Leaving Children Behind

August 12, 2011 at 9:50 AM 2 comments

There are words for people who manage systems that leave out children of color, children of Hispanic heritage, or children with special needs. “Failing” is not the worst of them. Why should we be allowed to reject NCLB as a failed initiative when all it did was catch us in the act?

Since the beginning of the No Child Left Behind initiative, schools across the country have made great strides to improve education. This is good news. We should be proud of those accomplishments. However, we cannot celebrate victory. The children who were at risk remain so, and our efforts have not been inclusive enough.  Our mission has not been accomplished.

The headlines keep emphasizing the large percentage of school systems that cannot make the grade under the increasingly stringent guidelines for NCLB. Educators try to deflect this reality by begging the question and claiming that any benchmark against which there is so much failure must, by definition, be a failure itself. They cite the pain “for the children” of being labeled failures and call for waivers to remove that designation.

Truth is…having a school be labeled a failure hurts the pride of the people who work there, those charged with success under NCLB. What hurts the children is living the life of less educated members of society. And all our requests for relief from NCLB translate into the right to abandon the hopes of those children without getting caught and being embarrassed in public.  

District leaders must examine their collective consciences and redouble their efforts with the struggling children. And having the regulators all over their butts while it happens is just the price one pays for betraying the trust of our most vulnerable kids.


Entry filed under: Issues and Ideas. Tags: , , .

Scientists and Other Critical Thinkers Making NCLB Happen

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lucky Teacher  |  August 12, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    How do the skills needed to pass standardized tests correlate to the entry-level job skills sought by employers? (Beyond those students who are well below grade level in reading or math — but what real effort is being made on behalf of those needs?)

    The classes I teach are project-based; they emphasize problem solving, teamwork, and absolute deadlines to produce a finished product. But none of that can be measured on a standardized test.

  • 2. Making NCLB Happen « SchoolsRetooled  |  August 16, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    […] last post was a bit out of synch with my self-proclaimed no-fault education reform stance. In my haste to […]


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