"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, December 17, 2005

He Ain't No Brent Staples, Thank God

Here is a taste of Marion Brady's commentary that locates NCLB testing within a long-established tradition, beginning with IQ tests, to establish a "scientifically-based" method for keeping minorities at the bottom of the social and economic ladder.

'Straight-cut ditch' schools widen gap in education

Marion Brady
Special to the Sentinel

December 17, 2005

Brent Staples writes about education. His opinions appear in the New York Times. I write about education. My opinions appear in the Orlando Sentinel.

Staples thinks No Child Left Behind is improving education in America. I think it's hammering nails into education's coffin.

I'll grant Staples and other supporters of NCLB this: Because it breaks school populations down by race and requires test scores for each group to be reported separately, the legislation calls loud attention to minority students. If any one minority in a school doesn't make AYP -- Adequate Yearly Progress -- the whole school is in trouble. If there's inadequate yearly progress for two years in a row, the school is in BIG trouble.

This single provision of NCLB has bought the legislation major support from blacks, support I believe is misplaced and shortsighted. The long-range consequences of NCLB will be bad for all students, but they'll be devastating for the very students NCLB's advocates and apologists most want to help.

Read the rest here.

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