April 20, 2006

NCLB: Teachers, Either Buy In or Get Out of the Way

As mentioned in a recent post, schools are cheating on statistics about the performance of their students as related to the No Child Left Behind Act. Now, to no one's surprise, we find this:

AP Poll: Teachers Dubious of 'No Child'

Teachers are far more pessimistic than parents about getting every student to succeed in reading and math as boldly promised by the No Child Left Behind Act. That's left a huge expectations gap between the two main sets of adults in children's lives.

An AP-AOL Learning Services Poll found nearly eight in 10 parents are confident their local schools will have students up to state standards by the 2013-14 school year target. Yet only half of teachers are confident the kids in their schools will meet that deadline.

Many teachers, along with their unions, need to support reforms for the program to work. Yet, we see them throwing obstacles in the way of attempts to make schools better and trying to downplay expectations. If the teachers refuse to "buy-in," then they are not acting as team players but as selfish government workers fighting accountability for their performance.

Our kids and our students deserve teachers who are dedicated to success for them rather than mediocrity and status quo for themselves. Maybe we need to speed up competition and allow vouchers for schools that will meet superior goals and are committed to student success. The failing schools can continue to teach liberals, who show no hope for learning.

Posted by Woody M. at April 20, 2006 08:00 AM | TrackBack

1. Vouchers, YES.

2. Status quo, NO. Why? Because it isn't even "status quo." The deal is that students (and massive numbers don't even stay in high school) are getting worse and worse. Note: Don't believe me. Do a bunch of research. Visit some schools. Talk to some kids and ask them questions.

3. Were I a parent of a school age child, I would do whatever I had to do (that was legal) to put my child(ren) in good private schools. But, why must parents pay twice (property taxes for schools and private school tuition)? Vouchers is a way for ALL kids to go to better schools.

Posted by tad at April 20, 2006 10:21 AM

GM's the expert on matters of the mind so I yield to his perspective. In the mean time:

1. No Child Left Behind is not the Teacher's idea, it comes from an external source (the Government).

2. No Child Left Behind implicitly establishes that the school system that predates it is a failure.

3. The Teachers are the ones that created the (failed) system.

Therefore, most Teachers will not embrace nor accept NCLB.

Posted by too many steves at April 21, 2006 04:21 AM

Blaming our teachers for the mess in our schools is kind of like blaming our soldiers for the mess in Iraq.

Posted by E. Nonee Moose at April 21, 2006 02:13 PM

Moose, soldiers obey orders from their superiors rather than trying to subvert them. Soldiers go to extraordinary lengths and make ultimate sacrifices for a successful mission. There is a huge difference between soldiers and teachers.

Education is a mess and teachers have been in charge for years. Who else is to blame? They've introduced useless subjects and tried to lower expectations. Many are lazy or just plain stupid. Education majors have low SAT scores compared to students of other majors.

The school administrators then spend time worrying about kids breaking some "rule" that is frankly dumb--like suspending a ten year old girl who had a Tweety Bird key chain that could be used as a "weapon."

They have a closed shop by requiring perfectly good and qualified instructors to take part in silly and useless education courses. I talked to one person who told me about classes where they had to sit on the floor and talk about "feel good" things. She said that she learned nothing but that she was "buying" her education degree by wasting her time and money on these courses.

Carter's Dept of Education made things worse by moving authority to the federal level and taking it away some decisions from the local boards.

What Bush did with NCLB was to present perfectly reasonable standards for schools and require accountability. How they do it can be left up to the schools--but they either can teach or they can't. If testing is good for students then it is good for teachers.

Keep in mind that when I discuss "teachers" I mean so in a somewhat generic sense. The comments apply more to those who make decisions, such as their leadership in unions and on state school boards. On individual bases, some teachers are good and some are terrible. I don't mean to take anything away from the good ones.

Posted by Woody at April 21, 2006 04:09 PM

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