"Last month, Mr. Duncan predicted that by the end of this year, 82 percent of schools will miss their goal. At this rate, it is highly likely that in a few years, every single public school in the United States will be labeled a failure." Michael Winerip, In Public School Efforts, a Common Background: Private Education, April 18th, 2011, New York Times
"Now we have a new federal administration, and it has proposed doing away with the 2014 deadline for proficiency. Surely, that's a good thing, no?" Phillip Harris, Bruce M. Smith and Joan Harris. "The Myths of Standardized Tests: Why They Don't Tell You What You Think They Do," Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (January 16, 2011)
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
I know this is going to sound a bit irrational considering the positions I have taken against standardized testing, but I can assure you that I do know what day, month, and year it is.
That said, I don't want No Child Left Behind revised. Leave it alone! Please don't mess with perfection. To be even more specific, do not amend the 2014 deadline for proficiency. No waivers. If Republicans and Democrats amend the law, then it will allow the disaster of NCLB and the market-based reform movement to escape the spotlight of failure.
On January 1, 2014 I want to stand back and watch when all the major media outlets cover the story: 100 percent Proficiency Not Achieved. Now What?
Imagine how reformers will spin this disaster? You can't spin a sham. All the people that predicted the failure will finally be vindicated. The so-called defenders of the status quo will get to say out loud, "We told you so!"
I can also imagine children, teachers and parents finally saying,
"Enough is enough. Leave us alone. Go away and allow our communities to get back to the real mission of educating our nation's children for a productive life in a democratic society. You took our schools away from us for 13 years and just about destroyed them. We are taking them back. Do your job and run our country -- not our schools. From what we see going on you all have plenty of work to do."
NCLB amended? What? Doing so would just permit more federal intrusion and allow the reformers to continue to push market-based reforms on public schools. Amending NCLB will allow the reformers to "keep kicking the can down the road." It will allow the continued dismantling of one of the greatest American ideas -- public schooling.
Parents, teachers, and children continue to speak up! They are listening. Make the government and corporate reformers admit failure.