“To help states, districts and schools that are ready to move forward with education reform, our administration will provide flexibility from the law in exchange for a real commitment to undertake change,” Obama blithely proclaims!
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Thursday that the emphasis (now) will be more on growth (I assume personal) than on test scores.
Real commitment to change? and emphasis on growth? Is that like “saving jobs?” No measurements needed America! Just try hard and that is enough! No wonder America’s test scores are so embarrassing that we have to jury rig them on the international scene. Remember that fun commercial showing the Chinese guy lecturing the Chinese students and how he said that the Americans will work for China? Remember how they all laughed?
States used to dictate public school policy. That’s about when we used to top those standardized tests. But then the Fed came in and said they could do it better. And now, not only can we not bring schools to meet the lowest of these standards, but we are getting rid of the pesky standards altogether. This is either the most clever conspiracy to dumb down America and create a two class system (rich/educated via private schools, poor/uneducated via public schools), or it is just a plain tragedy that marks the decline of a once great nation.
“The No Child Left Behind law passed in 2001 with widespread bipartisan support and much fanfare. It sought to hold schools more accountable for student performance and get better qualified teachers in classrooms. It also offers school choice and extra tutoring to students attending schools deemed failing.”
“But critics say the law created too much of an emphasis in classrooms on standardized tests, driving the stakes so high that it may have even fostered an environment where school officials in some districts opted to cheat. In particular, the requirement that all students be on grade level in math and reading by 2014 has been hugely unpopular.”
Does anyone else want to laugh and scream at the same time! These people had thirteen years to get our students up to date and current with tests that are basically standardized across the world. Those are the tests on which we used to be the best- remember? Number one? Numero Uno? Remember how proud that made us feel? Is the United States of America the only country in the world that has to take tests? Is anyone else in the world adopting the, “Let’s try really hard” program? I’ll bet China has tests. I’ll bet India does too. Japan? Korea? I’ll bet those kids don’t have any trouble meeting their standardized tests! Am I the only American who grew up with testing? You know, those A, B, C, D’s & F’s? Remember the nervousness if you didn’t study? Remember needing to tell your folks if you didn’t do very well? Remember the grounding or even…. dare I say it…. the spanking that came as a result?
Well, let us celebrate that those child abusive and racist days are over! No student need ever sweat again! And teachers? No, you will never be forced to cheat again on your reporting! Oh, hallelujah! Because it wasn’t the parents’ fault that they didn’t kick their kids’ butts in school and it wasn’t the kids fault for not attending school and it wasn’t the teachers’ fault for being lousy teachers who resort to CHEATING to keep their jobs! No! It was the big bad tests that were wrong! Also, the performance measures for teachers & schools!
This celebrates the beautiful mediocrity we have already implemented in youth sports- “We are all Winners! No one is a loser!” Can you just see our kids on the world stage, embracing the Chinese in a big kumbayah hug?
I want to know this: where the hell are the Republicans? What is with the utter and complete silence in Washington D.C.?
A moment to mark in U.S. history: the day where America no longer needs to succeed in anything. It only need try really hard.
I smell revolution and it is starting to smell good.