Saturday, September 12, 2009

No Child Left Behind

I've been a teacher for seven years. I became a teacher during the Bush administration and No Child Left Behind education reform is all I know. By the time I got my first job as a first grade teacher, educators had decided to quit fighting it and make the best of NCLB. Some good things have come from this very flawed legislation. Attention was given to sub groups that in the past may have been ignored. Hard working teachers found a way to work harder. We decided not to worry about the political aspects, we would teach the kids and let someone else worry about 2014.

Ah....2014. This is the magical year that 100% of students will become proficient in reading and math. As we get closer to 2014 the standards have been raising dramatically. The school in which I teach has entered this school year having not make the goal for the last two years. This is when things start to become scary. The pressure is being applied. We are like the Kansas City Royals. We have lost, we keep losing, our moral is low, we are losing faith. And it's only September.

Last week when our president was set to address the students of this nation plenty of people, some without children in the district, called our Central Office outraged that we were going to allow the students to hear the address. Suddenly everyone was political. But why is it that no one has called to express outrage that the Kansas City Star has released that our schools are Failing? Doesn't that bother people? They should either be outraged about their failing schools, or outraged that their schools are being held to impossible standards. But one cares.

The best thing about this country is that education is available to everyone, and it's the best there is to be had. We will educate you no matter what. If you don't speak English, if you have disabilities, goodness....we'll even educate you if you try to burn the darn building down. Bless this institution and protect it. And fight for it's good name.

Now, I'm going to do my job and I'm going to love it. I'm going to let other's worry about the blame and the praise (thank you, Karen). But I'm going to stop being so complacent about this destructive piece of legislation.

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