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Comment Posted to "No Teacher Left Standing"

Reported by Marie Therese - September 20, 2004 -

This comment, written by "et_oregon", was posted to "No Teacher Left Standing". We liked it so much we're giving "et" a little bit of the spotlight today!

"I've been lurking and reading for a while but I've got to speak out at last. Let me tell you about some kids left behind by this testing-focused, under-funded, window-dressing mania brought to us by Dubya."

"I live in a rural Pacific Northwest community. More than 65% of our kids' families qualify for free or reduced-fee lunches – that's called poverty, everyone. We closed our middle school last year and redistributed those kids to the elementary and high school campuses. We have one music teacher for 800+ kids in grades K-12. No electives to speak of (well, apart from the sacred cow of high school sports). Not even driver ed."

"This fall, we start the year having had to cut six more teaching positions. I'm writing charitable grant proposals like a maniac to find funding for our after-school program (initially funded by a Clinton initiative, incidentally!), pretty much the only vehicle we have to give our kids the kinds of enrichment activities and life skills that help make us human. Good news, we've found $65k so far. Bad news, we're still looking for at least $150k for the year ahead, and we run damn lean."

"Our high school failed to meet NCLB benchmarks. Can you imagine what those are? That at least 40% of students will pass basic requirements in Math and English."

"Number One, is it any surprise that those benchmarks could not be reached, with resources spread so thin in communities like ours? It's like trying to water plants with an eye dropper."

"Number Two, how on earth is a 40% pass rate (OK, granted, the required percentages go up every year...just to ensure that struggling schools will fall even more deeply "behind") a measure of "no children left behind?" Sounds to me like that's leaving more than half of them way the hell back there."

"My child's been a straight-A student from the get-go, but we're moving next year to a less resource-stressed community – yeah, maybe even abroad – before she hits junior high and the downward spiral begins in earnest. We're lucky that we can do that. I feel awful for my many neighbors, colleagues and friends who can't do likewise and give their children the fighting chance they ALL deserve."

"No Child Left Behind should be footnoted to read No Child Left Behind So Long As You Come From Wealth, Privilege and Options. To the vast majority, it's a farce and a tragedy for which a generation to come will pay in the form of ineptitude and ill-preparedness to be citizens of a changed world."

Comment

If you or someone you know has a similar story and you'd like to blow off some steam, write, call, fax or email your Congressperson or Senator and let them know that you're not happy. Unless they start hearing from those of us who are unhappy with the status quo, they won't have any motivation to change.

Your vote DOES count!

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