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

Monday, April 27, 2009

NCLB: Mind-Boggling and Absurd

From the Boonville Standard in the heartland of Indiana:

Warrick County Superintendent Brad Schneider criticized the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act last night at the school board’s regular meeting, going as far as calling it “mind-boggling” and “absurd.”

Schneider railed on the federal accountability law saying that it isn’t right that if a school meets 20 of the 21 required standards that they are labeled as a failing school.

These standards include things such as the categorization of certain student groups — free/reduced lunch, special education, race, etc.

“I don’t think people understand that,” he said. “If you’re below that cut score of the percentage of students passing (in one subsection), you are considered a failing school. That’s about like telling GM or Ford that if they have one lemon car, they are failing and we are going to put you under sanctions.”

Schneider added, “But that is No Child Left Behind.”

. . . .

The provisions set within NCLB state a goal of 100 percent proficiency by all students by 2013-14.

“Hopefully, we can get some changes to that law,” he said. “Trust me, I’m not sitting up here trying to put down any accountability because I am one that believes in accountability. We as educators need to be held to a high standard, but I think that we ask to be measured in a fair manner. Let’s be judged on what we teach our children and what our children achieve, not some number that somebody came up with in some ridiculous rule that we have to abide by.”

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