No Child Left Behind or Another Bush Con-Game?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by b.c., Jun 10, 2008.

  1. b.c.

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    #1 b.c., Jun 10, 2008
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  2. B_Mademoiselle Rouge

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    How about that War On Poverty?

    Not all children are academic. I had trouble learning as a child, my daughter has special needs that the school addresses. So i can imagine children like myself and like my child are of the many many who fall behind on these programs lowering the success rate.
     
  3. B_JasonDawgxxx

    B_JasonDawgxxx New Member

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    Where are they leaving these children? I havent heard of this before.
     
  4. midlifebear

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    Modern educators have the tools, techniques, and scientific research to back up the methods to help those who have special needs in order to learn. There's nothing to be ashamed of if a child is dyslexic, an overtly visual learner, or -- if you're like me -- basically without the talent to think abstractly in mathematical terms. Even I eventually figured out algebra, trigonometry, and the science of statistics. It was hard. But I did it. And so can everyone else with one a couple of caveats: 1) the school must have the money and the means to address individual learner disorders, and 2) the student must be motivated. If any of you have investigated what goes on at Sylvan Learning Centers, I'm certain you were surprised what type of reward system that particular outfit uses as part of its arsenal of motivational techniques.

    Anyway, the Bush's idea of "edjumacation" is grounded upon some rather foolish blather that we're all created equal and can learn at approximately the same rate. Therefore, there's no reason for any child to be left behind in them thar three R's: readin, writin', 'n 'rithmetic. I will concede the original idea of no child left behind had more credit than what has evolved, but not much. So, we are left with a program that concentrates on passing tests, whether the student understands and can use the information in abstract and practical ways. Us edjumacators call this style of teaching the KAPLAN theory of learning: learning how to take the test and pass, and still not know a damn thing -- except how to take the test.

    And while I'm sitting here on my high horse, don't you dare get conned into thinking that you're particular learning style or "unique" view of reality is what causes a program such as Bush's to fail. After all, he was barely a C student throughout elementary, intermediate, high school, and Yale. Think about it. How could a child of privilege been so "average" all of his life and still amount to such a great failure? Even he has admitted that his influences in whipping up edjumacation programs have been heavily based on information from lobbyists for the evangelical christian movement. There are many among that contingency who believe the only primer one needs to learn to read is the King James version of the bible -- or a version even less authentic. Yup, bible larnin' is all we's a needin' ta fix 'Mericuh. To Hell with better schools, adequate teaching staff (with plenty of special ed and ESL teachers) and safe, up-to-date schools with the money to support them.

    Remember, YOU"RE not the problem (unless your just dumb ass lazy), it's Bush's simplistic system that has more inherent flaws. At least if you're dumb ass lazy, we have ways to motivate you to learn and be a successful student (without inflicting pain, I might add).

    Personally, I think it's rather obvious that the biggest child left behind over the last 7+ years has been Bush. :mad:
     
    #4 midlifebear, Jun 10, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008
  5. 1BiGG1

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    Attacking the President because he and many others support education reform so that children actually learn something in school! WTF? :rolleyes:


    "On education, we must trust students to learn if given the chance, and empower parents to demand results from our schools. In neighborhoods across our country, there are boys and girls with dreams -- and a decent education is their only hope of achieving them.

    Six years ago, we came together to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, and today no one can deny its results. Last year, fourth and eighth graders achieved the highest math scores on record. Reading scores are on the rise. African American and Hispanic students posted all-time highs. Now we must work together to increase accountability, add flexibility for states and districts, reduce the number of high school dropouts, provide extra help for struggling schools.

