No child left behind, 2009

Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 10:03 am
Is there anything happening on doing away with NCLB?

Would you like to see it go?
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Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 03:33 pm
I haven't heard of anything. What parts do you not like, Boomer?
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Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 03:50 pm
Well there should be an amendment/revision in September 2009 but
it probably will get just an extension. I was reading that major teachers' unions are against NCLB, I guess mainly due to the stricter teacher qualifications which left a shortage of teachers as well as building up a stronger force.

I think, basically I am for NCLB as it does benefit those children who have
somewhat a learning disability; they're grouped together and will receive
the attention they need to keep up, it's just at a slower pace.

The drawback I see though is that certain schools might work solely towards
passing assessment tests and the effectiveness of true learning will take a
back seat. So much emphasis is based on achievement goals, as federal funding depends on its outcome.

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Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 04:01 pm
Agree largely with CJ. Unfortunately, public schools are feeling like there hasn't been much $ sent by the fed to help support the sweeping changes demanded of the systems.
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Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 04:42 pm
Honestly I haven't given it too much thought since Mo has not yet reached the third grade.

I've been cruising all this education stuff and came across this:

The subsequent item on his agenda will be fixing the Bush Administration's No Child Left Behind law. His opinion of it: "I think we are lying to children and families when we tell children that they are meeting standards and, in fact, they are woefully unprepared to be successful in high school and have almost no chance of going to a good university and being successful."


I was chatting with a neighbor about it. He's a retired high school teacher but his grandson is in the third grade at Mo's school. Neighbor man said he thought NCLB was a bunch of bullshit and that he was hoping it would go away.

I do recall many of the teachers here on A2K not liking the law much back when it was being hotly debated.
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Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 04:53 pm
Here's President Obama's agenda section on education from whitehouse.gov.


This is the portion that specifically addresses NCLB.

Reform No Child Left Behind: Obama and Biden will reform NCLB, which starts by funding the law. Obama and Biden believe teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests. They will improve the assessments used to track student progress to measure readiness for college and the workplace and improve student learning in a timely, individualized manner. Obama and Biden will also improve NCLB's accountability system so that we are supporting schools that need improvement, rather than punishing them.

These are excerpts from the Press Conference last night that mention education:


Education -- yet another example. The suggestion is why should the federal government be involved in school construction. Well, I visited a school down in South Carolina that was built in the 1850s. Kids are still learning in that school, as best they can. When the railroad -- it's right next to a railroad, and when the train runs by, the whole building shakes and the teacher has to stop teaching for a while. The auditorium is completely broken down; they can't use it. So why wouldn't we want to build state-of-the-art schools with science labs that are teaching our kids the skills they need for the 21st century, that will enhance our economy and, by the way, right now will create jobs?

Both Democrats and Republicans are going to have to think differently in order to come together and solve that problem. I think there are areas like education where some in my party have been too resistant to reform, and have argued only money makes a difference. And there have been others on the Republican side or the conservative side who said no matter how much money you spend, nothing makes a difference, so let's just blow up the public school systems.

And I think that both sides are going to have to acknowledge we're going to need more money for new science labs, to pay teachers more effectively, but we're also going to need more reform, which means that we've got to train teachers more effectively, bad teachers need to be fired after being given the opportunity to train effectively, that we should experiment with things like charter schools that are innovating in the classroom, that we should have high standards.

These are references to education from the town hall meeting in Indiana yesterday:


There are going to be other projects having to do with transportation, for example, in which we may be working directly with local municipalities and communities as well as the state government to make sure that the project is well planned. And that's why we've got Secretary LaHood here, because he's going to be working with the local communities.

The same is true on education funding. We may be working directly with the school superintendent, who I know is here, to figure out where are the schools that are in most need of help and where we can right away get some construction going and get some improvements going. So it'll probably depend on what stream of money we're talking about, but the key is we're going to have strong oversight and strong transparency to make sure that this money is well spent.

Now, having said all that, the single most important factor I think in whether companies are going to continue to locate here in Elkhart and around the country is, what are we doing about education. (Applause.) Because the quality of the work force is probably what most companies are going to pay the most attention to over time. There are going to be some companies that just ship jobs overseas, because it's low -- it's low value-added work. And they don't need skilled labor. And if you don't need skilled labor to make certain things, then you're just going to find the cheapest place. And we're never going to be able to compete against a country like Bangladesh when it comes to low-wage work.

But what we should be looking for is how do we encourage high-wage, high-value work. (Applause.) And there the key is going to be how well we are training our work force. That's why in this recovery and reinvestment package, we put billions of dollars not only to make sure that school districts who are getting hammered are able to keep their teachers, but also we have money in the package to make sure that we are retraining our teachers around math and science, so that they are able to provide our young people what they need to compete in this new global economy, (applause); we have money to make -- create new labs, so that we have got science labs and the latest Internet connections into our schools so that they are part of this modern economy; we have money to revamp our community colleges, which are a tremendous bridge for people who maybe need more training to get these new jobs of the future.

