On occasion you can run across some unintentionally hilarious articles on the Internet. Today’s entrant comes from ABC News, and makes you wonder: does anyone actually read and digest what they write?
Five years after it was implemented to help improve America’s schools, Congress is wondering whether to continue the controversial No Child Left Behind program.
Under the program, all schools are required to test students every year in reading and math. If students don’t meet minimum standards, schools must take action. And substandard schools that don’t show enough progress can be penalized — in the worst cases, shut down.
Many critics say the program results in empty “teaching to the test.” But ABC News spent months on an investigation to see how No Child Left Behind is doing, and found something critics may be surprised to learn — in a lot of places, it’s working.
A little oversight isn’t a bad thing. Let’s continue.
The state and national numbers on reading and math show some progress. So on its report card, ABC News gave No Child Left Behind’s central element — testing students to meet standards — an A-.
To be sure, the law has plenty of real problems. The standards themselves got a C. They are inconsistent — usually set too low by the individual states, critics say.
Equal money to schools got a D. Most states still spend more of their money on the wealthy schools.
Improving teacher quality earned a C. Teacher standards are rare — and talented teachers have no incentive to go to struggling schools.
The handling of special needs and non-English speaking students got a C. Those students are forced to take the same tests, often skewing results.
Rescue plans for failing schools got a D. Right now the plans are a band-aid fix, like extra tutoring.
Now I’m confused.
ABC News gives No Child Left Behind an A-. However, the other grades they mention are C, D, C, C, and D.
That’s an impressive curve.
How sad. Perhaps we need a “No Journalism Left Behind” program.
I’ll be honest. I maybe be personally privy to a relatively small sample size, but I can’t think of ONE teacher that likes No Child Left Behind. Not ONE has said to me that they like the program overall, or that they find it to be successful. Worse, if you take a look at the school system where I now live (which is Denver Public Schools), you’d find that it is… oh, awful. Terrible. The drop off in quality between twenty years ago and now is embarassing. The dropout rates are ridiculous.
Hence I’m going to try a plug for a site that I saw on the Internet, and I’m going to soon issue the Bloggers Challenge through DonorChoose.org.
DonorsChoose is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack. At this not-for-profit web site, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn.
We’re calling all bloggers to help us raise funds for these projects. You can create a DonorsChoose “Challenge.” Pick the the classroom needs that speak to you. Your readers will be able to fulfill them. And kids will get great educational experiences.
Hope that it works. Isn’t everything local? Go take a look.