Strong American Schools

Observant visitors to TeacherJay’s blog may have noticed a new button (down towards the bottom of the left-side column). It is to the ED in ’08 site and their campaign sponsored by the group, Strong American Schools. Today’s post gives an overview of the organization and their primary goals. Read the rest of this entry »

Miss-Spellings

As an update to a previous post, TeacherJay wanted to take a moment to point out Thursday’s NY Times article in which Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings seems less than enthusiastic about the drafts of the re-authorization of the No Child Left Behind Act being passed around in the House of Representatives. Ms. Spellings is quite a fan of “increased accountability”. TeacherJay still thinks it is a bad idea to punish, or penalize, schools for not making “sufficient progress” when that progress is ill-defined in the first place. Today’s post looks briefly at how the head of all education systems in the country might spell disaster for immigrant students. Read the rest of this entry »

Spellings Test

While searching for some funny clips of politicians, TeacherJay found something a bit unexpected… to date, the only (active) member of the Bush administration to appear on Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart was Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, on May 22, 2007 (Wikipedia). Although she is one of the evil architects authors of the No Child Left Behind Act, TeacherJay was interested in the interview and in today’s post gives his reactions to the clip. Read the rest of this entry »

Center on Education Policy

In a recent New York Times article, a recent study by the Center on Education Policy would appear to show that a fewer number of schools have increased time in Reading and Math, the two subjects that the No Child Left Behind Act focuses on, than previously thought. Today’s post contains some of TeacherJay’s opinions on the CEP and NCLB.

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Is NCLB Helping or Hijacking?

Following TeacherJay’s comments that while the No Child Left Behind Act is certainly not the magic cure for America’s ailing schools, from a previous post, some of his comments appeared on fellow blogger Rick Branscomb’s site. Branscomb is the author of Deducation and seems to believe that a major goal of NCLB legislation is to prove that the public schools in this country are failing in order to turn school funding over to private enterprise. An excerpt from an earlier entry includes, “Our educational system is being killed: it’s almost dead. Deducation, I call it. Mind-numbing, teaching to invalid tests, memorization of facts that won’t be facts tomorrow, stifling all ability to think critically, taking all teaching decisions out of the hands of teachers” in his plea to have NCLB repealed. Read the rest of this entry »

The Shame of the Nation

Jonathan Kozol‘s 2005 book, The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America, looks at the issue of racial integration in the nation’s schools. Over 50 years after the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” and forcing the immediate integration of America’s schools, we have not yet achieved that goal. Kozol uses the passionate voices of teachers and students, mostly from urban New York City schools and the suburban areas of Long Island, to tell how the nation has been failing a large portion of its children and, in fact, creating a system of apartheid by withholding a proper education from so many children. Read the rest of this entry »

NCLB Not So Horrific…?

Andrew Rotherham’s Eduwonk brought up an interesting point yesterday… is No Child Left Behind really as “horrific as it is made out to be”? When you get right down to it though isn’t NCLB’s goal to help children and reform schools? Okay, the rhetoric that went into may have been flawed and it’s implementation certainly needs some work, but should we, as educators who see a need to improve America’s schools, be so negative against a piece of legislation designed to do that just because it is not perfect… NCLB needs to be reauthorized every few years and that provides an opportunity to update it and refine it. TeacherJay was tempted to jump on the bandwagon here and become an NCLB-basher, too, but he does feel that the effort, at least, is a step in the right direction.

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