"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

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

California Teachers Association Just Says No!

The California Teachers Association (CTA) appears to be the only NEA affiliate strong enough to do what the NEA itself won't do - stand up for children and the public schools. This was written relative to California, but the fact remains that NCLB is a disaster for all public schools, all over the country.



by California Teachers Association (from and ad on Daily Kos)

Don’t Let Congress Punish Our Students, Teachers and Schools - AGAIN

Vote NO on the Miller/Pelosi NCLB Reauthorization Proposal


California educators have supported the Elementary and Secondary Act since its inception in 1965 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed it as part of the War on Poverty. CTA supports improving student achievement, closing achievement gaps and accountability, but when the law was reauthorized in 2002 and was named the No Child Left Behind Act by President Bush, it became a system of sanctions rather than assistance to public schools, students and teachers.

NCLB is again now up for reauthorization. And the proposal by California Congressman George Miller and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does nothing to improve the law. California teachers are calling on Congress to vote NO on the Miller/Pelosi NCLB reauthorization plan.

The No Child Left Behind Act is Not Working. It is Hurting our Students, Teachers and Schools -- read more.

The NCLB reauthorization proposal by Representative George Miller and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does nothing to improve the current law and actually makes it worse -- read more.

The Miller/Pelosi NCLB reauthorization bill will make it harder to attract and retain quality teachers in California classrooms -- read more.

The Miller/Pelosi NCLB reauthorization bill imposes new federal mandates that undermine local control and employee rights -- read more.

Rather than punishing students and teachers, NCLB should provide proven reforms that improve student learning -- read more.

We can’t let the past repeat itself. This law is too important for the future of our public schools.

Take Action NOW!

Tell Your Member of Congress to VOTE NO on Miller/Pelosi NCLB Proposal

California Teachers Association


Read:

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Read the Declaration of Independence From High Stakes Testing


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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 30,000 signatures so far...

Monday, September 10, 2007

"That" time of year...

Yes...it is that time of year...the time of year students - and their teachers - dread...it is time for "The TEST!"

All over Indiana teachers are cramming facts into kids heads in a futile attempt to give them one extra point on the test. All over Indiana teachers are giving kids "test-taking tips" in a futile attempt to get kids to do better by manipulating the process of the test rather than the process of learning. All over Indiana teaching has deteriorated to this mindless, test-driven focus.

In our nation's capital the congress is babbling over No Child Left Behind in a futile attempt to fix the law that has all but crippled American education. Secretary of Education Spellings continues to blather about how NCLB has worked to improve teaching learning and lessen the achievement gap, when, in fact, none of these things have happened.

Standardized testing is no longer used for diagnosing educational needs. It's now just a way of ranking kids. It would be cheaper and just as accurate...and we would get the same results...if we ranked kids by ZIP code. Poverty is the number one obstacle causing the so-called "achievement gap" in the country today. And politics is the number one obstacle to educating children in general.

Poverty, as the media is fond of saying, is no excuse. Gerald Bracey, educational researcher, replies that, true, poverty is not an excuse...it is a condition, just like gravity. "Gravity affects everything you do on the planet. So does poverty." Poverty doesn't disappear. In fact, the number of children in poverty has increased under the Bush administration. The number of children who are being denied adequate food, clothing, shelter and health care has increased. What's happening in Washington?

Yesterday's newspaper had an article about the super-rich...and how it is the "in" thing to buy a $50,000 handbag.

Read the last two paragraphs again...I'll wait...

It's time to close the Bush tax gifts to the wealthy. It's time to pass the No Child Left Unfed Act, the No Child Left Without Health Care Act, the No Child Left Homeless Act and the No Child Left in Poverty Act. That's the way to make sure that no child gets left behind and to eliminate the "achievement gap."

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Read the Declaration of Independence From High Stakes Testing


-----
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 30,000 signatures so far...