"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Eliminate, don't change, NCLB

Last April Jim Horn (http://schoolsmatter.blogspot.com/) came up with 20 reasons to eliminate NCLB. Every one of the reasons is still valid...and now, with the new congress it's even more important to find a way to dump this law while we have the votes. NEA says we should fix it instead (http://www.nea.org/esea/posagendaexecsum.html), but if you read their fixes they are good but don't go far enough.

The Democrats need to be taught that this law is oppressive to schools and students.

It's not just that it is underfunded...

It's not just that punishments don't work because most of the problems are caused by societal issues and schools can't create jobs, increase the minimum wage and put food in the bellies of the ever increasing number of poor children...

It's not just that the goal of 100% "proficiency" by 2014 is statistically impossible...

It's not just that the law has led to the increase in the achievement gap it was supposed to reduce...

It's that the law is punitive, mean-spirited, and threatens to dismantle a public school system that it took 200 years to build.

The Democrats need to take the lead in dismantling this disaster, but they are, instead, supporting this law. Led by George Miller, the Dems are focusing on the underfunded aspect of the law. A bad law, fully funded, is still a bad law.

Now is the time for us, the teachers, the parents, the patrons of schools, to touch base with our representatives and let them know that there is no excuse for supporting a law that threatens the very future of the public schools in the us. We have to teach them.

http://capwiz.com/nea/in/state/main/?state=IN

20 Reasons to Eliminate NCLB

An education policy built on impossible performance demands that assure the failure of the majority of American public schools should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that has the same impossible demands for most English-language learners and special education students should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that traumatizes children, destroys the desire to learn, and corrupts the purposes for learning should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that uses fear, intimidation, and retribution as motivation should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that uses a single assessment once a year to make life-altering decisions should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that ignores poverty as a chief determinant in academic performance should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that creates two different school curriculums, one for the children of the poor and one for well-funded successes, should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that uses skewed and manipulated research from the National Reading Panel to devise a national reading strategy should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that uses the strain of test score competition to undercut public cohesion and civic commitment to democratic goals should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that shrinks the American school curriculum to two or three subjects that are tested should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that discourages diversity and encourages homogeneity in schools should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that supports the use of tax dollars to fund private schools rather than public school improvement should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that advocates the use of public money to pay private contractors to run public schools should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that is built on unfunded and under-funded mandates should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that reduces or eliminates local and state decision making by citizens should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that mandates that military recruiters have access to student information should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that inflames a teacher shortage in order to replace professional teachers with individuals who have passed a teaching test should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that is used to reward tax dollars to insiders and cronies for their political support should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that uses paid propaganda to advance its agenda should be eliminated, not reformed.

An education policy that puts test scores in the place of the intellectual, social, and emotional growth of America’s children should eliminated, not reformed.

10 Action Strategies for Eliminating NCLB

Hold a public forum in your community to explore and explain these points.

Organize community and neighborhood potluck dinners with teachers and parents to talk together about how NCLB is affecting children and school.

Persuade your organizations to pass resolutions calling for the repeal of NCLB based on these points.

Collect signatures on a Petition to Eliminate NCLB based on these 20 points. Publicize your results in the local media and send copies of resolutions and petitions to your local and federal elected officials.

Write letters-to-the-editor and op-ed pieces for your local and regional newspapers, making these points.

Get your local school board to pass a resolution or hold a community forum about eliminating NCLB.

Contact your U.S. senators and representatives about eliminating NCLB: Call them, write or email them (send these points and other information), and set up meetings with them in your district (bring a group of children).

Contact your state legislators to enlist them in the effort to eliminate NCLB; get state legislatures to pass resolutions.

Parents: Join the NCLB-mandated Parents Advisory Board at your child’s school. Bring the 20 Reasons to Eliminate NCLB to begin a dialogue.

Organize a public protest or march on test days or days given over to test preparation.

No Child Left Behind is leaving thousands of children behind!
Dismantle NCLB!
Sign the petition by clicking on the link on the side.
More than 23,000 signatures so far...

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