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.