"The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Intentions"
Policies and legislation drawn to reform our schools are usually offered with good intentions. The phrase "No Child Left Behind" surely does not connote any malice. Yet, these phrases are truly empty without the correct implementation. These can cause harm. With emphasis on high-stakes testing, more disadvantaged children are in fact being abandoned and left behind. Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post recently cites Carol Burris, the principal at the South Side High School in New York and the 2013 recipient of the New York High School Principal of the Year:
"...New York’s data may be indicating that annual testing and test based graduation requirements may now be having the opposite effect. During the past three years, the “graduation rate gap” between English Language Learners and their English proficient fellow students has expanded from 33 points to 43 points, with only 31 percent of English Language Learners graduating in four years...."Here are two drawings from Dan Wasserman of the Boston Globe that wrap what "No Child Left Behind" really meant:
|Above copied from The Stumbling Pundit|
|Above copied from the National Education Association|
"At the core of our children’s non-learning problems is the inability to read properly. By the end of the next administration (SY 2015-16), every child passing pre-school must be a reader by Grade 1."
“In my mind if you want to cure this problem of poverty in our country, the way to do that is by making sure that people can read when they’re in the first grade.”
"Because of NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and now Common Core testing, I have witnessed schools move from progressive practices such as inclusion, to the grouping of special education students with ELLs and other struggling learners into “double period” classes where they are drilled to pass the test. We are seeing a resurgence in elementary school of “ability grouping,” which predictably results in classes that are segregated by race and wealth. Worse of all, a plethora of bad policies have emerged that use yearly testing results as their basis."Thus, even with the good intention of not leaving any child behind in education, we end up leaving more children behind....