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No Child Left Behind. Thoughts? Opinions?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
http://www.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml
This might not be a familiar topic to our friends outside of the US, but what do you TCSers in the US think about the No Child Left Behind Act?

I know that most educators (my mother included) are strongly opposed to the act. Because of it, teachers spend most of their time preparing students for standardized tests, not teaching the truly important things. I am NOT a fan.
post #2 of 21
I think it is another outstanding peice of legislation from our fearless leader

In reality it is a load of crap that someone who has no idea what they are talking about did to make themselves feel better at night. A shining example of how by giving it a nice non offensive name, and the herds will blindly follow without looking further.
post #3 of 21
Kinda like "the large print giveth; the small print taketh away."
post #4 of 21
Yes lets test these kid even more, taking more time out of time that could be better used to teach them. It doesn't take into account special ed kids who won't pass at thier grad level in the first place. Then they tell parents that that school failed when in all reality the school did just fine. The test cost $80 each and can not be used again and you can't return unused tests. So yeah.. I don't like it either
post #5 of 21
I have mixed feelings about it. I think the theory is good, but as we often see in the real world there is a big difference between how things work in theory and how things work in reality.

Theoretically, if a teacher is teaching what is relevant to the grade level the teaching method shouldn't have to change for the kids to do well on the test. Reality is that teachers are getting so much pressure from higher authorities to make sure that the kids do well onthe test that the curriculum has become the test itself. That's not right, but that also wasn't the intention.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Theoretically, if a teacher is teaching what is relevant to the grade level the teaching method shouldn't have to change for the kids to do well on the test. Reality is that teachers are getting so much pressure from higher authorities to make sure that the kids do well onthe test that the curriculum has become the test itself. That's not right, but that also wasn't the intention.

As a future educator, I would second that thought. Our "Methods and Evaluation" class prof at my University, explained that this Act cannot possibly succeed. She explained that inevitably SOME children would be "left behind" BECAUSE of this act. She said that not all children can possibly advance given the wide variety of comprehension/learning abilities. ONE teacher cannot perform miracles with 20+ kids. She also said that with each new president, comes a new education reform act. When Bush leaves office, the "No Child Left Behind Act" will too! (This according to her).

All I can say is that my DESIRE is to educate all children to the best of their abilities no matter what they are. I realize I will have to teach to the standards and the tests, but I am optimistic that I will be able to "teach" too.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlover67
When Bush leaves office, the "No Child Left Behind Act" will too! (This according to her).
Counting the days.....counting the days....counting the days....
post #8 of 21
I also am not to fond of it. And guess what?

At my work we answer for "the center for education reform" yup..we are the ONLY ones who Answer their calls. you got it. an answering service. We follow a script..(its generic..i hate it) and we have info sent out to them.

way to go leader guy...NOT
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockcat
Kinda like "the large print giveth; the small print taketh away."
post #10 of 21
a parent of two kids on different educational levels, and am both for it and against it. My Son , is a Honor's student, gifted and lucky enough to pass the state tests easily, My daughter is smart, she doesn't have the ability to breeze by as my son does. Here in Louisiana, we have a test called LEAP for grades 4, 8 and 10th. If the kids don't pass it they don't pass the grade. I see teachers trying to prepare these kids for the test at the beginning of the year, when the test is over, so is school work it seems. I think if the tests addressed what was being taught here, there wouldn't be such a difficulty that there is for lots of students.
I think alot of the problems with these tests are from the home, not preparing their children for tests, Parents need to introduce their children to the love of reading and education early on, don't leave it for teachers to do. On the other hand I think Teacher student ratio, and behavior problems in the classroom also are responsible for bad test grades.
I am homeschooling my daughter, because I don't feel she has had a fair shot at a good education , her teacher was absent for 12 wks or so , last year, the classroom is over crowded, and it seemed that she wasn't taught the material, just read to. I am sorry for rambling, but I think the idea was a good one, that kids shouldn't just pass the grade, but I think that there has to be safety nets with these tests, where the kids are being taught , not just lectured, parent involvement, among other things. cheryl
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
It should also be noted that some kids just do NOT TEST WELL, especially on standardized tests. They could be little Einsteins and still not do well. Sometimes, even reading to them from an early age, etc. will not change that fact.
This whole policy, to me, is b.s. because it just doesn't seem to recognize that different students' knowledge should be assessed in different ways, depending on their learning and testing styles. There is no one way to go about it.
My little brother is a physics major and this spring was awared with having the highest math and science GPA in his college (way to go little bro!), but he didn't do so hot on his standardized tests in high school. He's a prime example of the students that this rediculous initiative is hurting.
post #12 of 21
THis is perhaps off topic but I am amazed at what kids have to take these days. I mean I work at a college and the prep courses they take blows my mind! I remember all you would take to prep for Univeristy was a foreign language and advanced math! What a joke!
post #13 of 21
I don't know much about the act istself, but a good friend of mine is a special ed teacher and I've heard some of her concerns. One of the big ones is that the special kids she teaches ARE going to be left behind because they just aren't capable of the same things as the other kids. Like being able to read by the 2nd or 3rd grade, or do math at grade level. She really loves the kids she teaches, and says they're wonderful, but acknowledges that a lot of them aren't able to do things the same as other kids.
I also worry about the standardized tests...most of them are biased towards upper-middle-class white culture. How are poor rural kids or inner city kids going to score on such a test compared to their suburban counterparts of equal intelligence and ability?
post #14 of 21
I think it is great in theory, but if the program is not funded, it will never work. Most state's education budgets are in trouble and the complaint that I hear is that they can't fund the work needed to make the program successful.

