Sunday, June 12, 2005

Hey, Kids!
I just started another aggravating Education class at the behest of the Utah State Office of Eduction! The following is another of my occasionaly posts of excerpts from my comments within discussion groups mandated by these great classes!
Oh what fun!

When I hear or see the acronym NCLB, my crest falls and my countenance darkens. I have heard from all levels of our state and federal bureaucracy about the 'intent' and 'reality' of the legislation and I have seen how it affects the teachers in the schools and students we are here for since NCLB came into play.
It has not been positive in our rural or at-risk populations, nor has it been anything but an expensive distraction from the day-to-day labor of nurturing and educating our students.
That is the down-to-earth, no-positive-rhetoric answer to the original question, from my humble perspective.
We can speak interminably to the high-minded intent of the legislation and praise the grand promise of a Plato's Republic rewritten by Republicans, but the net result of the legislation has been contention and division, differing levels of fear and a general atmosphere of resentment at federal effrontery and blamesmanship thinly veiled by educated jargon about promises and educational ideology.
These reforms express my deep belief in our public schools and their mission to build the mind and character of every child, from every background, in every part of America.
President George W. Bush
January 2001

How can one build a logical case against this sort of carefully-crafted emotional language? Who would try? This program must be good; it must only be balm for the neglected and downtrodden!
I probably can't argue with any of the points brought out in favor of NCLB, nor could I defend rhetorically or with much evidence empirical my opposition to what has come about because of the law.
I can only say that reasoned and open faculty correlation and in-service coupled with pedagogical freedom and the resulting passion would do the students much more good in a month than this boondoggle called NCLB has done in four years.
Trickle-down has done no more good in Education Reform than it has done in Economic Reovery, and I wish that the general and educational public would see and acknowledge the power of grass-roots policy in both. As Michelle so aptly said in her previous post, "As I have been reading the text for our class, it says over and over that good teachers let students drive their instruction."
But that is almost as pie-in-the-sky as the garbage given lipservice to in NCLB.<>
I'm fairly sure the educational elite would much rather elucidate policy than empower an educational revolution, anyway.

Oh, coincidently, there's lots more of this from me in the forum. And probably a bit more to come.

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