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Poll Finds That Blacks, Hispanics Like NCLB

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The possibility that Congress would suspend NCLB's accountability rules brought supporters of the law out of the woodwork. Over at Swift & Changable, Charlie Barone says that civil rights' community's nearly unanimous opposition to the suspension was unprecedented in the history of NCLB.

Today, the Public Education Network released a poll that sheds some light on the reason why. Although the poll focuses on where education stands in the current political debate, the response to one of its questions shows that the minority community likes NCLB.

Forty-one percent of blacks and 39 percent of Hispanics believe that NCLB has helped improve their schools. Only 21 percent of African-Americans and 23 percent of Hispanics say the law is hurting their schools. (The rest says there's no difference.) By contrast, 27 percent of whites say the law is helping schools, 31 percent say it is hurting, and 27 percent say it hasn't had an impact.

Combine the three groups and here's what you get: 31 percent say "helping;" 31 percent say "hurting;" and 27 percent say "no difference." (See slide 21 on this powerpoint presentation.)

For all of the red-hot rhetoric against NCLB, it appears that the public hasn't made up its mind. But the minority community is leaning in favor.

8 Comments

I invite anyone to come pay a visit to the high minority schools in my district and argue that NCLB is "working."

I'll buy you lunch.

Yes, as a tax payer "please give away my tax money to educational programs that don't make a diffrence." I don't know about you but in in real world, people expect results when they pay for something. So if an educational program is not producing results, why keep funding it and why not give another program a chance with that money?

Amen to both Philp's and JP's comments.

The poll asks about benefits, but what about the costs? NCLB supporters say we should stay the course because maybe we've been losing opportunity costs on NCLB but someday over the rainbow we will make it up on volume.

Take a look at HBOs Hard Times at Fredrick Douglass High and ask for a plausibale scenrio that NCLB can help that school?

Which brings us to the polling answers by Black and Brown respondents. My students parents have a full range of tough decisions to make. In my neighborhood, they send their kids to all types of schools all over our huge county, or they send them off to relatives in small towns or in California and Texas. Sometimes they are better served by charters or suburban schools, and sometimes not. Sometimes when they fight for their kids, the schools are recalcitrant and sometimes it is the neighborhood school that is more helpful. And they hear the full range of the same type of stories at church, on the job, and in the neighborhood. Because people of color interact with a more bewidlering complex of contradictory realities, I think they will always give a greater variety of answers on school policy.

That's why Obama can't be expected to do more that provide leadership and split the differences between various policies. We don't ask Oklahoma politicians to challenge the oil industry. We must show the same respect for Black and Brown leaders who must see all sides of the arguments for vouchers, charters, and even NCLB.

John opines "The poll asks about benefits, but what about the costs? NCLB supporters say we should stay the course because maybe we've been losing opportunity costs on NCLB but someday over the rainbow we will make it up on volume."

So--what would you advocate? Should Title I be axed? Is there a different way to implement the (funding) program more likely to achieve results? How should results be measured?

NCLB is definately NOT WORKING. Minority parents appreciate the focus and accountability on educators who have historically looked the other way and blamed students and their families, for poor achievement. NCLB is not the answer, but it did shine some light on a complex and on-going series of issues.

In my opinion, NCLB may not have worked in some areas, but it has worked in others. Most schools are working harder to raise the proficiencies of all subgroups of students - that wasn't happening in a vast number of schools and districts before they were held accountable for results.

There are some schools for which there may be no hope other than to simply close them down. That's what the Dallas (Texas) district has just done with a high school that consistently earned an "unacceptable" rating from the state. Time will tell what impact that move will have on the students who will attend other Dallas schools - or on those schools that must now teach the students coming in from the failing school.

The minority communities simply do not understand No Child Left Behind. The bill as written is punative towards schools especiall school in minority areas. The teachers are teaching to the tests and students are bored, bored following page by page, bored with worksheets, bored by the same activities at the same time. In some of the major cities, 50% or more have not graduated. There was little research used to show that this type of methodology would enhance education. There is various research that works such as Theme/Magnet Schools, Vocational schools and schools that teach the arts. These type of schools promote motivation which in turn promotes higher level learning.

NCLB has produced some positive results at our school. No program or policy is perfect, there is some teaching to the test, but it forced the school to identify low-performing subgroups and find new ways to address the shortcomings. Previously, they were allowed to slide much more than now.
I live in a very "white" area, and am curious about why more blacks and Hispanics see NCLB as working at schools while whites do not. Can someone enlighten me?

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  • EB: NCLB has produced some positive results at our school. No read more
  • The Real Issue: The minority communities simply do not understand No Child Left read more
  • Donna: In my opinion, NCLB may not have worked in some read more
  • Frank Ohnesorgen: NCLB is definately NOT WORKING. Minority parents appreciate the focus read more
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