    Members of Congress: The No Child Left Behind Act is a bipartisan achievement. It is succeeding. And we owe it to America's children, their parents, and their teachers to strengthen this good law.
    We must also do more to help children when their schools do not measure up. Thanks to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships you approved, more than 2,600 of the poorest children in our Nation's Capital have found new hope at a faith-based or other non-public school. Sadly, these schools are disappearing at an alarming rate in many of America's inner cities. So I will convene a White House summit aimed at strengthening these lifelines of learning. And to open the doors of these schools to more children, I ask you to support a new $300 million program called Pell Grants for Kids. We have seen how Pell Grants help low-income college students realize their full potential. Together, we've expanded the size and reach of these grants. Now let us apply that same spirit to help liberate poor children trapped in failing public schools."
    President George W. Bush
    January 28, 2008



    Transforming the Federal Role in Education
     
  6. midlifebear

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    The Pell grants, in this case, are the neocons' way of circumventing public education so parents may send their spawn to private schools, especially private schools with a religious bent on teaching them to be less open-minded and incapable of critical thought. It conveniently bypasses that "swell" idea of tuition credits parents believe they are entitled to because they opt for private schools over public. The "accountability" in the No Child Left Behind Act is easily massaged away using their own statistics.

    Sorry 1BIGG1, but worshiping at the feet of El Presidente Arbusto ain't gonna cut it. However, I'm open to hearing any personal experiences you've had as an educator in any of the school districts in the United States of A. Honest. I really would. Especially if you can concretely connect them to the No Child Left Behind Act. I'm all for education reform. Bush and his "bipartisan" proponents purposefully ignored a giant elephant in the room when they passed that act.
     
    #6 midlifebear, Jun 10, 2008
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  7. 1BiGG1

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    The US had a very narrow-minded way of teaching kids in the past and exploring alternate ways of achievement is a good thing. It’s ridiculous imo to say No Child Left Behind is ”the neocons' way of circumventing public education so parents may send their spawn to private schools, especially private schools with a religious bent on teaching them to be less open-minded and incapable of critical thought”!

    We are talking about kiddies here that fail the most basic levels of education and although you will never find a more unyielding detractor of organized religion then me, I totally support any education system that does a better job than the liberal backed public failure we currently have! We can worry about critical thinking skills debunking alleged gods when the kiddies get older as I’m more concerned with them learning the basics first.
     
  8. midlifebear

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    I hear you and understand your perception of failures of the current system. But having personally fought in the trenches (combined 4th/5th grades for 5 years) I can speak with certainty that you've never had to teach a class of "kiddies" which is not a simple 40-hour a week job one goes home from at 5:00 PM and can forget about until 7:00 AM the next morning. Nor is it easy. Something you might think about is donating paper, pencils, crayons, wipe-board markers, paper clips, toner cartridges, that lap-top or old desk top computer you're planning on replacing, and a couple hundred spiral bound notebooks to the elementary school in your area. I'd say "Just write a check," but even I'm not that secure the principal of your local school would be able to put it to good use. Call the folks at the school you might be tempted to donate supplies to, first. Not all note books are created equal. But I've yet to hear of a public school in the USA that couldn't use a couple extra boxes of photocopy paper. Then, when you drop off these bare essentials, ask the principal if his or her school has need of any one-on-one volunteer adult tutors to help individual students during school hours. You don't need much of a background in education to be a volunteer tutor. The school will have the teaching materials available for you to work one-on-one with the children who need the help.

    Think about it. These are things you can do right now that will have a small but immediate effect rather than assuming that the problems with public schools are a direct result of "liberal" teachers or school district policies. In short, put your energy where your mouth is and take on a challenge. After six months as a teacher volunteer I guarantee that you will have acquired a better understanding of the basic problems faced by educators in public schools. Trust me, becoming part of the solution -- even in the smallest way -- is a Hell of a lot more productive than goose-stepping to anything the President and Congress may come up with.
     
    #8 midlifebear, Jun 10, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008
  9. D_Marazion Analdouche

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    The Fed shouldn't even be involved in the first place. Blaming federal programs is just another way of pointing the finger at someone else.

    If schools fail, it's the states fault, call your Governor. I'm not saying this is the situation in every single scenerio, but I blame the parents.

    I've tired of hearing how it's everyones fault from Bush, to the "system". Too many parents today do NOT spend time with their kids and help them, they reply on eveyone else to raise their kids so they don't have to get involved. Both my parents worked their asses off and still found time to sit down with me even for half an hour. If your child fails at school look in the mirror before blaming something else.

    The lack of people having accountability for their families in this county is at an all time high and is frankly disgusting. Get your lazy ass off the recliner, out of the bar, away from the PC and read to your kids. Yes before you ask, I have two sons so I do have perspective.
     
