Signed into law in 2002, the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) promised to revolutionize American public education. Originally supported by a bipartisan coalition, it purports to improve public schools by enforcing a system of standards and accountability through high-stakes testing. Many people supported it originally, despite doubts, because of its promise especially to improve the way schools serve poor children. By making federal funding contingent on accepting a system of tests and sanctions, it is radically ...
Signed into law in 2002, the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) promised to revolutionize American public education. Originally supported by a bipartisan coalition, it purports to improve public schools by enforcing a system of standards and accountability through high-stakes testing. Many people supported it originally, despite doubts, because of its promise especially to improve the way schools serve poor children. By making federal funding contingent on accepting a system of tests and sanctions, it is radically affecting the life of schools around the country. But, argue the authors of this citizen's guide to the most important political issue in education, far from improving public schools and increasing the ability of the system to serve poor and minority children, the law is doing exactly the opposite. Here some of our most prominent, respected voices in education-including school innovator Deborah Meier, education activist Alfie Kohn, and founder of the Coalition of Essential Schools Theodore R. Sizer-come together to show us how, point by point, NCLB undermines the things it claims to improve: * How NCLB punishes rather than helps poor and minority kids and their schools * How NCLB helps further an agenda of privatization and an attack on public schools * How the focus on testing and test preparation dumbs down classrooms * And they put forward a richly articulated vision of alternatives. Educators and parents around the country are feeling the harshly counterproductive effects of NCLB. This book is an essential guide to understanding what's wrong and where we should go from here.
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A wonderful collection of authors who have been speaking for students and a Deweyian ideal: student-centered schools and classrooms. This book continues to illustrate why schools are not serving the real needs of so many students and HOW they can change and begin. The testing craze is going into its 3rd decade and continues to diminish the number of students succeeding in school and the quality of education the ones that survive are getting. If we are going to ensure a Democratic society instead of a Corporatized society we have to work harder to learn and practice democratic principals in each of our classrooms through student-centeredness and helping each student learn how to learn. Each essay takes a slightly different bent, but the end result is a picture that shows both the problems with our industrialized educational model and the opportunities still possible in our public schools. It all comes down to what is in going on in the classroom and what the teacher is willing to do to help each of their students go from where they are to as far as they can go. It also illustrates what quality leadership can do to work around poor policy and practice.
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