Thursday, July 15, 2004

No Childs' Left Behind

A recent study, by the non-partisan Education Commission of the States, shows most schools are adapting to NCLB. The same report does indicate a problem area for most states, however.
One of the 40 requirements of NCLB is to have a "highly qualified" teacher in every classroom. All states have trouble with this requirement, with many not even having defined standards for a "highly qualified teacher".

The complaints I hear from teachers is that NCLB is underfunded in their schools and standards are unrealistic with the vast majority of parents displaying apathy toward their child's education. But I see in the local news how previously phased out, high salary administrator jobs are being recreated, rather than spending the money on teachers or classroom materials in the district.

The overall view of the study indicates "48 states have met or are partially on track to meeting 75% of the law's requirements - a 109% increase over 2003. All 50 states have met or are "partially on track" to meeting half of the 40 requirements. Five states - Connecticut, Kentucky, New York, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania - have met or are partially on track to meeting all 40."
Still, the lack of "highly qualified" teachers in every classroom might make the difference between a child being the product of the No Child Left Behind act or being a product of the title of this article.


At 12:23 AM, Blogger Brian said...

NCLB is a flawed piece of legislation like every other education bill that has passed Congress in the last 40 years. But its not all bad by any means. There should be basic standards that all states and schools should meet. I believe in local control of schools, but there has to be some type of accountability in place.

I've worked in five schools in three different states. The people I've worked with are some of the best educators you'd ever hope to meet. They work hard and really care about the kids. Sure, there are a few rotten apples, but most teachers want to do the right thing by their students.

NCLB puts pressure on school boards and the community to make sure that their school is doing everything it can to educate ALL students. That isn't a bad thing at all. Testing isn't the total answer and it doesn't measure everything about how effective a school really is. But used properly it provides valuable data to help teachers improve their instruction, school districts to allocate resources effectively, and parents to see what their child's strengths and weaknesses are.

At 5:03 AM, Blogger Joel Gaines said...


Thanks for commenting. I knew I would be hearing from you. :) Notice Oklahoma? :)

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Joel Gaines said...

My Sister-in-law, who is an awesome teacher, says:

"If you have a gifted student, forget about an appropriate education. Because the emphasis of No Child Left Behind is on end results (test scores), administrators no longer care about growth. So...if a child enters third grade and already tests at a fourth grade level, there is no need to educate that child or for that child to make growth....he has already achieved the end result. Teachers are told to spend their time helping the lower students catch up, so while no child is left behind, no child is able to get ahead. This is even more upsetting when you find out that the group of students at the highest risk for dropping out of high school is NOT your low kids, but your gifted kids.

As for highly qualified teachers....where is the money for this? Why is there not some form of stipend for teachers who are interested in seeking a masters degree? On the salary that we give teachers, it's incredibly difficult to further their education. Corporations offer bonuses and reimbursement for employees who take classes to keep current in their field, but schools don't.

Sorry, had to comment, this law makes me so angry"


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