wasting bandwidth since 1999

Nowhere To Run To

One more example of why the one-size-fits-all approach of No Child Left Behind doesn’t work. DC Public Schools has as many as 80 failing (err… "low performing") schools and has begun notifying parents of their right to transfer their kids to other schools.

The problem is that there aren’t a whole lot of places for them to go, especially for high school students. Of the city’s twelve high schools, only four are not on the failing list. And while there are non-failing elementary and middle schools to choose from, most are not a whole lot better than the ones these kids will move from.

This is just one of the fallacies of NCLB. The law assumes shuffling kids around to a new school will magically improve their learning (or at least their test scores – not the same thing!). In the case of DC – and many other big city school systems – more substantial changes are needed.

School leaders and city politicians in many places like DC have not shown they have the understanding, willingness, courage – whatever – to make substantial changes to the educational program. Instead of trying a variation on the same old thing, maybe it’s time to wipe out the whole system and start from scratch. Especially with new leaders.

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1 Comment

  1. R.D. Hill

    08/02/2006-10:10 a.m.

    Dear Sir:
    Our local school system has finally gotten off the
    Georgia Report Card as failing to me AYP.Though we have
    struggled, it is beginning to pay off.
    I like the testing! Why? Because it is forcing our
    schools to focus more on educating the children and less on
    touchy-feeling gimmicks that talk of diversity and the
    whole-child and act as if education is not the main goal.
    Our superintendant annouced in a meeting yesterday that no
    new vendor-sold programs will be used this year. At last,
    it has finally been recognized that if you are not educating
    kids in the basics then they will not be ready for this
    fiercly competive world.
    I have noticed that some of our more popular teachers
    that did not make the kids do a whole lot,have decided to
    move on.
    Yo! do-nothing teachers were the ones who
    dealt in gossip and gave the kids lots of free time. They
    criticized working teachers as being too hard. Unfortunately,
    if the kid liked the teacher, the parents did too. They
    never seemed to ask why these creeps were so popular.

    Thanks,
    Russ Hill
    Teacher of the Gifted and anti-gimmick guy.

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