I keep looking for NCLB's Achilles heel. I think it has two: (1) testing of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students and (2) testing Learning Disabled (LD) kids at grade level. When I give my talks on education and NCLB, the majority of people I speak to are outraged that non-native speakers of English and kids who do not read at grade level are required to take the same test as their native speaking and non-LD peers. Doing so makes zero sense. People get this.
Of course, those who stand by this idiotic, brutal practice do so because they believe that "all children should be held to high standards." Those who oppose the practice, they say, are guilty of "the soft bigotry of low expectations."
Here's what I propose. Those who wish to test LEP and LD children at the level of their chronological peers should be required to translate several short passages from the ancient Persian philosopher Rumi from Farsi to English. I recognize that this might be challenging. But I believe that we should hold educational policy makers to high standards. If you object to this proposal, then you are a racist bigot who does not believe that all educational policy makers can learn.
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
Saturday, August 05, 2006
All Educational Policy Makers Can Learn
at 12:01 PM
Peter Campbell is an educator, academic technologist, and parent. He holds a BA from Princeton University and an MA from New York University. He has been involved directly or indirectly in education for more than 25 years. He currently works for Blackboard, Inc. as a Regional Sales Manager in the Collaborate division. Before joining Blackboard, Peter served as the Lead Instructional Designer and the Director of Academic Technology at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Immediately prior to his job at Montclair, Peter served as the Product Manager for an educational start-up (Learn Technologies Interactive). In this role, he oversaw the design and development of a K-12 learning management system, e-learn.com. His passion for education was forged back in 1987. He began teaching for The Princeton Review, then moved to Tokyo and taught English at a Japanese high school for two years. He later moved to New York City, where he worked as an adjunct in the speech department at Manhattan Community College. He went on to teach writing at the U of Missouri in 1995, and it was there that his interest in educational technology was born. Views expressed here are solely those of Peter.