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

Friday, July 28, 2006

No Child Left Behind: Questions for Congressional Candidates

It is time to find out what your Congressional candidates are thinking about NCLB. Don't be surprised if they haven't given it any thought at all. The importance, then, of beginning the questioning process is crucial, since the candidates who win this Fall will be voting on the future of public education some time in the next year. Questions for Congressional candidates running this Fall:

For incumbents who voted for the Bill (House vote here and Senate vote here):
You supported No Child Left Behind when it passed Congress with flying colors in 2001. At that time, supporters of the Bill promised that NCLB would close the achievement gap, create world-class public schools, and make sure that every child had a highly-qualified teacher.

Now we know that the achievement gap has not been closed and that student achievement has not changed substantially, that millions of children have been left behind as labeled failures, that public schools are threatened by flimsy evidence gathered from bad tests offered as a result of impossible NCLB mandates, and that many of the best veteran teachers are leaving the profession, which is now jeopardized by canned curriculums and behavioral control measures that are being pushed by the Education Department.

Regardless of strong criticism of the Department's impossible performance goals that most schools will find impossible to attain by 2014, the Education Department has remained unwavering in its position and has sent strong signals that they, in fact, would heavily favor education privatization through the use of privately-managed charter schools and voucher programs.

Given these effects and these facts, will you vote against reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act? Yes or no?

Feel free to cut and paste this message into an email to incumbents, or call your local campaign offices and ask to speak to an aide to your candidate.

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