Wednesday, February 3, 2010

More children left behind

President Barack Obama is proposing to overhaul the No Child Left Behind education law, replacing the school accountability system that has slapped a failing label on more than a third of schools, including many that made big gains but just missed their annual targets.

No Child Left Behind prods schools to improve test scores each year, so that every student can read and do math on grade level by the year 2014.

In his budget plan, Obama proposed judging schools differently, looking at student growth and schools' progress from one year to the next. Schools that do well would get incentives and rewards; schools that do poorly would face intervention and other consequences.

No Child Left Behind applies objective and universal standards of achievement, i.e., "every student can read and do math on grade level".

Obama wants us to judge schools (and students) by "student growth" and "schools' progress from one year to the next".

We already tried the Obama measures in the 70's and 80's and 90's. An emphasis on "individual growth" rather than objective achievement is what ruined the American public schools.

The elite private schools attended by the Obama family - - parents and children - - insist you learn to read and do math on grade level or beyond. If all they did was get you closer to grade level each year, with only a guarantee of "individual growth", the Obamas would demand a refund.

No comments: