Ms. Spellings, I believe your unfounded accusations and catchy one-liners pale in comparison to the hard bigotry of slashing education funding, shifting of tax burdens onto lower-income citizens, and shamelessly dismantling our social safety nets; all of which flow ubiquitously from your side of the isle.
You say No Child Left Behind “asked something simple” of our schools – to educate 100% of students to grade-level proficiency. I believe anyone who truthfully thinks such perfection is possible, let alone simple, is an absolute fool who doesn’t know diddily poop about teaching. This includes you.
You say those who “rail against the reasonableness” of NCLB’s 100% proficiency goal fail to acknowledge provisions which exclude certain students from this requirement. I believe you are lying, and I challenge you to provide ONE example of a professional educator who doesn’t acknowledge NCLB’s exclusions.
Furthermore, I believe your glaring lack of classroom experience leaves you largely ignorant of realities faced by educators. I believe – no, I KNOW – that there are countless students with special needs who go unidentified. And some whose parents refuse such labels and forfeit the assistance that comes with them. These students aren’t exempt from NCLB requirements.
I know students who don’t get study time at home, because it takes all their energy to avoid abusive parents or siblings. Some teens must work full time to support the household. They have scant time for sleep let alone for study. School is important, but it always ranks behind food and shelter. These kids aren’t exempt from NCLB requirements.
Some students only attend school to sell or buy drugs. Others don’t show up at all. Still others show up but don’t care. Believe it or not, Ms. Spellings, when a kid fills in “ACDC” over and over again on his test; that tends to have a negative impact on his score. Yet none of these kids are exempt from NCLB requirements.
One of my students was “unschooled” until age 15. I believe the fact that he didn’t learn to write until ninth grade negatively impacts his standardized test scores. This deficit doesn’t mean I’m a lousy teacher. Nor does my acknowledging the existence of this deficit mean I’m a lousy teacher.
NCLB judges individual school buildings based on student test scores. Inherent in NCLB’s “reasonableness” is to completely ignore the effects – good or bad – that earlier school experiences have on later academic outcomes.
It continues, but it so well written. Teachers say these things again and again though, and it feels like the decision-makers and public never listen.