  10. DC_DEEP

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    I agree with a lot of that, Wartrac. The feds should not be dictating educational policy.

    Parents should bear the lion's share of blame in the state of public education in this country. And having been an educator at one time, I think the remainder of blame rests in the policy makers themselves. The majority of school procedure and policy is determined by politicians, not specialists in the field.
     
  11. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    No child left behind. It just sounds so noble when you let it roll off your tongue, doesn't it? That's probably why they named the program that because nobody would want to neglect "the children".

    Unfortunately, the program doesn't work because it doesn't address the main issues regarding our education system. It seems as if they want to just increase the standards in schools, yet not give them the necessary tools to do it properly. It's like raising the ante and the big blinds in a game of Poker while people still don't have any chips. Most inner city schools still suffer due to lack of funding. Teachers are still dramatically underpaid and some kids can't even get proper, modern textbooks. And why push options for private schools that cost poor families even more money, when public school systems would do just fine if they just gave them the funding it needed? It's easy for people to say it's the parent's fault for not getting their kids into the right school and in many instances I'd tend to agree. But some just don't have a choice in the matter.
     
    #11 B_VinylBoy, Jun 10, 2008
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  12. Notaguru2

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    NCLB can be summed up simply as an unfunded mandate. It sure did sound good on the campaign stump though! (fooled again)
     
  13. simcha

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    This is about mandating expensive testing to sink public education. Testing does not teach. Testing does not prove the quality of education. Also this testing is unfunded leaving schools to foot the bill without help. This means that the money must come from the budget at the individual school level, stealing funds from other activities such as providing a balanced curriculum that actually helps the children to develop the ability to think.

    The neocons want a mass of poorly educated people that are easy to control. If you destroy the ability of public educators to actually educate the children in middle class and poor neighborhoods, you create a giant crowd of ignorant people who are easy to control in sound bites with fear mongering.

    The neocons don't want to have to bother to argue their case intelligently in public forums. They want to use slogans and sound bites full of misinformation, fear, and lies that ignorant people will believe. They want people who will react on their base instincts instead of thinking things through.

    Because if you actually think things through you might realize that:

    1) The war in Iraq was based on a lie.
    2) Oil is expensive while oil companies make record profits (at your expense).
    3) Food is expensive because it's being used to make fuel as a half-assed attempt to look like the cynical neocon government is doing something to end our dependence on oil.
    4) The tax cuts of the last eight years have gone to the richest 5% of this country and to big corporations like the oil companies while leaving the poor and middle class to struggle.
    5) Healthcare is run by big large corporate conglomerates including insurance companies who are making record profits off of middle class and poor people's misery without providing adequate care for all.
    6) The mortgage crisis was created by the unregulated financial institutions that neocons want to "bail out" at the expense of (you guessed it) middle class and lower class people who wanted a piece of the American dream.
    7) Your pathetic 3% "cost of living adjustment" erstwhile known as a "raise" doesn't even come close to keeping up with inflation which in the first half of the year has gone past 6% reducing your purchasing power by 3% (6%-3%=3% for those of you who are victims of the "new math.")

    See if people were actually well-educated and well-informed, they'd be mad as Hell. They'd vote this administration and their annointed copy-cat John McCain out of office. Also they'd be demonstrating in the streets calling for justice in the way of taking the Bush Administration to trial and convicting them of the high crimes and misdemeanors they have committed in the past eight years that have eroded our rights that we hold dear.

    Educated people know about the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution. They know that wire tapping was illegal. They know that the Patriot Act and its provisions do nothing to stop terrorism but it does take away rights that we have had as Americans since 1776. Educated people know that water-boarding is torture and is "cruel and unusual punishment" which is proscribed in our body of law and is condemned by the Geneva Convention. Also educated people know that to hold American Citizens without charges indefinitely without due process of law on suspicion of terrorism goes against everything the framers of our Bill of Rights and our US Constitution set forth.

