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

Saturday, May 20, 2006

NCLB Hearings a Total Farce

Lawmakers say they are willing to work on the No Child Left Behind law by providing "more flexibility" but if the kickoff of hearings on Capitol Hill this past week is any indication of things to come, the rhetoric doesn't jibe with reality.

At this point, the only signs of flexibility came from a gym teacher who has his student jumping through hoops:

Garrett Lydie, a physical education teacher from Laurel, Del., explained how he integrated math and reading into his classes, having elementary school students spell words and solve math problems while climbing a wall.

"During many of our physical activities, students apply the concepts they are learning in areas such as math, science, writing, reading and social studies to achieve a goal," said Lydie, the 2006 teacher of the year in Delaware.

Parading teacher of the year Mr. Lydie before the House Education & Workforce Committee, sent just the right message to all those whiny teachers complaining NCLB has narrowed the curriculum.

The circus led by ringmaster
Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-CA, who chairs the committee, admonished those pesty clowns on the other side of the aisle who complain there isn't enough funding:

But the issue of money kept creeping into the discussion.

"Without adequate and stable funding ... I can't get the needs met," Mickey Garrison, an elementary school principal from Roseburg, Ore., told the committee.

Democrats have long complained that the law has not been fully funded, while Republicans argue that federal spending on education has increased significantly since the law was passed.

"I think that when you talk to people, no matter what we give them, it's not enough," McKeon said. "We have backed this up with resources and we will push for more resources. But it's not all about resources."

Rep. George Miller of California, the education committee's top Democrat, said funding will be a critical issue as Congress works to renew the law.

"Where is education on the priority list of this government?" Miller asked.
The House narrowly passed a 2007 budget early Thursday that calls for cutting federal spending on education by more than $5 billion, about 7 percent.

McKeon said he has no specific plans for changing the law's requirements. "I don't have any ax to grind, other than to improve the law," he said.
With George Miller, the leading Democrat saying "its a waste of time for critics to argue the law should be scrapped" and Republicans insisting that "it's here to stay," teachers will just have to learn how to do the high wire so they can survive in this world of bread and circuses.

To voice your opinion and throw your hat in the ring - contact members of the Committee at http://edworkforce.house.gov/

1 comment:

  1. Can't help but wonder if Mr Lydie is Highly-Qualified to teach math and reading...