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

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Spellings: NCLB "Is 99.9 Percent Pure _________"?

If you answered, "or something," you are the winner. Oh, you answered, "bulls*%t," then go the corner and concentrate on your lack of phonemic awareness--or something.

Obviously, the support for NCLB's FEMA-esque rescue of American schools has not sunk in yet over at ED, where denial of the obvious and staying the course remain the official line. Here is a bit of the story:

WASHINGTON -- Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said Wednesday the No Child Left Behind Act is close to perfect and needs little change as its first major update draws near.

"I talk about No Child Left Behind like Ivory soap: It's 99.9 percent pure or something," Spellings told reporters. "There's not much needed in the way of change."

Spellings' comments signal what amounts to the Bush administration's starting position as the law comes up for renewal. That is scheduled to happen as soon as next year.

It is unsurprising that Spellings strongly supports the law. She helped craft it as President Bush's domestic policy chief and now enforces it as the top education official.

Yet her view that the law needs little change is notable because it differs so sharply from others with a stake, including many teachers, school administrators and lawmakers . . .
How do I count the ways?

1 comment:

  1. I like to say that Spellings' analogy to Ivory soap really spells out her prejudice along with the administration's own biases. Reg Weaver noted that the if the law stays-put then thousands of teachers are penalized because they are not HQ. I feel that law is going to scare a lot of minority teachers away, ending the diversity that we have been trying to attempt to reflect our population.

    I use my own situation as an example: I have BA, M.Ed, and currently working on a doctorate. I do have a math degree - but I did take Calculus and Finite Math in college as an undergrad. My "scores" do show that my students are able to pass the "test". As for percentages, 99.9% of my students go on to college. I really do not think I need additional education than what I am currently have - I feel I have a success rate; however, if Spellings & Bush would like to fully fund my next degree, I will take them up on the offer but it must be around my family now.

    I also like to point out that Spellings does not advocate for public schools at all - her own children attend private schools in the Washington area. She doesn't trust us and I know I don't trust her. I really wish reporters would ask her this question: If you believe that NCLB really works, why have you not sent your children to a school that has made AYP?

    My other question is why are there not more minority teachers voicing there concern about being discriminated against. Many only had a few colleges to select from if they are in the 50 age group; therefore, program of studies were limited. I hear this from my colleagues but I don't see the battle cry yet.

    Dr. Horn I am ready for a march onto the Dept of Education's doorstep!!