    No, neocons cynically embraced the sarcastically titled, "No Child Left Behind" program to make it impossible for schools to afford to educate the masses in a public format. They want the schools to teach nothing to keep the masses dumb. They want vouchers to send their children to private schools which would actually educate their children creating a bigger wedge between the privileged class and everyone else.

    No, if people in this country were truly smart, they'd be so angry that there would be rioting in the streets and a call to bring down this administration even before it's allowed to finish its term.

    Instead, the revolutionary spirit of our very educated forefathers is dead because Americans have become lazy, complacent, vapid, and dumb. They've become sheep being led to the slaughter by an oligarchic wealthy class that has no regard for justice. When people continue to vote against their common interests, they deserve what they get. It's hard to have pity on working class people who vote for the likes of GWB, GHWB, and Reagan who have done more to destroy worker rights, step on human rights, and bring down the standard of living of those who must work for a living than anyone in the last century. But, such is the programming when you aren't educated in anything anymore...
     
    #13 simcha, Jun 10, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008
  14. Deno

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    I'd call the present education system ... spend spend spend don't worry what they learn. For god sakes our school budget is highter then the entire citys budget. Its time governments get more involved in the school system instead of letting it go unleashed. If it were funded by the government then a little more insight into spending might happen. Recently they were talking about having computers in every class room for every student. Now this isn't teaching students it baby sitting them.
     
  15. b.c.

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    Thanks for the thoughtful and insightful responses to this issue. Most here seem to have a very good idea of what this is all about.

    Pell Grants for Kids. Just a roundabout way of promoting the voucher idea, to provide those opportunites for parents send their kids to "faith-based or other non-public school" at the taxpayers expense (not to mention at the expense of public education as well).

    There's nothing wrong with high expectations toward education and learning. The problem with NCLB is that for one, the Bush adminisitration didn't backup the public education initiative with sufficient funding (didn't put their money where their mouths were) and two, the accountability end of it is flawed because it's based on the premise that all kids can be measured by the same criteria, and that no matter how well a child or school performs, they have to improve upon that performance by a certain percentage every successive year.

    I know of no other profession, be it doctors, lawyers, politician, salespeople, nothing, whereby you are required to improve by a certain percentage over your previous year's (or month's) performance, or be considered a failure if you don't.

    Furthermore, it is my understanding that most educators know that children learn in different ways and must be evaluated sometimes by different criteria. But the tests do not.

    So what ends up happening undoubtedly is that the more successful public schools wise up and teach the test. All excepting those "faith-based or other non-public schools" that provide "new hope" according to G.B.

    Why? Because their schools aren't as strictly subjected to the laws and requirements of NCLB.
     
  16. Balljunkie

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    I have been a teacher for five years. I have taught the elementary level and the middle school level.

    Everything that has been cited is true. The schools are forced to teach the test, offer things for students to come to school because attendance is part of the Annual Yearly Progress, and are bound by NCLB.

    For example, take the following. At my friend's school, they are not allowed to suspend the students that are distracting the other students from learning. Why do you ask? Attendance. The students can be some of the most disrespectful people on Earth, but are allowed to stay because the school doesn't want to be on the failing list.

    I have also seen kids come to school at the age of 4, and not be potty-trained. The teacher had to do that. They don't know their letters, numbers, colors, nothing. These children are already behind other kids that are fortunate to have parents at home to teach them.

    What about 6th grade students that don't know their multiplication facts? How can you teach higher math if they don't have that skill down? Or 4th graders that don't know how to tell time?

    And spelling and cursive writing are dead subjects. There isn't enough time for the students to learn the new standards, and learn standards they didn't learn.
     
  17. B_Mademoiselle Rouge

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    My daughter has been in the public school since her 3rd birthday. We've been very fortunate to have the best special ed teachers around to help with her autism. She has had her progress documented since she was receiving therapy in through the state at 27 months old. I've seen her come so far, but kindergarten was a very hard year.

    This attendance thing got us big time. She had pneumonia and bronchitis atleast a half dozen times and even though we produced a lot of doctors notes, she still missed about 30 days of school and we had the truency officer after us.

    The teachers see that our daughter is very intelligent but some of her disabilities cause her to fall behind the other kindergarteners and our IEP plan had to change midyear to account for this. I have seen the positive and negative aspects of this program.
     
