Thursday, January 12, 2006

NCLB as class warfare

No Child Left Behind is the boldest educational fraud in history perpetrated by an administration whose trademark is corruption. Yet why does no one protest?

The math of NCLB doesn't add up, yet no mathematicians step forward to point out the obvious.

The educational value of NCLB doesn't educate kids with anything they need, yet no educators raise a whimper of protest.

If the country were reading with comprehension then articles on the ineffectiveness, fiscal insanity of, and shameful social experimentation on our youth would certainly ignite growing protests and demands that this program be stopped immediately.

But none of that happens. It is as though we live in a totalitarian state of mind - an educational 1984 - in which all news is good news even as we sink deeper into the quagmire.

For those of you still brave enough to read the writing on the wall, here's more:

No Child's Behind Left: The Test
By Greg Palast
The Observer UK

Tuesday 10 January 2006

President Bush told us, "By passing the No Child Left Behind Act, we are regularly testing every child and making sure they have better options when schools are not performing."

But there are no "better options." In the delicious double-speak of class war, when the tests have winnowed out the chaff and kids stamped failed, No Child Left results in that child being left behind in the same grade to repeat the failure another year.

I can't say that Mr. Bush doesn't offer better options to the kids stamped failed. Under No Child Left, if enough kids flunk the tests, their school is marked a failure and its students win the right, under the law, to transfer to any successful school in their district. You can't provide more opportunity than that. But they don't provide it, the law promises it, without a single penny to make it happen. In New York in 2004, a third of a million students earned the right to transfer to better schools - in which there were only 8,000 places open.

New York is typical. Nationwide, only one out of two-hundred students eligible to transfer manage to do it. Well, there's always the Army. (That option did not go unnoticed: No Child has a special provision requiring schools to open their doors to military recruiters.)

Hint: When de-coding politicians' babble, to get to the real agenda, don't read their lips, read their budgets. And in his last budget, our President couldn't spare one thin dime for education, not ten cents. Mr. Big Spender provided for a derisory 8.4 cents on the dollar of the cost of primary and secondary schools. Congress appropriated a half penny of the nation's income - just one-half of one-percent of America's twelve trillion dollar GDP - for primary and secondary education.

President Bush actually requested less. While Congress succeeded in prying out an itty-bitty increase in voted funding, that doesn't mean the extra cash actually gets to the students. Fifteen states have sued the federal government on the grounds that the cost of new testing imposed on schools, $3.9 billion, eats up the entire new funding budgeted for No Child Left.

There are no "better options" for failing children, but there are better uses for them. The President ordered testing and more testing to hunt down, identify and target millions of children too expensive, too heavy a burden, to educate.

No Child Left offers no options for those with the test-score Mark of Cain - no opportunities, no hope, no plan, no funding. Rather, it is the new social Darwinism, educational eugenics: identify the nation's loser-class early on. Trap them then train them cheap.

I ask you, why doesn't CABE address this issue, head-on, no more double-talk nonsense? Why?

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