Just when you thought every conceivable damaging consequence of NCLB's ill-conceived draconian policy has been exposed, the mighty Michael Winerip shines a spotlight on the latest casualties in this war on public education. The children left behind are 90 lucky Somalian refugees in Springfield, MA, who along with their famlies, managed to escape the horrors of refugee camps in their native country. Now they sit idle and isolated in American classrooms.
You see, placing them all in one school where they could thrive and prosper with the necessary ELL services, might make another superintendent look bad when the school is labeled failing because the Somalians can't pass "the test." As Congress schemes on how to attack a new group of the most vulnerable in 2006 through immigration reform , lackeys like Tom Horne in Arizona haven't given up on doing their dirty work. Despite a fine of $500,000 a day and a school board clearly ready to heed a judge's order, Horne is not giving up on holding these kids and their teachers accountable -- no excuses.
From Winerip article:
"For two years, local advocates for the Somalis -- including Dr. A.B. Odutola, Doreen Fadus and Jean Caldwell -- have repatedly asked that the children be clustered in a few schools to maximize translation support and reduce travel time for translators.
Springfield officials have given a variety of reasons for not doing so. Last spring, according to Mrs. Caldwell, school officials said that clustering too many Somalis at one school would bring down its scores on state tests and the school could be labeled failing under the federal No Child Left Behind Law. Mrs. Caldwell, a retiree who does volunteer work for several Somalian families, has filed a complaint with the federal Office of Civil Rights."
Is anybody home?