Friday, August 3, 2012
Common Core State Standards | No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)
The Failure of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), Race to the Top, and inevitably the Common Core State Standards.
45 plus years of School Reform, what do we have to show for all that time, effort, and money? We have an education system that is 20 years behind the times, one of the worst graduations rates in the developed world, and soon a place most teachers and students will find lacks any imagination, quality, common sense or wisdom. Socialist states like Finland made fundamental changes in academic expectations (modernity and equality) and overhauled their public education systems over 20 years ago, using the most powerful agents of change in education, the classroom teachers. Today school reform is a political shell game, for profit schema that is disguised to rebrand bad ideas. Charter schools, vouchers, high stakes testing, student and teacher accountability are just ways to distract everyone from the simple fact that the wrong people are in charge of our children’s education. We don’t actuality fix anything we just shuffle the problems from one place to another, or if that doesn’t work they just fudge the data.
We love to blame teachers for students results, even when they have no real voice in creating academic standards, modifying school schedules, designing curriculum, choosing grading policies, mandating parental involvement or the quality of the incoming students. Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, and Michelle Rhee all say they are the denizens of quality education, or the modern sages of school reform, but they will give us another 45 years of high dropout rates and more teacher blaming.