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.

Democrats Bash NCLB

Is Bush’s No Child Left Behind legislation going to serve as the same political fodder that the Iraq War has for Democratic candidates in the 2008 presidential election? Teacher Magazine, a publication of Education Week, reported that Democrats “came out swinging” on Monday’s annual convention of the National Education Association.

Just as they have done with the Iraq War it would seem that the Democrats already vying for a 2008 are doing whatever they can to distance themselves from the current Bush administration. In fact, in a strikingly similar parallel, the Democratic Party, which broadly supported the law 6 years ago, now disagrees with the way it is being carried out. Major changes are being sought in Congress in order to revise the law before it can be reauthorized later this year. TeacherJay’s question is: are these politicians sincere in their claims that they want to reform education in this country by reducing the pressure on teachers to have their students score well on a standardized test?, in order to achieve that goal many teachers find themselves having to take valuable teaching time away from other subjects, or are the candidates merely trying to curry favor with Bush-haters?

Of the top three Democratic candidates, Clinton is the only to even make mention of NCLB on her official website, Obama does not list as one of his top issues, and neither does Edwards although he has stated before that because he has school-aged children he is personally attached to the issue. Making the statement is nice, but let’s see some action from these candidates.