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February 01, 2010

Comments

Wow, your article seemed to me an even-handed look at the issue until your last statement. "No good will come . . . Nor will any students benefit academically. ." Simply by making some blanket statements, you guarantee yourself to be wrong. I am no fan of unions of any sort and the teacher's union is no exception. Nonetheless as the mother of three children in the public school system I can assure you that 100% proficiency by any time frame is a ridiculous goal. As much as certain people do not wish to acknowledge it, there are students out there who will never meet certain standards. That does not mean they are not entitled to the best education possible. Also, in rebuttal that a more nuanced approach has no place in education. I personally know and lived with a conservative christian former teacher who coached her students through the standardized testing because she was afraid of them doing poorly. I do not believe the current system works except under ideal conditions. The students must all have minimum capabilities that does not take into account their personal situation and the teachers and administrators must be completely moral in their actions. I think that such standards are impossible in any world inhabited by fallible human beings.

Legislation should always heed the warnings of teachers, unions or not. And, it is about time "large new amounts of money" be thrown at the public educational system. How can anyone support No Child Left Behind and not this? It's okay, I suppose, when your party and president are in charge.

Well Gina, have you ever taught? Have you ever taken classes about teaching? It is so funny how you people can pass judgement on teachers, but you have never done it before. Yes, your right some teachers will agree with you, but most of those teachers have only worked in private schools, they have never worked with special needs children. They have the complete support by the parents. Have you or any other person that agrees with you worked with 30 kids in a classroom where some of them are more worried about being beaten when they get home instead of what you are teaching them? I love how you people can pass judgement, but have never done it yourself. Unless you have worked in a REAL public school setting and understand every child, stop judging the teachers. I am fed up with people like you, if you can make such a difference, then get your teaching degree and go into the classroom and teach for a few years! Otherwise shut your mouth and stop judging!! Any half intelligent person knows that not every child can pass a written test, there is a thing called multiple intelligences. Written tests does not cover all of that. Look it up and learn it.

NCLB has been attacked by not only so called leftist unions but also by the right. Utah (hardly a leftist stat) sued for it being underfunded as did CT which is on the other side of the political line. I know it is the unions fault. Remember the union does not sit alone at the bargining table but rather opposite people elected by their local voters. Also unions are a right so they are not going away. Also with almost 50% of all teachers retiring in the next 10yrs unions will gain even more strength as there are fewer and fewer that will qualify as to most state teachers standards. I am not a teacher but one of those elected that sat across from them at bargining time.

Welcome to the Widget Nation. And they worried about communism...

When will people realize that we can't all be firemen?? We are a nation that idealizes individuality, and yet are pushing every child, regardless of their ability level or even interests, to be scholars because scholars need jobs? We need to bring back vocational programs, and manufacturing to this country instead of letting greedy corporations ship off our jobs and our kids' futures. Teachers aren't the problem. Corporations have ruined this country with their greed, and they are going after education because it is the last thing that they haven't ruined. People like you support them.

I'm a teacher in a low-income school. Our students make AYP each year, so I'm not speaking out of anger or dismay. You need to know however, that time formerly spent teaching turns into chronic testing to meet AYP.

NCLB has many flaws, but you would not know that unless you worked as a teacher. NCLB sounds great on paper, but has been a real disappointment.

Obama isn't the one single person identifying what is important here in reforming the Act. Congress is the body of people that will be in charge of the reformations, not Obama himself, though I'm sure he will be kept up-to-date on progress made, he'll have some say, and it may turn into somewhat of a pet project of his. Now that I said that..

The No Child Left Behind Act is a program developed by people whose eyes were bigger than their stomach, so-to-speak, in my humble opinion. There are some great parts of the program, such as making sure that teachers and instructors are qualified in subjects they teach, but most of the Act is dependent on children passing assessment tests every year and that's just about it; passing tests. This has led to teachers teaching to-the-test rather than what is required by the syllabus and curriculum set by school boards. Also, schools are constantly fudging results so that their funding doesn't get cut -- they have problems passing, but then they get even less money in their budget for the following year? How are they supposed to improve when technology and textbooks are outdated? How is this supposed to happen when fine arts classes are being cut to make room for more "math, science, and reading" that the tests focus on? Schools are ALSO focusing on those three subjects with more scrutiny! Doing well in reading and having high comprehension is KEY in doing well in any subject and any walk of life, but children, as well as college students and people in general, NEED every option available to them. They need photography class, they need home economics, they need physical education, they need world geography just as much as they need language arts, mathematics, and science classes. Conservatives and liberals, children and adults alike, options will give children a path to follow and lead them to be better suited for college and a future careeer.

How many people consider themselves to be intelligent, but can ONLY show or express their performance on a test? Some people have test anxiety, some people just don't feel confident and it may hurt their focus during testing, and other people simply show much more of what they learned in ways OTHER than testing. Writing essays or short-answer questions, speaking aloud on a topic, and asking for similar examples of material are just a few ways that children are able to expand on a topic and NCLB tests don't allow for this type of thing. I understand achievment tests and exams that help determine placement into classes or college, and I agree with them, but the results of tests being the focus on a school's budget is NOT the way to go. I'm glad the Obama administration is open-minded to this because the previous admin. seemed oblivious to the teachers that were trying to explain it. The NCLB Act is okay, in my opinion, but it needs a serious overhaul in order to get the type of results our children will benefit from.

BTW I'm a 26-year old college student with my Assoc. Degree in Elem. Education and working on my Bachelor's with a concentration in Mathematics. I am pretty familiar with what I'm talking about here!

Oh.. another thing to think about when you think about teachers.

Imagine if doctors had to perform their job in the way that teachers did:

All patients will be sent to them by the State, no choice in who they get. They will be grouped only by age, not their problems or lack of problems. Every patient must make the same amount of improvement in the same lengeth of time, no matter what illness they have or how advanced their condition was when they came to you.

The patient must enjoy the medicine (homework/turoring for education); no patient should have to take what they don't like. They may not have time to take their medicine if they have other interests. Even if the patient will not take the medication or participate in treatment, you are still held responsible for curing them :)

All meds (homework..) are regulated by an elected board and their only requirement is that they have no connection with medicine (education..). Work will be evaluated by someone who observes you for fifteen minutes, once a year and central admin. offices will really only be there to create more paperwork. Also, the State will determine your salary and it will be decided in the last 15 min of each legislative session. Have fun with that!

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