Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NCLB and Suburban Relief

As many of us knew all along, NCLB was a "get tough" marketing campaign of the major political parties. There are few political strategies better at generating knee jerk reactions than school and teacher bashing. NCLB had it all: tough talk, "accountability", guarantees of free tutoring and private education to those trapped in "failing schools".

Now it turns out that too many schools are failing. NCLB administrators in the Department of Education are scrambling to weaken its draconian provisions to forestall a mass revolt by parents and school districts, especially in affluent suburbs, whose award-winning schools are labeled as "failing" by NCLB.

As the New York Times reports in "U.S. Eases No Child Law As Applied to Some States,", "The Bush administration, acknowledging that the federal No Child Left Behind law is diagnosing too many public schools as failing, said Tuesday that it would relax the law’s provisions for some states, allowing them to distinguish schools with a few problems from those that need major surgery."

“We need triage,” said Margaret Spellings, the secretary of education.

"Under the new program, the federal Department of Education will give up to 10 states permission to focus reform efforts on schools that are drastically underperforming and intervene less forcefully in schools that are raising the test scores of most students but struggling with one group . . ."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The "talented tenth"? Wonder where that number originated? A tithe?