Saturday, October 14, 2006

No Child Left Behind. Adequate Yearly Progress: Government Run Amok Part 2

I have written an earlier opinion about our federal government's visionary attempts to hold our educational system accountable for individual student success.

Let me speak first of our leaders' vision, and the implications of their attempt to steer the nation into the 21st century. I think that the vision I speak of is the same one that the Soviets developed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.). Government, not its people, run the show. Government is in charge, and government can force change. A good way to do that is to build the premise that the existing system is no good. Convince the citizens that the American educational system is failing. That's a good start. When "everyone" has bought into that, let us, your leaders, pass a few laws that will send shock waves through state and local governments that will fix this problem. What the citizens will actually wind up with is increased bureaucracy, well intentioned yet intrusive regulations, and a directive to teach by consulting legal advice and purchasing approved educational products rather than educational pedagogy.

Teachers' unions must be portrayed as unable to change and unwilling to adapt in order to make essential improvement. No problem there. Lots of teachers are knuckleheads and will feed right into that need.

I find myself spending more and more of my instructional time giving tests in order to demonstrate to a bureaucrat that the students in my class are not being "left behind." Hogwash!

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