An editorial in this morning’s Post tries to justify why No Child Left Behind should be modified but not repealed.
They get off to a pretty bad start in the very first paragraph.
NO ONE in his right mind would demolish his home because it had a leaky basement or it needed new carpeting. But that’s the approach being advocated by those who find fault with the No Child Left Behind Act. The federal law is not perfect, but its architecture of educational accountability, transparency and equality is sound. With the law up for reauthorization this year, Congress should be debating how — not whether — to continue this landmark education initiative.
Sorry, but the “architecture” of NCLB is far from “sound”.
One of the fundamental concepts on which this law is built is the idea that standardized testing, and threats of sanctions based on the outcomes of those tests, lead to to the improvement of education in this country.
It won’t and there’s no evidence demonstrating that such a program has ever worked.
After running through some of the political implications of this debate, the writers finally stumble across the other fundamental flaw in this mess of a law
The law’s original goal of 100 percent proficiency by 2014, while laudatory, may be unrealistic.
Other areas cry out for improvement. Schools that are failing need help in the form of guidance and resources, rather than just sanctions, if they are to improve. Students most in need of quality teachers still aren’t getting them. Provisions to get extra help for struggling students, such as private tutors, are not being applied the way they should.
The creators of NCLB hold dearly to a philosophy which says that all children, all schools, all teachers are exactly alike and should be treated as such.
Anyone who’s actually been involved with education at the classroom level knows that idea is also 100 percent crap.
In the end, perhaps the only thing this editorial gets right is when it calls NCLB a “landmark”.
However, this landmark is an eyesore that is making public education worse, not better. It’s also obscuring any hope of genuine reform for teaching and learning in this country.