T Nation

One Reason Kids are Dumb!

WASHINGTON – Not a single state will have a highly qualified teacher in every core class this school year as promised by President Bush’s education law. Nine states along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico face penalties.

The Education Department on Friday ordered every state to explain how it will have 100 percent of its core teachers qualified ? belatedly ? in the 2006-07 school year.

In the meantime, some states face the loss of federal aid because they didn’t make enough effort to comply on time, officials said.

They are Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina and Washington, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

“At some point there was, I suspect, a little bit of notion that ‘This too shall pass,’” said Henry Johnson, the assistant secretary over elementary and secondary education. “Well, the day of reckoning is here, and it’s not going to pass.”

Department officials would not say how much aid could be withheld from states to force compliance. But Johnson said, “In some cases, we’re talking about large amounts of money.”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,195336,00.html?sPage=fnc.national/education

Expecting professionals to accept ‘K-Mart clerk’ pay, and here’s what you get.

No Child Left Behind is a terrible piece of legislation.

[quote]Backlash79 wrote:
No Child Left Behind is a terrible piece of legislation.

[/quote]

Yeah, expecting students and teachers to be able to demonstrate their knowledge sounds like a bad idea. What we were doing before was working fine.

I just returned from the capitol building in Boise, Idaho after spending two days lobbying the legislature on educational issues. Some of the legislation that is being considered is so obtuse to what we need to do to recruit and keep the best and brightest teachers. We can’t recruit or retain with any of the states that surround us.

And yes, No Child Left Behind is a poor peice of legistlation. We waste so much time prepping for tests, and then administering them, that it leaves little time for anything else.

[quote]Cunnivore wrote:
Backlash79 wrote:
No Child Left Behind is a terrible piece of legislation.

Yeah, expecting students and teachers to be able to demonstrate their knowledge sounds like a bad idea. What we were doing before was working fine.[/quote]

Putting education, which is a function left to the states, into federal hands is the horrible part.

I say: stop taking any federal taxes for education and let my state take them out instead.

Its been estimated that half of all teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years. Idealism only goes so far.

Most teachers I know could NOT get their cars fixed if they had a major repair job to do, or couldn’t get their roof fixed if it started leaking. What a great reward for dedication to the well-being of kids!

$hit can the unions, and get back the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. If keeping your job becomes a matter of performance and not one of seniority, things could change.

As far as most new teachers leaving within 5 years, I would as well if I had to watch worthless, lazy co-workers who were protected and padded by the unions.

School vouchers?

No?

Too easy?

[quote]orion wrote:
School vouchers?

No?

Too easy?[/quote]

This is one of the reasons that federal control is so pernicious. If the states were wholly responsible for their own educational systems, some states could easily implement a voucher system and see how well it worked for them.

[quote]Kainjer wrote:
$hit can the unions, and get back the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. If keeping your job becomes a matter of performance and not one of seniority, things could change.

As far as most new teachers leaving within 5 years, I would as well if I had to watch worthless, lazy co-workers who were protected and padded by the unions.[/quote]

No tenure for the first couple of years at least.

Unions were established to actually try to get workers a minimal decent wage. You’d be thrilled if you got a Class A performance for McDonald’s worker pay, but it ain’t happenin’.

[quote]orion wrote:
School vouchers?

No?

Too easy?[/quote]

This is America. Some politician would find a way to fuck us in the ass. In the end schools would be more expensive than college. And I am for vouchers, but I am cynical and bitter too.

[quote]Cunnivore wrote:
Yeah, expecting students and teachers to be able to demonstrate their knowledge sounds like a bad idea. What we were doing before was working fine.[/quote]

Yes, but are standardized tests even an accurate measure of performance, potential, or knowledge? How do we grade thought process on a multiple choice test? If all we care about is making students/teachers competetive then fine test them and rank them and set them up on a track system like they have in Germany.

The major thing I think needs changing is teaching critical thinking skills at an earlier age, concentrating on literacy and written and spoken communication skills. I don’t think memorizing facts that can easily be looked up and researched on-line or in a library is particularly useful. If taught how to think critiaclly then students would know how to analyze information on their own thus distilling fiction, opinion, rhetoric, etc.

How do we grade that?

The Fundamental Theorem of Batman

[quote]Backlash79 wrote:
No Child Left Behind is a terrible piece of legislation. [/quote]

I agree.

I also agree that most teachers are underpaid.

[quote]bigmike8832 wrote:

And yes, No Child Left Behind is a poor peice of legistlation. We waste so much time prepping for tests, and then administering them, that it leaves little time for anything else.[/quote]

This is EXACTLY why it sucks.

No creative thinking, no critical thinking, just teaching to bullshit tests that mean next to nothing.

I remember high school AP classes, and having teachers cut off discussions about Dostoyevsky or about writing theory because, “It wasn’t on the AP test”… so it obviously wasn’t important.

Fucking bullshit.

[quote]Cunnivore wrote:
Backlash79 wrote:
No Child Left Behind is a terrible piece of legislation.

Yeah, expecting students and teachers to be able to demonstrate their knowledge sounds like a bad idea. What we were doing before was working fine.[/quote]

It has nothing do to with that. NCLB has base limits, not percentages. 30 failures means funding cuts, in small and large schools. It’s a badly worded and horribly used steaming pile of shit.

As bad as NCLB is, it is a huge improvement on the past. Until there is real school competition, NCLB serves as a decent safety net.

[quote]doogie wrote:
As bad as NCLB is, it is a huge improvement on the past. Until there is real school competition, NCLB serves as a decent safety net.[/quote]

Agreed. Too many school systems were taxing the hell out of the citizens and not teaching anything.

NCLB at least has accountability for these shitty school systems.

I suspect most of the teachers that bitch about it are crappy teachers.

Face the facts, the tests are easy. If you have to spend excess time preparing for them either you have a batch of dumb kids or you are a bad teacher.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:

Face the facts, the tests are easy. If you have to spend excess time preparing for them either you have a batch of dumb kids or you are a bad teacher.
[/quote]

Dead on.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
doogie wrote:
As bad as NCLB is, it is a huge improvement on the past. Until there is real school competition, NCLB serves as a decent safety net.

Agreed. Too many school systems were taxing the hell out of the citizens and not teaching anything.

NCLB at least has accountability for these shitty school systems.

I suspect most of the teachers that bitch about it are crappy teachers.

Face the facts, the tests are easy. If you have to spend excess time preparing for them either you have a batch of dumb kids or you are a bad teacher.
[/quote]

Or the students don’t speak English very well because they haven’t been in America very long. Or they have mental disabilities. Neither of which are accounted for in NCLB.

If you fail the test, you go towards your schools failures. If your school has so many failures, they cut funding.

They say Texas high school test scores skyrocketed because of NCLB. Later however, it was discovered this was accompanied by a 50% increase in the dropout rates. Schools are “asking” stupid kids who’ve been left back to leave.

And why not? If their not going to get funding because 30 of their 2000 students can’t speak English, why the hell would they teach them?

It’s a bad system. Period.