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

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

NCLB: 0% Chance of Meeting Proficiency Targets

One cannot imagine a more explicit message to Congress. It comes most recently from Bob Linn, former President of AERA, who has been saying the same thing for 4 years with no one listening:
"There is a zero percent chance that we will ever reach a 100 percent target," said Robert L. Linn, co-director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing at UCLA. "But because the title of the law is so rhetorically brilliant, politicians are afraid to change this completely unrealistic standard. They don't want to be accused of leaving some children behind."

And how do the pols respond to this rude reminder of reality? Just as in the other assured failure, Iraq, the Administration responds with "Stay the course."

How about the Dems like Kennedy and Miller, who took us down this tragic road by signing on in 2001? Do they acknowledge now that the impossible targets were intended all along to undercut support for public schools and to replace them with corporate welfare charters and private school vouchers?

"The idea of 100 percent is, in any legislation, not achievable," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate education committee. "There isn't a member of Congress or a parent or a student that doesn't understand that."

Kennedy added that the law's universal proficiency standard served to inspire students and teachers. But "it's too early in the process to predict whether we'll consider changes" to the 2014 deadline, he said.

Did not Bob Linn say, ever: "There is a zero percent chance that we will ever reach a 100 percent target." What does it take, Mr. Kennedy, to get through to you and your fellow followers?

It is time to write your Congressman, call your school board, sign the petition at ER, keep your children home on test days, and plan your own form of civil disobedience. These rubber stamps in Washington have no intention of doing anything different until forced to do so.

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