If this is mandated by the federal government, they should obtain the funding for it. That has not happened.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
It should also be noted that some kids just do NOT TEST WELL, especially on standardized tests. They could be little Einsteins and still not do well. Sometimes, even reading to them from an early age, etc. will not change that fact.
This whole policy, to me, is b.s. because it just doesn't seem to recognize that different students' knowledge should be assessed in different ways, depending on their learning and testing styles. There is no one way to go about it.
Exactly Ugaimes, and the fact that teachers are pressured (at least from our college course about BECOMING effective teachers) to teach to students learning style. In otherwords math is no longer taught by ONE method, but as many methods as it takes to make sure ALL students understand math, not just memorize it, and YET, the schools are supposed to ready the children for STANDARDIZED (one way) tests!! I have to teach many ways, but have to prepare the kids to take a tests in the old-fashioned way (memorization of facts, which is essentially the way tests are constructed!).

I for one, never tested well in math. I tended to have test-anxiety (only in math) which completely wiped out my memorization skills during the test!!
post #16 of 21
Do not get me started. this is one of the most ridiculous notions I have ever heard of. How can a child with an IQ of 70 make the same progress as a child with an IQ of 130 or 140?
Grrr..................some of the people who come up with this stuff ought to go into a classroom and teach for a week. I would give them a DAY before they realized the idiocy of this concept.

We cannot work miracles. Some parents think they can drop children off at school and forget it. Children need to be given help at home, too.
If parents do not value education, neither will the children.

Oh, I cannot wait until Bush leaves office.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by batgirl2good
Do not get me started. this is one of the most ridiculous notions I have ever heard of. How can a child with an IQ of 70 make the same progress as a child with an IQ of 130 or 140?
Grrr..................some of the people who come up with this stuff ought to go into a classroom and teach for a week. heck, i would give them a DAY before they realized the idiocy of this concept.
I agree. It's ridiculous. Children aren't all on the same level of intelligence. There is no way they could make the same progress.
post #18 of 21
I am an ESL teacher, and it is very hard for non-English speakers to do well. Students who are here less than a year don't have to take the Pennsylvania test, but that is not much time at all.

It sometimes seems that NCLB is punishing the poor, urban schools and rewarding the rich, suburban schools. It really is a shame that good schools in all areas are judged solely by the performance on one test. It puts huge pressure on the kids, some of whom get test anxiety anyway.

Here is a link to an interesting study from Harvard.

I really think it's time we look at our educational system realistically. We educate a higher percentage of our population than any other country in the world. That makes it harder to be at the top in everything. IMO, it shows our commitment to education, and that we have a pretty sound system.
post #19 of 21
I think it is rediculous and teachers here in Idaho and Washington are spending weeks teaching how to take tests... sorry we should use learning styles all will benifit and kids might actually learn... I did so so in primary school evan though I tested at 91% in the Iq thingy at 11 because the teachers thought I was dumb ...
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by batgirl2good
Do not get me started. this is one of the most ridiculous notions I have ever heard of. How can a child with an IQ of 70 make the same progress as a child with an IQ of 130 or 140?
Grrr...................

Just a note..If a child has an IQ of 70, he would be considered Mentally or developmentally delayed (used to be called "retarded"). A child with an IO of 130 or 140 would be considered a genius...I don't think these two groups would exist in the same classroom. They would both likely be involved in special education..The standard average is about 100.
post #21 of 21
I beleive that this is the first year that high school students in my area are required to pass this test, I think they get 6 tries, I don't know if its good, bad or indifferent, but kids are getting out of high school without being able to even read, and if they can't read they are going to struggle there entire life. Maybe the schools want to feel better when the kids walk out that door, 17 or 18 years old and having to face the rest of there life without the tools they need to have is indeed very sad. And I may be wrong but I think it's like a 8th grade level test.
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