because educational equity addresses segregation, poverty and equal access to resources – issues that would require action (input) from policy makers and elected officials.  Instead,  achievement gap connotates action in terms of measurable results through standardized tests (output).  By adopting this kind of language, the burden rests on schools with no additional funding from the government.   With no accountability placed on policy makers who control the resources and budget to address the gross inequalities and lack of resources in some public schools and in society, schools are told to buck up, increase learning or face the consequences.   Crawford states, “this is a diminished form of civil rights” and feels that minority students are given less time in class to focus neccesary English language classes like ESL because they are spending most of their time preparing for core content found in Standardized tests. 

Source:  http://www.elladvocates.org/media/NCLB/EdWeek6jun07.htm