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

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Educator Roundtable Says Enough is More Than Enough

A grassroots movement called the Educator Roundtable has collected over 24,000 signatures in a few weeks in support of repealing the legalized child abuse of NCLB. They have archived the comments left by grandparents, teachers, parents, students, principals, academics, and even politicians. The Educator Roundtable will have its first big meeting in Atlanta March 17. Clearly, the ground is about to move.

Here are a few of the comments by signers you may read with the thousands of others at the ER website:

This law is a full frontal attack on public education. It is designed to destroy public education by setting unrealistic goals that could not be reached even if every mandate was fully funded. It is a disaster. Return the schools to local control. As a public school teacher of 32 years, this is the most dangerous piece of legislation for public schools I have ever seen. In my school district standards based education has been turned into a standardized education nightmare where all children are treated exactly the same with curriculum that teaches to a test and eliminates any pretense of teaching kids to think. The price we will pay for this kind of education is a generation of people who will know how to pass a test but have no idea how to solve the problems of our world. Please scrap this legislation now before it is too late. --Patricia A. Kennedy

I have always been passionate about my job, and never felt I needed to be paid for what I do. I no longer find any joy in teaching and feel that I am harming children far more than I am helping them. I have chosen to take a leave of absence for a year to try to heal the wounds I feel from this heinous law. OF COURSE no child should be left behind, but this law is so terribly flawed in its implementation! The government would act just as foolishly if it legislated that no lawyer would ever lose another case, no doctor would ever lose another patient. People are not widgets, or pieces of metal, to be shaped and molded in cookie cutters. There is SO MUCH MORE to education than the passing of random tests. We are dealing with human beings, many of them very flawed and damaged. Educational decisions should, no MUST, be made by educators, not by legislators who have absolutely NO IDEA what the art of teaching, and nurturing responsible human beings, is about!! --Kathleen P. Willis

"NCLB" is an insult to the educational community and to teachers everywhere. "Teaching to the FCAT" is rampant in FL and our children are not getting the chance to explore incidental learning which sparks further study in a particular area. There is "no time" for such things, as it is of the highest importance that the school "score well". It is well known that different children learn in different ways. What works for one may not necessarily work for another. The NCLB ignores this completely & imposes a cookie cutter mold on all students, completely ignoring those "square pegs", who will fall behind because teachers are prohibited from taking the time to teach in an understandable way to them. As far as filtering money to homeschoolers and away from schools, the majority of homeschoolers DO NOT WANT the government to interfere with their children's education. Please keep your money; it is not wanted. I've been on both sides of the fence. My child has been homeschooled & public educated. The NCLB has to go! --Deborah Carter

I am not teaching students to love to read or love to learn. I am "phontasizing" them (shoving more and more phonics down their throat) which is in no way instilling a desire to pick up a book and read! I numb myself everyday to get through my teaching day. More and more curriculum to cover, more and more paperwork that goes along with the "data-driven dialog" that we endlessly babble about. It's sad, we are cultivating a generation of students who hate to read and who are not intrinsically motivated to learn. But heck, they can sure fill in bubbles. --Lorretta Chavez

I'm a special ed teacher...special ed students are being "left behind" with the current law! They are not given what they need to become productive members of society. They are lumped in with "regular" students and asked to perform to a certain standard despite their IQ or disability. Unless someone devises a way to improve IQ, this law is unlawful and does not meet students' needs. --Elizabeth Herren

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!! As a National Board Certified teacher, I am appalled at what we are putting out students through, the discrimination they are facing as a result of this act and the lack of professional respect our educators are given from folks in the government who have never stepped foot in a real classroom! To provide all students with an equal opportunity for learning is one thing and very fair, but to expect ALL students at the same mastery level by a certain age is totally unrealistic! Every human develops individual and unique affinities that make them successful, not all can be measured and determined by a single test score! This act is truly UNFAIR and I expect our drop out rate and teacher shortages will soar! High expectations are great.... but let's get real!!! The other issue that is totally wrong is the constant cut of funds that would enable better education to occur. The kids aren't supposed to be left behind, but there is no money to bring them along!!!!! Enough is enough! --Dana Honea

I am leaving my job of 28 years because of the travesty of NCLB. It is clearly a manipulation by our president to get his agenda in under the radar. He wants vouchers and private schools. We will soon see the destruction on the middle class! --Susan Ford

As a career educator and a parent and grandparent of public-school educated children and grandchildren, I do not object to accountability, but this legislation is not only unrealistic, unfunded, unjust and unequally applied, it undermines the public education system instead of improving and reforming it. The future of our nation, and its children, as well as our ability to provide the personalized, challenging instruction students need to become capable citizens, is at stake. Please stop the destruction! REPEAL NCLB! --Eldene Burrows

The students I have the honor of teaching this semester are so complex -- and delightful in their complexity. What is delightful about the art of teaching is working with students and encouraging the whole learning community to use the imagination to create, recreate the self and the community of learners. Teaching is the art of empowering young people from within. One cannot base a whole child/young person -- dire I say it -- human being -- on such a bill. NCLB disenfranchises students, teachers, school systems, and on. Students end up with such a narrow view of the possibilities of this wonderful life. NCLB does not offer opportunity; rather, the student is relegated to a single number, single tasks, and tasks with rules without a living context. John Dewey said education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. NCLB doesn't prepare young people for life, and certainly, education has become so far removed from life itself, discouraging imagination and promoting education as drudgery. --Anna M. Ragghanti-Crowe

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