Thursday, January 1, 2009

Replace No Child Left Behind With A Strong Education Policy

UPDATE - This is now closed. NCLB came in 4th. Teaching Esperanto in schools came in 2nd. Somehow I don't think Obama will take that as a serious issue.

VOTE NOW: Send A Message to Obama and Spread the Word

From Philip Kovacs of The Education Roundtable
I'm not sure if you've heard, but there's a movement of citizens inspired by the presidential campaign who are now submitting ideas for how they think the Obama Administration should change America. It's called "Ideas for Change in America."

One idea is titled: Replace No Child Left Behind With A Strong Education Policy. I thought you might be interested in getting involved and recommend you check it out. You can read more and vote for the idea by clicking the following link:

At present, this idea is losing to a movement for Esperanto and a movement for implementing national science standards.

Please take 5 minutes to log in and vote for this issue!

The top 10 ideas are going to be presented to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day and will be supported by a national lobbying campaign run by, MySpace, and more than a dozen leading nonprofits after the Inauguration. So each idea has a real chance at becoming policy.

I look forward to hearing what you think,

Arthur Coddington (former teacher), San Leandro, CA
No Child Left Behind sucked the soul out of education under the guise of accountability. It created no-win situations for school administrators and narrowed the curriculum for students to only test-relevant subjects. Education of children cannot be tracked according to models of productivity and corporate growth.

We need an education policy that encourages critical thinking, embraces science and the arts, empowers school administrators to make the right decisions for their students, and welcomes second career teachers without sending them back to school and into debt.


  1. Unfortunately, the first round of voting has closed, with this issue narrowly missing out making it into the top 3. It finished 4th. I think we only lacked about 30 votes making it. Voting now continues on the top 3.

  2. I always seem to move too slowly for these things. Not that I believe Obama is really listening with the Duncan appointment.

  3. I mean, does anyone think Obama will now look at Esperanto in a serious way?

  4. Hi Norm,

    In retrospect, while it was worth a shot, I rather doubt the effort would have influenced Obama all that much on NCLB anyway.

    You run an awesome blog with a treasure of information and resources. I'm a regular visitor and don't know how you manage to keep up with all that you do.

  5. "End the mandates on NCLB,it's not working." (Hillary Clinton)See Voices Across America question # 1!It is critical that we identify policy to common sense solutions currently in reauthorization with Pl 107-110 NCLB.A punitive law that uses flawed standardized tests to label schools as failures and punish them with counter productive sanctions,assessment and accountability.Where is the Public Accountability and transparancy for standardized tests ? Many subsection multinational conglomerates and very little oversight."2 out of 10 Americans believe the NCLB legislation should be continued without significant change.""Lack of funding for schools tops the list of biggest problems facing schools for the sixth year in a row." Phi Delta Kappa & Gallop. Linking teacher bonuses to student test scores and other incentive-pay provisions ? With a budget driven toward salary certain schools can out spend others with veteran teachers. Now see AYP penalities and the huge funding equites of inequality created under NCLB.Finland,Sweden and Denmark soar ahead of the US in academics and the standardized tests are not given until students are in HS. They say it takes all the fun out of learning and focus on autonomy,project based learning,inner-net access,personal responsibility and social growth rather than academics driven to bubble flawed standardized testing. Uncreative methods of instruction and a narrowed curriculum driven towards, "one size fits all" testing isn't working or is the top down accountabilty with the old blame game that's insane. Now they're after our Constitutional Basis Article 1 and Section 6 ? How about funding from the bottom up to start, prior to attacking the Constitution and 14th Amendment with other created areas of concern clearly proven and documented across the US in Public Education viewing NCLB. The kids aren't in the political game connecting to federal dollars and educational tax credits.$7,328 per pupil in 2004-2005.67.46% tax dollars.24.28 percent from local and 8.26% from federal. If the state enacted a philanthropy tax credit that generated $13,000 scholorships for students,the tax credits would reduce the amount of money flowing into state coffers. The pupil impact of a student taking scholorships would be a $3,000 substraction from state revenue. This substraction is offset however,by 4,450 the state saves that would have been spent on that student. The state therefore nets on average $1,450 per student using base funding formula $4,450.00.Interesting funding formuls ? US Court of Appeals for the sixth district ! "The federal government can not require a state or a school district,"to spend funds or incur any costs not paid under this act." "Fails to provide clear notice of the states obligation to incur additional costs to comply with the acts requirements." Judge R. Guy Cole Jr.and it's reported this decision was discussed with other judges.Support per pupil funding taylored to the needs of students and funding centrally and equally.A reminder to remember referenced is John F. Kennedy's Executive order 10925,Affirmative Action ! Justice for both the advantaged and disadvantaged and equal opportunity.Obama indicated that there are not enough resources in NCLB to meet what is to be measured realistically;teachers were not involved in crafting this legislation;and modifications are needed on how we make assessments. Agree 100% and no doubt, we're all involved now ! Respecting funding formulas and flexibility but feel strongly we need more transparancy and Public Accountability.Publish school audits to share, so we all grow with academic unison in an effort to be # in the US.From Public investment to a private good,answerable not to the demands and values of a democratic society but to the imperatives of the market place? Uh oh ! Selling Public School buildings under NCLB clearly a law unfunded to meet increased accountability and selling those school buildings to subcontracted for profit or developers."Paid Paradise Put Up A Parking Lot !" Public Education is not for sale to corporatism unrelated to driven benefits for our American children and educational direction."Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till' it's gone." What kind of a privatization plan is that under NCLB ? Oppose the dismantling of democratically elected school officials and have hope for fair balance of interests.Equalize and we can team up for solutions !Thank-you for all you do and it'd be fun to organize a National Public Educational teacher's rally in DC.One firetruck and a marching band ! We can't afford a Sting concert.Diversity of opinion drives excellence !When does Public Education debate the privatization reformers under NCLB and less than 10% ? Happy New Year ! End the mandates on NCLB,it's really not working!

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