Everyone waive to all the children left behind

Posted: February 10, 2012 by nullpointerexceptional in Education, Politics
Tags: , ,

Well BamaBoi just modified the requirements for the “No Child Left Behind” idea by granting 10 states waivers, basically skirting around the law. Let’s assume you know nothing about the “No Child Left Behind Act” (NCLBA) and walk you through some of the important bits of the act. The Act was signed into law circa 2002 by a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed individual in an effort to hold educators accountable for the academic performance of their students. The law is pretty simple: that by 2014, all schools receiving federal funding test “at grade level” in math and reading. I don’t see any part of that statement being unreasonable – twelve years is one full academic cycle, meaning kids in first grade are now seniors in high school, meaning that you’ve had more than enough time to change the course of that student’s academic career. Secondly, shouldn’t students be testing “at grade level” already?

The weird thing is that educators have been up in arms over the repercussions for not meeting the requirements. The slaps-on-the-wrists occur on a graduated scale, summarized below (all actions are cumulative):

  • 2 Consecutive years of missing marks – School is labeled as “needing improvement” while administrators must put together a 2 year corrective actions plan. Parents are given the option to transfer students for free to another school in the district if one exists.
  • 3 Years -Free tutoring and supplemental education services to be made available to schools.
  • 4 Years – School is labeled as requiring “corrective action” opening the possibility for widespread staff replacement
  • 5 Years – School administration is transferred to the state or privatized

The role of educators is the preparation of students to be contributing members of society, each academic year building on the previous. Teaching is still a job and in jobs there are always performance metrics to gauge success. Failure to meet the metrics in your job and you get a pink slip – no asking for do-overs or extensions. The NCLBA sets the bar pretty low already (since schools average out student standardized test scores and that average is all that is needed to pass), why oh why are the educators crying the blues on this Act? Because they are being, for the first time, actually held accountable for their ability to educate students and their performance is being measured and reported on for the world to see.

I’ve never been a fan of unions as they often protect longevity rather than effectiveness – the teacher’s union fits that bill pretty well. How many teachers have you heard about being fired for lack of performance? I haven’t heard of any – the law of averages suggests that there has to be at least one bad teacher. How bout, being laid off due to budget cuts? I’ve heard a lot about those but it’s always the newest teachers being the ones cut.  Isn’t it a little backwards to assume that just because a teacher has been in the union longer that they are a better teacher than a newbie?

I’m just saying, don’t leave the kids behind with these stupid waivers – they are the ones being hurt by things like this. If educators couldn’t correct a problem over the course of 12 years why are they still teaching?

 

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