View Full Version : Mixed reviews for 'No Child Left Behind' (NCLB)
May 4th, 2003, 11:18am
Accountability, choice, information, qualifications and flexibility are the themes of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. But the law, passed in January 2001, has been met with mixed reviews by educators locally and across the country.
Some fear the federalization of education, more testing for students and meeting the act’s stringent requirements. Others like its accountability aspect and making sure there is professional development of teachers and teacher’s aides. Many state educators agree the requirements will be difficult to meet with looming budget cuts.
Highly qualified” teachers
By 2005-06, all students will be taught by “highly qualified” teachers, according to the act.
This also applies to paraprofessionals, or teacher’s aides, Talbot said. Paraprofessionals hired after Jan. 8, 2002 must have a high school diploma and two years of study at an institution of higher learning or hold an associates degree or higher or pass a rigorous test that demonstrates ability to teach reading and writing to students.
“Research has shown that the more highly qualified the teacher, the higher the achievement of students,” Talbot said.
This is the reason behind pushing for more qualified teachers, Talbot said.
Gutierrez questions the definition of a “highly qualified” teacher. School districts across the state, the county and even credentialing institutions struggle with getting qualified teachers into the classrooms, he said.
“It’s quite a task. I feel pretty good being in California,” he said. “Professional development is the key.”
Some teachers don't measure up
April 12, 2003
BY ROSALIND ROSSI EDUCATION REPORTER
Parents of more than 55,000 Chicago Public School students will receive letters in the coming days saying their children's teachers don't meet new federal standards.
May 8th, 2003, 3:40pm
a co-worker of mine at the restaurant left teaching last year to wait on tables. more money, less stress. she has a master's degree in education, adores children.
highly qualified teachers= highly paid teachers. teaching will not attract the best and brightest until such a time it pays a decent wage!
and while i'm on the soapbox, the local paper is always full of ads for day care workers, no experience, minimum wage.
who's watching the children?
May 8th, 2003, 3:57pm
I actually just finished writing this big paper for one of my grad seminars on NCLB. Although the goal is in the right place, there are definitely some very basic, fundamental concerns over the act. First and foremost, it is impossible to ensure that 100% of ALL students are deemed to be proficient within 10 years unless the definition of "proficient" is quite low. Because the states set their own level of "proficient," researchers are worried that the standards will be lowered, basically defeating the whole purpose of the act. I actually find this policy to be extremely interesting and am hoping to do a study with a professor of mine this summer regarding the effects of NCLB on statewide assessment.
May 8th, 2003, 4:01pm
As a former (and still certified) teacher I can understand why your friend left the classroom. But I also must say that I knew I wasn't going to be paid a lot going in. Any individual going into teaching knows that. Having said that, I wonder if most folks look to see what their hard-earned money is being spent on within the school system. In our local school district less than half goes to the classroom (including teacher's wages). I taught at a "low wealth" (p.c. term for poor) school. The poorer or dumber the students looked on paper, the more funding that "we" got. It was sickening.
May 8th, 2003, 4:07pm
My two cents is worth just that, but - It seems that (locally, at least) quality education means more expensive education. The teachers here in Rhode Island, I believe, are among the highest paid in the country, if not THE highest paid. Yet, many of our schools score very low in comparison with other states. The teachers - who seem to go on strike every year - use the rationale that if they are paid more, they will be able to give the kids a better education. I don't get it. A bad teacher is a bad teacher no matter how much we pay that person. There are plenty of dedicated teachers who have their hands tied because of lack of teaching tools and classroom discipline. But, more pay will not make them better. Otherwise, I interpret that as "holding back" or blackmail. In other words, pay me more & I will give more. I do not have children in school, as I am now a senior citizen, but I see and read what goes on. Also, though I believe children should learn basics at home, with so many single parent families and families with both parents working, parents do not always have time or energy. That old adage - "when I went to school".. well, I learned in school from kindergarten on - not before. I learned just as well, and made honors.
May 8th, 2003, 6:55pm
Maybe if we stop relying on local property taxes to fund our public schools we wouldn't have the problems with our educational system that we do.
Anyone who's interested in this issue should read Jonathan Kozol's excellent book "Savage Inequalities." You wouldn't believe the conditions some kids have to endure--condemned buildings, leaking roofs, coal-fired heart--it's no wonder so many drop out and so many others can barely read.
May 8th, 2003, 7:21pm
O.K. This is coming from the view point of a current teacher. Since I have been teaching every year has seen more and more budget cuts. We have to lose teachers as well as assitants due to a lack of funding.
Along comes Bush who is blowing his horn about "No Child Left Behind". This is a great idea, but hard to carry out with shrinking budgets. How does he expect schools to be able to serve children with special needs as well as regular education children with less supplies and less help. I have to help children who come from "private" schools raise their reading level by 1 or 2 years. I can't do this without books, supplies, and help.
