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Suffering Under NCLB


Polski3, of Polski3's View from Here, says he was just diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, but with a minor adjustment to his diet and medications he is surviving. What he cannot seem to shake, however, is the suffering he and his colleagues endure from teaching in a school that he says is a "long-term" failure by NCLB standards:

Suffering from the threats or promises of what can/will happen to teachers of consistently failing schools. Suffering through late afternoon "how to teach" inservice presented to us by people who have not taught real children (not counting how some teachers behave in these inservices), in a number of years. Suffering through these inservices' because they are not well planned.
Polski3 says he wrote to members of congress to complain but got only curt, "political" responses.

I wonder how you guage the suffering of teachers with the suffering of young people shuffled through schools that fail to provide them with the skills they need to compete and achieve? I wonder how the suffering of poor inservices compares to the suffering of illiteracy and innumeracy?

I think it is completely unfair that teachers take the majority of the blame for failing schools such as these. Teachers can only do so much to motivate kids, but eventually students have to find their own motivation within themselves to achieve in the classroom.

What about holding parents accountable? I've seen too many with the attitude that "Susie and Johnny are with YOU (the teacher) for 7 hours a day--they are your problem during the day"...
When you have parents who view our kids as "problems" instead of THEIR children in need of education--the battle may already be lost!

Teacher's who are suffering the most under NCLB are those who care about quality of instruction and equal education for all students regardless of their race, or economic status. This suffering does not even begin to compare to the suffering by the students under NCLB. The hours of unnecessary testing, the endless hours of practicing how to take a test, and the narrow curriculum because only reading skills is allow to be taught. The discrimination against low achieving students in being allowed to be taught Science, Social Science, Art, Music and other subjects. We are in the process of creating a generation of students who do not have the joy of learning or the love of discovery because all they get is more drill. NCLB is not assisting in a better education of children. It is instead forcing low achieving students out of the educational process. What was so terrible about being and average learner? What was wrong with allowing some students to recieve a "C" on a bell curve. Now we raise the standards (this was good) and force every child to become an "A" or "B" student, or to ever after be looked at as a failure.

Ok, I'm with the folks that hate the demands of NCLB. I see the criticism, or worse, of NCLB. But my nagging concern - most of what I see from educators is just that - criticism. The few that go beyond generally offer flowery alternatives in the face of the fact that many children struggle to pass even the basic skills required of the standardized assessments that show compliance with NCLB expectations. What do you think they were doing before NCLB?

Nobody disputes that we should hold all students to the highest standard and work with each to make sure they achieve all they can. Unfortunately, progress is measured by test after test after standardized test. Can you recall even half of when you were tested on in middle or high school? Does it have any relevance to your life now (unless you're teaching it)? And what are the first programs to be cut when the budget shrinks? - music and art. We do our children such a disservice when we place the emphasis in learning on testing and memorizing instead of creating and exploring. I think it's time to teach students the basics and instill a love of learning for learning's sake, give them the tools, then stand back and let them learn.

I am with you JSheehan! The creative aspects are not revered as important under current standards. NCLB only perpetuates and exacerbates existing diparities. Critical thinking and creative assessments will be necessary to our expanding hope and opportunity to students in disadvantaged schools. Novel approaches will be necessary.

I don't know if I can remember anything I learned in 7th grade pre-algebra, but I know I don't remember a damn thing I learned in 7th grade art. Let's not elevate those "creative" offerings into something they were never, and currently, are not.

Ther are benefits to thinking creatively. Ingenuity has been the foundation for many of the benefits that we enjoy today. Irrespective of the field, generative thinking has its place. It is not limited to the scope of an art class, it is in how one thinks about issues and causes impacting our schools and other areas. Critical analysis can be extremely useful and we do not examine the creative possibilities of insisting that our students exercise this type of thinking. It is apparent that conventional approaches have failed these students, and continue to fail them as is evident under NCLB.

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Recent Comments

  • Atlanta: Ther are benefits to thinking creatively. Ingenuity has been the read more
  • TMAO: I don't know if I can remember anything I learned read more
  • Atlanta: I am with you JSheehan! The creative aspects are not read more
  • JSheehan: Nobody disputes that we should hold all students to the read more
  • RedSanders: Ok, I'm with the folks that hate the demands of read more




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