  18. simcha

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    Mlle Rouge,

    You are most fortunate.

    I was a mental health counselor for a middle school and an elementary school for special ed here in the East Bay (California San Francisco Bay Area). I'd have to say that services here vary greatly depending on school and school district for special needs students. Usually the education and services given to special needs students is better than that offered to the general education students. This is because certain standards are mandated that actually make sense for special needs students.

    And I saw autistic children who "fell through the cracks" because of lack of funding for their particular program that they truly needed. It always made me very sad. Being on the front lines in schools working with the most vulnerable populations has opened my eyes to how bad our education system is in this country.

    My Father was a High School English Teacher who taught at the same public high school for over 35 years. He was an excellent teacher in an excellent public school district. Then again, his district comprised the one of the wealthiest areas in the State of Illinois. In Illinois as it is in most other states, education is funded by property taxes. And money generated in a school district stays in that particular school district. Therefore poor areas that have low property values and collect less property taxes have very bad schools in Illinois.

    Even in his excellent school district he taught high school students how to read if they made it to high school without having learned how to read. You'd be shocked at how many kids get through the public school system without learning how to read here in the good ol' U. S. of A.

    And my Father implemented their testing program for No Child Left Behind in his school and because of his cleverness the testing program runs well and doesn't interfere with their ability to teach in that school district (and he has been dead for over two years now and had retired three years ago). Let's just say that when my Dad died two Chicago Area newspapers ran stories about him and his contributions to education in the State of Illinois. I'm not bragging, it's just the truth.

    I'd hear from him how badly implemented the No Child Left Behind program was and how ill conceived it was. He detailed how much money is wasted in his school district alone to meet the unfunded mandates of NCLB. It is astoundingly shocking to say the least.

    I work with homeless youth who have graduated from California schools. I'm always amazed at how much they don't know about their world, history, geography, politics, government, English, math, science, philosophy, etc. It's truly shocking that most kids graduating high school can't find the USA on a globe. These are also the kids who are passing the California High School Exit Exams.. Those exams are a joke. Also it creates a two-tier system of high school graduates. It makes a California High School Certificate of Completion unusable in other states since no other state acknowleges it. Only the kids that pass the Exit Exam get California High School Diplomas. And statistics are showing that the results are disproportionate. Are we shocked? It's minorities and children of working poor families who are disproportionately failing the Exit Exams to get the "Certificate of Completion" that means nothing anywhere else but California.

    OK, that was a major digression.

    It just makes me mad when I hear people who don't know anything about the education system in this country say things like, "Our school budget is bigger than our city budget. The city needs to get more involved in its schools and not let them run away with spending." What kind of crap is that?

    Good education is expensive. It just is. If you really value children and families and the idea that the next generations should know more and have it better than their predecessors, you would spend whatever you can on educating our children. The children are our future.

    Skimp on education for them and you doom yourselves to bad leaders in your elder years who will stick you in nursing homes, perhaps euthanizing you eventually because they don't know how to treat whatever disease you have at the time because they can't even read a medical book. And they won't care because you didn't bother to care about them when they needed you.
     
  19. Not_Punny

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    Seeing as I write/provide materials to salvage the many children who ARE left behind -- and as a parent of kids having to deal with the ridiculous system -- I have to say that it's just about the WORST thing that's happened to the U.S. public school system since its inception 100 years ago.
     
  20. Wyldgusechaz

    Wyldgusechaz New Member

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    Lets not bullshit around. IT'S THE TYPE STUDENTS NOW. It is not the system or the teachers or the lack of money. There are large segments of our parental population that simply do not care about education, period.

    100-150 years ago kids came out of ONE ROOM SCHOOLHOUSES on the damn plains better educated than we can do with computers and electronic visual aids and the internet nowadays. Cause their parents cared. Thats the reason. Blaming the neo-cons is the chicken shit cop out.

    BTW liberal Teddy Kennedy was one of the biggest supporters on NCLB. He did and has to this day praised President Bush for his efforts. Blame Teddy too, but in truth there is no blame, cept for poor parenting.
     
    #20 Wyldgusechaz, Jun 11, 2008
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