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

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

NCLB Must Be Stopped in 2007

A growing number of people have come to realize that NCLB is the greatest threat to public education in America today. With its built-in schedule of guaranteed failure that culminates in 2014, an erosion of support for public schools will accompany that death march. Reauthorization next year will bring an end the dream of a publicly-funded non-sectarian school system for all children that celebrates all the differences that make America great, while inculcating a deep civic and political solidarity under a just Constitution that makes all those differences possible. This is the dream that is at risk and the hope that is being sacrificed in the name of a phony accountability system that uses the failure of poor children to wage a war against them and their schools.

Unless NCLB is dismantled next year, the erosion of public support will creep from the urban centers into the suburbs, where failure awaits those who are too blind to see it coming. Unless reauthorization is blocked next year, the public school system will gradually and inevitably burn out on the death march to 2014, ending this part of our civilized democratic ideal, to paraphrase Eliot, with a whimper instead of a bang.

From Decatur, Alabama:

If Congress renews No Child Left Behind next year, a majority of schools will face a "failing label," said Susan Salter, director of member services for the Alabama Association of School Boards.

She spoke Monday night to a meeting of District 8 school board members at Decatur's Holiday Inn.

Law's goal

The goal of the NCLB law is for every child to perform at grade level in reading and math by 2013.

"The critics will use this as proof that public education needs to be abandoned," Salter said at the meeting of county and city boards from Colbert, Cullman, Franklin, Morgan, Lawrence, Limestone, Lauderdale and Winston counties.

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