Most Children Left Behind

After reading chapter 6, NCLB: Measure and Punish, from Diane Ravitch’s novel, The Death And Life Of The Great American School System; How Testing And Choices Are Undermining Education, I question the validity of NCLB. Ravitch tells us that NCLB was put in place to raise test scores in math and reading to 100% proficiency in all schools through out America by 2014. NCLB includes children with intellectual disabilities and English language learners. Schools that fail meet these standards by 2014 will be privatized. These standards seem extremely unfair to me as they do not account for individual needs and put more emphasis on testing than actual curriculum. I just wonder, will our public schools really be privatized in 2014 or is there a way to avoid it? If our public schools do become privatized does this mean more inequality for those who cannot afford private schools?


8 thoughts on “Most Children Left Behind

  1. Privatization of schools is a terrifying thought. It makes me think of an old timey “Ruler Class” where wealthy people who have access to education thrive, and the gap between the “haves and have-nots” grows greater by the generation. Oh what? That exists in 2013 as well, in economically depressed countries? But Americans scoff at the notion these conditions could become their reality…. #scaredsarcasm

    • Zapoura,
      Lisa Delpit’s writing about the culture of power is very relevant to my question. I interpret her explanation of the culture of power as a dichotomy. You both know the rules of power and adhere to them or you fail. I do see inequality in the making when we support programs like NCLB that put such unattainable goals in place. All of the children, who are not accounted for, cannot be successful in an environment that does not teach curriculum, but instead teaches process of elimination during a test. We ultimately fail these children because they are being deterred from an education that will prepare them to go out into the world and determine their economic status. This scenario is largely beneficial to those already in the culture of power because they won’t have to let anyone else in their club. It will actually hold more people down while the culture of power continues to rise. Those are my thoughts anyways.

  2. Alicia, I think your concerns regarding NCLB and the possible enforcement of school privatization are incredibly important. If schools become privatized, inequality will undoubtedly increase. If there is a significant increase in the amount of people that send their children to private schools, how will that effect public funding? As we talked about a bit in class on Friday, when people are not directly affected by an issue, they are often times much less likely to want to fund it. The amount of money schools receive is already too little– could public schools survive any more cuts? How do we educate people about NCLB and its effects on our school system?

  3. Amira,
    I appreciate your questions as they encouraged me to look further into these issues. I found; an excerpt from another Diane Ravitch bookl. I think this quote from Ravitch answers the questions you asked quiet nicely, “The money allocated to privately managed charters and vouchers represents a transfer of critical public resources to the private sector, causing the public schools to suffer budget cuts and loss of staffing and services as the private sector grows, without providing better education or better outcomes for the students who transfer to the private-sector schools.”

    Privatizing schools would put drain on public spending, and from what Ravitch says, we don’t even need a reform. She describes the reform as a way in which investors of school reform can funnel money back into their own pockets. Yuck. I think if the public heard more about NCLB and school reform, people would be very angry. NCLB affects all schools nationwide. As for informing others, the quickest and most efficient way to get the word out would be to lobby outside of the state capital building. Other than that, we can keep posting articles on our Facebook’s or we can keep repeating the same dialogue to every one we know and meet. Do you have any other ideas?

    • What is interesting is that many people may actually feel like they mow about NCLB, but have heard their facts from very biased people who back it, and refuse to believe that the rhetoric that had convinced them could be a fallacy.
      As for how to spread the news, I would think that thinks like Facebook, and blogs are preaching to those who are already on their side. I, unfortunately, how no ideas at the moment as to how to get the publics attention long enough to educate them…

    • Alicia, I’m really glad that you found and posted the link to the Ravitch quote. I find it interesting that she points out people’s tendency to hark back to the past, where it is often assumed that schools were so much better than in our present day. In reality, as Ravtich points out in the passage, a great deal of students were dropping out of high school back in the “olden days” and discrimination was apparent almost everywhere. With this being said, I wonder if part of the work needs to move toward trying to abolish this false nostalgia that keeps setting up schools for failure. I think that if more people were able to see the progress schools have made when comparing them to the past, then they might be more open to hearing about the negative aspects of our current day school system. People can only take so much negative information before their ears close and their empathy becomes nonexistent. If people could hear some positivity, perhaps they may begin to see the harsh effects that NCLB is having on any kind of progression. I agree with Rebecca that avenues such as Facebook tend only to affect an audience that is already in support of the cause. I wonder then, could we rely on the media to report more positive information about schools? For every negative comment regarding education — whether it be school funding or teacher protests — could there be a positive comment? Something hopeful to send to the public? I don’t know if this makes any sense but I do think it would be worth a try.

      • Amira,
        I think that your suggestion/question make perfect sense. Negative information can be overwhelming. A lot of positive things can be said about schools today and that is what I found important about the other Ravitch link I posted. I do how ever, feel like not enough people know what NCLB really means. I just told a friend, today about what I recently learned regarding NCLB. She was absolutely stunned. She wanted to know what we could do to stop the negative repercussions. I think a mix of facts and positive highlights are needed to get the peoples attention.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s