Now, I'll be honest with you, the Senate version cut a lot of these education dollars. I would like to see some of it restored. (Applause.) And over the next few days, as we are having these conversations, we should talk about how we can make sure that we're investing in education, because that's what's going to keep companies investing right here in the United States over the long term. All right?

Now, there's a young man right in front of you here who's -- yes, you. (Laughter.) In fact, I just received a note that this is the last question. Oh, don't be mad at me. (Laughter.) I would love to stay here for a long time, but I've got to go back to Washington and convince everybody to get moving on this package. (Applause.)

Q What are you going to do to help our schools?

THE PRESIDENT: And this is a good place to end, with our future here. What's your name?

Q My name is James.

THE PRESIDENT: James, how old are you?

Q I'm nine years old.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, fantastic. What's your question?

Q What are you going to do to help our schools?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know, I just started talking about that. (Laughter.) So, James, as I said, I think that we've got to rebuild our schools to make sure that they're state of the art. We also have to make sure that we are training new teachers and retraining some of the existing teachers so that they've got the best possible skills.

We also are going to have to reform how we do business in some of the schools. I think it's very important for us to have high standards. I think we've got to do a better job, though, of assessing performance in schools. No Child Left Behind needs to be reworked in a more effective way. (Applause.)

But the last thing that we need in schools -- do in schools has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with parents. (Applause.) Because we can put as much money as we want into schools -- if parents don't have an attitude that says, I'm going to make sure my child does my homework; that I'm meeting with the teacher to find out what's going on; if all of us aren't instilling a sense of excellence in our kids -- then they're not going to be able to compete. And that means young people like you, you're going to have to -- you're going to have to work a little harder. (Laughter and applause.)

Yes. Thank you, James.

No precise transcript available yet from today's town hall meeting in Florida but here are the education highlights from the blog:


12:34 p.m.: First question: how much emphasis on higher education and vocational training in the plan? Answer: there's a tax credit; funds for building or improving public colleges and universities; and emphasis on job training.

This is from the Department of Education's site at

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speaks at the 91st annual meeting of the American Council on Education
February 9, 2009

It's a long transcript so I'll just let you click the link to read it:

Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 05:17 pm
Here's the transcript of Arne Duncan's speech at his confirmation hearing. He gets into No Child Left Behind specifically on page 3.

I know that the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind will be a priority for the 111th Congress. I have seen first-hand the impact of the federal law on our students and schools. I have seen the law’s power and its limitations. I agree with the President-elect that we should neither bury NCLB nor praise it without reservation. I support the core goals of high standards for all " black and white, poor and wealthy, students with disabilities, and those who are just learning to speak English. Like President-elect Obama, I am committed to closing achievement gaps, raising expectations and holding everyone accountable for results.
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Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 09:32 pm
Wow, Buterflynt, thanks! That's enough to keep me reading for a while and I'm sure I'll be fully informed.

You have crazy mad research skills.

The other day Mr. B and I were talking about all the Mo stuff going on and I told him that the conversation the teacher had with him was illegal. He wanted to see the law so I pulled up your post to click the links.

He was amazed that you not only found that information but that you just did it to help us out. So thanks for that too.
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 09:53 pm
setting standard that chilren need to meet to progress is only part of the answer. Children who are not meeting the standard needed special/remedial/intensive teaching. Provisioning all schools with the ability to provide intensive catchup education without this portion of the education system being labeled adversly as special ed or "for the dumb kids" is the real answer.
We will always need garbos, cleaners and other types of repetetive labourers. We also need to change our attitudes to these types of jobs by respecting the people doing them rather than saying "well any idiot can do that".
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Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 10:16 pm
Anytime, Boomer. You and your family sound like my kind of people and I hope we have an opportunity to meet some day.

I also empathize with Mo on a lot of the things he's going through. School was not always a fun place for me either. There were many a year that I went home in tears most days after trying to fit in with others until I figured out that there was nothing wrong with being a loner and that I could easily entertain myself and didn't need to fit in. Eventually a bunch of us studious misfits (what we call nerds today) found each other and became friends.
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Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 03:33 pm
From buttrfly's post:

This is the portion that specifically addresses NCLB.

Reform No Child Left Behind: Obama and Biden will reform NCLB, which starts by funding the law. Obama and Biden believe teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests. They will improve the assessments used to track student progress to measure readiness for college and the workplace and improve student learning in a timely, individualized manner. Obama and Biden will also improve NCLB's accountability system so that we are supporting schools that need improvement, rather than punishing them.

All that sounds good to me!

Teachers are mixed on the outcome of the NCLB act. No one liked it to start. But, many have come to realize that there is some good to come of it -it wasn't a total wash or waste of time.

It does need to be funded, and schools that underperform should indeed be helped, not punished. Those points address my two biggest gripes with the law.
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