No Child Left Behind Education Act of 2002

Posted: March 22, 2010 in family law
Tags: , , ,

President Obama’s blueprint for reworking the No Child Left Behind Education Act of 2002 has good ideas, but it doesn’t have anything close to the rigor that the word “blueprint” would suggest. Whether the president’s plan will strengthen or weaken the program will depend on how the administration fleshes out the missing details — and how Congress rewrites the law.

Teachers’ unions, state governments and other interest groups have long wanted to water down or kill off the provision of the law that requires the states to raise student performance — especially for poor and minority children — in exchange for federal money. They will likely gin up their lobbying. Congress must resist.

The current system designates schools as needing improvement if they miss progress targets. The Obama proposal calls for employing a new model that gives schools credit for improving student performance, even if the schools miss the targets. This, too, makes sense, as long as the improvement being rewarded is significant.

The new plan introduces a new element: giving financial rewards and greater flexibility to schools and districts that show large improvements in student learning. This would seem to be a sensible plan, as long as lawmakers understand that both incentives with federal money and punishments of federal sanctions are necessary to move school systems forward.

The most exciting section of the Obama proposal deals with new strategies for getting states to measure, develop and improve the effectiveness of teachers, principals and programs in teacher-preparation.

If Congress adopts the plan, states would be required to create new, fine-grained data systems that rate teachers and principals based in significant part on the performance of their students. These ratings could be used to reward strong educators, create training programs for newcomers, and assess the effectiveness of teacher-preparation programs.

Did you know that California ranks 49th out of 50 states where adult population has at least a high school education? This is seriously the worst news we as parents and grandparents could hear.

As of 2007, California ranked 14th in the nation in terms of college educated members of the workforce over 25 years of age, a drop from eighth place in 1981, according to the report.

What this says to me is that California’s education system is seriously flawed. I personally know children who are being pushed on to the next grade whether they are educationally ready to move on. The excuses I have heard are that we can’t keep the child behind because that would damage their self-esteem! What about their self-esteem when they leave school and can’t get a job because they can’t spell simple words, or read at an adult level? How is pushing our children through school without making sure they are educated helping them? It certainly seems that our education system in this state needs major overhaul. Cutting the education budget is simply not the way to go. While I am not in any way, shape or form political, I think that all of us Californians need to take a look at what is happening to the education system and make sure that our government knows how we feel. Even if you don’t have children in the school system, you should be paying attention.

To read more about President Obama’s Blueprint for Reform, click here. It is a fairly large pdf, and may take a moment to download for you, but it is worth reading.

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