I'm not even going to get into family issues that can hinder a child's education. Or how too much time is spent teaching children manners, social interaction as well as reading, writing, etc..
Due to soci-economics, children come to school on uneven ground. Yes, I expect a great deal out of my students (and usually get it), but the constant testing and threats are tired and don't work. We teach towards the test because we are forced to. Then along comes a new test that makes everything look bad, until we teach towards that one.
Remember when you could enter 1st grade with just a lunch box and your crayons. Now we have children reading before 1st grades. The situation is not as bad as people think.
I could go on for a long time, but I'll try to end it. The idea is great, but the man is full of it. One of his campaign points was education, but his actions prove that his thoughts and money are elsewhere.
Sorry about the rant. A lot ot get of my chest.....
May 8th, 2003, 7:53pm
Have you ever checked to see how much of your school system's budget goes to actual teachers' pay and classroom supplies, etc.? I think a lot of teachers would walk out the door if they saw where the money was going. The school I taught at (just a couple of years ago) was audited. It turns out that tons of money that was earmarked for classroom supplies (basics like paper, pencils, etc.) went to the administration personal travel expenses and stuff like pig pickin's, (I'm southern, other places call that a pig roast, I believe, LOL) that they had on the weekends. I have talked to teachers all over who have shared similar experiences. As a former teacher, I would never argue that teachers should get less pay, but I would urge them to take a closer look at where all the money goes. More and more money is poured into our school systems, but where is it going? And when the budget gets into a crisis the first thing they call for is cutting teachers, etc. because they know no one is going to go for that.
May 8th, 2003, 7:55pm
Ladcraig that is shocking. I can't believe people would deny kids supplies just so they can have a little extra vacation. Disgusting!
May 8th, 2003, 10:01pm
I am at a small school. We don't even have a vice-principal. That means our principal never leaves for any type of trips. She often buys things for the children out of her own pocket, as many teachers can testify to. As for the rest of the district I've heard of missing equipment and other bad things.
I know the school board voted themselves a raise last week, but they had te rethink it. Citizens for responsible Government has gotten a ton of people out of office in Milwaukee over the last year. They are a great pressure on the wrong doers. In order to keep their jobs they had to give that raise back.
I mean hello. The newspaper just announced major budget cuts for the districts and they vote themselves a raise. DUH!!
May 8th, 2003, 10:49pm
We are so fortunate to be in our school district. Even though our state is planning on severely cutting school funding, our district has taken a pro-active stand. They have put so much into our schools in the past couple years to raise the level of achievement by all kids, that they will not accept a step back.
It's a shame that the most important thing for our kids future (education) is also the thing that gets cut down every year. Our district gets less aid than smaller schools around. We work as a community to keep making things better and then we have to deal with these kinds of setbacks.
We also have a large group of teachers that go way above and beyond their jobs to help and I think they should be compensated for that. NO MORE EXCUSES
May 8th, 2003, 11:03pm
I realize that in my usual fashion ( i either try to complicate the simple or simplify the complicated, who knows why) I only touched a small corner of the issue of the problems of our schools- but I stand by my statement. Bright, motivated college students will not want to become teachers until you can make a living doing it.
May 8th, 2003, 11:16pm
Federal Education Mandates
This note comes from Kathleen Lyons at the National Education Association. She writes to Al's Morning Meeting, "One always hears about 'belt tightening' or 'cutting fat' from budgets. School districts are now cutting muscle. Schools all over America are facing the double whammy of bad economy and huge fiscal demands of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program. In fact, some states are projecting they will have to spend $5 to $7 for every $1 they will receive from the federal government to pay for the NCLB mandates." (See this collection of research)
The study says, "NCLB has promised equality for all. Yet in the 10 states profiled in this analysis, the costs for making these promises a reality are far from being met. Seven of the 10 states require new base investments in education of at least 24 percent. The federal Administration has asked for an increase of $1 billion in Title I, but we need at least $84.5 billion if we are to make a realistic effort to leave no child behind. The states, currently wallowing in deficits totaling $58 billion, will be legally forced to take on these added burdens, but they lack the capability. With war pushed to the front burner and another tax cut planned, there is little reason to believe that federal commitment in the form of federal dollars will follow federal rhetoric."
May 8th, 2003, 11:33pm
Hhhyyddd, is right. I now have a Masters in Computer education, in addition to Bachelors in Elem. Ed and Social Studies. What starts at as competitive pay, is no longer so in 10 years. It's going to take me the rest of my life to pay off all those loans. :(
Other professions pass teacher pay quite quickly. Gotta really love the job...