Sunday, December 17, 2006

Teacher Responses to a NCLB Column

Recently, the Huffington Post columnist Gerald Bracey wrote a column that revisited what the proponents of No Child Left Behind thought today called "Things Fall Apart".

Here are some selected comments that followed from teachers:

As a middle school teacher I can testify that these tests are the ruin of true education. I am no longer there to inspire kids to love reading and writing. I am there ONLY to make sure we get better scores on the next round of miserable tests. Ask any teacher! We have lost our way w/ this idea of testing and testing. Parents ought to be up in arms. If teachers complain, the rap back at us is usually, "If you are a good teacher you shouldn't concern yourself with this. Your kids will do well." Nonsense. SO much of the tests have nothing to do w/ what really ought to go on in a classroom so we end up teaching to the test. Is that REALLY what parents want?
By: devora on December 09, 2006 at 08:02pm

I've taught under NCLB. As someone coming out of the corporate, "competitive" world I'm appalled by this programs lack of common sense.

1) It's not helping drop-out rates.

2) It focuses on the worst students, often leaving the brightest floundering. No, the poorer students didn't improve with the extra help. The best just learned less.

3)It teaches for regurgitation, not for concept. Teachers are teaching to the test and students aren't learning concepts they can reapply.

4) If we put a fraction of the money we're putting into Iraq into our own schools, we could drop class size down to a manageable 15 - 20 students per teacher. We say we don't have the money for schools and teachers, yet find it for killing people in foreign countries.

5) Teachers are still bearing the burdens of useless fanciful teaching techniques and purchasing supplies the schools aren't providing. I've had to supply my own paper, pencils and pens for weeks at a time.

6) Until we work on getting parents more involved, nothing we do at school is going to make that much of a difference. In particular, changing drug laws to keep parents at home. They may be in rehab programs, but they can at least be reached and influence their children.
By: DonsBlog on December 09, 2006 at 09:31pm

...
As a teacher, it amazes me that education is the one profession that everybody thinks they are experts in just because they went to school. As a teacher teaching in an economically-disadvantaged area of Chicago I have seen that NCLB is a complete failure. the funny thing no one wants to listen to the people who really know what needs to be done, the teachers. We have to go to college and get a college degree to be teachers. And we are tested to be certified to teach. And we are forced to complete further professional development training to maintain our certificates. We need to get more input from the teachers at the local level to improve our educational system. Our local school councils have only one teacher representative on them, and the local schools councils make important decisions concerning the schools.
I have to echo Donsblog's post. I think every teacher at my school would have to agree.
They need to totally repeal NCLB and start over. Stop the silly testing and let the teachers teach.
By: mphalen on December 10, 2006 at 02:43am

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