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Happy Anniversary NCLB: 10 Years Old

Discussion in 'General Education Discussions' started by LPH, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. LPH

    LPH Flight Director Flight Instructor

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    No Child Left Behind Signed January 8 2002.jpg

    Ten years ago, President George W. Bush signed into law a reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The law known as No Child Left Behind (NCL8), was the President's signature law for his 8-year career. It passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support; the picture above includes both Kennedy (D) and Boehner (R).

    The new authorization required teachers to be well-qualified (as defined by the state) and required students take standardized tests (created by the state).

    Some individuals and organizations criticize the accountability measures, stating requirements were too stringent without a balance of financial support. Others support the law - and suggest funding from the federal government is not mandatory - schools have choices.

    NCLB has been up for renewal since 2007.
     
  2. Robert Heiny

    Robert Heiny Research Scientist of Learning and Education Flight Instructor

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    Kudos to President Bush for signing the landmark authorization of No Child Left Behind. It requires no additional funding, unless a teacher is not qualified to teach and administrators are not qualified to lead their staff to successful ways to increase learning every day for every student. I still do not understand why any qualified educator would object to its requirements, if they asked themselves, "Which children in my family do I want any school to leave behind?" In any case, 10 years is long enough for all teachers to have met the expectations of NCLB. If they can't, why are they allowed in classrooms that ration learning?
     
  3. LPH

    LPH Flight Director Flight Instructor

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    In California, the way school administrators in need of filling teaching positions work around the requirements of NCLB by hiring interns. These are individuals who start or are almost finished with a teaching program. After completion of the ed program, these same teachers complete 2 more years of BTSA training. In other words, during the first five years of being on the job, these teachers are considered highly-qualified by the state of California because they go through almost five years of continuous schooling.

    Now - consider that 1/3 of these new teachers will be gone before they complete their first five years and 1/3 of the teaching force is ready for retirement in the next 5 to 10 years - it'll be interesting to see how job fulfillment works for administrators.

    In terms of teachers in my district who started when Mr. Bush signed NCLB - most are gone from the classroom. They left public schools, left the classroom to become an administrator, or left the district and are teaching elsewhere. It's the constant turnover that makes the cost of hiring and training a teacher expensive.

    But that always leaves me with an interesting question - why would anyone want to be a teacher?
     
  4. Robert Heiny

    Robert Heiny Research Scientist of Learning and Education Flight Instructor

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    Yes, educators change and some become administrators; some don't. Reasons for people becoming educators and their changes vary from personal to systemic in and out of the schooling. These facts aren't new in U.S. public education. What appears new is the apparent contempt that some educators have for their contracted obligation to meet all standards approved by the state and district. I wonder how much these changes and this approach rations or in other ways limits learning by their students.
     
  5. LPH

    LPH Flight Director Flight Instructor

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    I doubt any contempt of a contractual obligation is new. Consider the success of a frontier teacher Catherine Beecher, who in the 1800s argued against social pressures for women to be nurses and seamstresses. Consider Sarah Royce, from Grass Valley during the 1800s, who agreed to teach boys and girls to read and write for chicken eggs and preserves (Enss, 2008). These women were up against odds we can only imagine - and I doubt these women were depicted during their lifetimes as heroins. Now - consider how the actions of those times led to changes in salaries for teachers starting in the 1950s (Cameron, 2005, p. 26). The rise of the teachers unions in the 50s and 60s were backlashes against the idea women were subservient to men - leading to a single salary schedule and changes in working conditions. The real contempt during those early days of the union simply never stopped. Instead, teachers have carried on with their grievances for at least 50 years.

    References
    Cameron, D. (2005). The inside story of the teacher revolution in America.

    Enss, C. (2008). Frontier teachers: Stories of heroic women of the old west.
     
  6. Robert Heiny

    Robert Heiny Research Scientist of Learning and Education Flight Instructor

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    Good points and thoughtful examples. At the same time, an argument exists that the examples cited disagreed with several social mores. At least the last example was self-serving for teachers, and not necessarily directly benefiting students these teachers taught. The current contempt by teachers appears against fulfilling a contract entered into voluntarily at least to fulfill state requirements that all students shall learn to solve specified problems within a specific time frame. Not to do so harms the students without necessarily applying penalties for teachers who fail to fulfill their contract.

    I wonder why this issue has not been addressed directly in court brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. Their failure to act in the face of massive educator use of Federal funds smacks of a fraud, perhaps political abuse of students, or maybe an unspoken conspiracy with labor unions for electoral votes? Who knows?
     

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