Dropping Knowledge on No Child Left Behind

Maybe it’s not immediately apparent to us high above the rest of the country in our ivory bubble here, but there’s a growing opinion that Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act has really helped America’s school-age kids only by lowering standards and basing curricula around a series of examination hoops to jump through.

This recent survey seems to confirm the belief- according to that liberal rag the New York Times, American teenagers are not only less literate than ever, fewer than half of the ones surveyed knew when the Civil War was fought or when Columbus landed in America, demonstrating a “stunning ignorance” of history and literature, and firmly indicting No Child Left Behind as a failure suggesting that the education system leaves something to be desired:

…a research group in Washington that has studied the law estimated that based on its own survey, 62 percent of school systems had added an average of three hours of math or reading instruction a week at the expense of time for social studies, art and other subjects.

The Bush administration and some business and civil rights groups warn against weakening the law, saying students need reading and math skills to succeed in other subjects.

A recipe for success, especially in this economy! How do you compare to the majority of America’s ignorant teens?

10 thoughts on “Dropping Knowledge on No Child Left Behind

  1. Anonymous

    If NCLB isn’t working why aren’t the states opting out of the program? The Federal Government doesn’t force any state to participate. They don’t opt out because they wouldn’t have something (NCLB) or someone (Bush) to blame for their lousy schools. NCLB forces accountability which is hated by the teacher unions and the education establishment.Anyone protesting Kennedy at graduation? Sounds like fun!

  2. Anonymous

    If NCLB isn’t working why aren’t the states opting out of the program? The Federal Government doesn’t force any state to participate. They don’t opt out because they wouldn’t have something (NCLB) or someone (Bush) to blame for their lousy schools. NCLB forces accountability which is hated by the teacher unions and the education establishment.

    Anyone protesting Kennedy at graduation? Sounds like fun!

  3. Sheek

    I didn’t mean to be irrationally one-sided here and I’m not a blind Bush-hater – or really a Bush-hater at all, though I think he (and his advisors, and his cabinet, and whoever else in the government deserves blame, I guess) has made great missteps during his presidency. What I’m criticizing is the narrowing of the curriculum to increase test scores at the expense of, say, critical thinking and creativity.It’s great that education has been a major priority during his time in his office, but I do believe that while holding teachers more accountable and increasing funding are excellent things to do, the government isn’t going about education itself in the right way. Kids learn most effectively through experience and engagement in material, not just memorizing standardized coursework for standardized tests that are designed for maximum efficiency – which is kind of what NCLB is. Also, has President Bush not been taking a large amount of credit for this bill, despite Ted Kennedy’s role in creating and passing it? Almost every media source I’ve heard discussing NCLB has credited Bush for it. If Kennedy deserves as much blame for lowered educational standards then he should get it, but I was quoting the NYTimes in crediting it to Bush. I admit that my only source in this post was the article I linked to, but there you have it.Ok, “firmly indicting No Child Left Behind as a failure” was a harsh choice of words, but I meant it in terms of what kids are learning. So it’s not a total failure, but are you going to argue that American students are intellectually better off because of the last decade’s educational policies?

  4. Sheek

    I didn’t mean to be irrationally one-sided here and I’m not a blind Bush-hater – or really a Bush-hater at all, though I think he (and his advisors, and his cabinet, and whoever else in the government deserves blame, I guess) has made great missteps during his presidency. What I’m criticizing is the narrowing of the curriculum to increase test scores at the expense of, say, critical thinking and creativity.

    It’s great that education has been a major priority during his time in his office, but I do believe that while holding teachers more accountable and increasing funding are excellent things to do, the government isn’t going about education itself in the right way. Kids learn most effectively through experience and engagement in material, not just memorizing standardized coursework for standardized tests that are designed for maximum efficiency – which is kind of what NCLB is.

    Also, has President Bush not been taking a large amount of credit for this bill, despite Ted Kennedy’s role in creating and passing it? Almost every media source I’ve heard discussing NCLB has credited Bush for it. If Kennedy deserves as much blame for lowered educational standards then he should get it, but I was quoting the NYTimes in crediting it to Bush. I admit that my only source in this post was the article I linked to, but there you have it.

    Ok, “firmly indicting No Child Left Behind as a failure” was a harsh choice of words, but I meant it in terms of what kids are learning. So it’s not a total failure, but are you going to argue that American students are intellectually better off because of the last decade’s educational policies?

  5. Anonymous

    Actually, a lot of people, including the writers of the textbook used in Public Policy (GOVT 220) here, think that No Child Left Behind is working to some extent. There are a lot of flaws with the policy, but in general creating accountability for teachers and throwing more money into education are things most reasonable people would see as, for lack of a better word, good. However, if you don’t want to let facts get in your way of hating anything supported by Bush (even if you don’t know anything about the topic), there’s no need to let any of that concern you.

  6. Anonymous

    Actually, a lot of people, including the writers of the textbook used in Public Policy (GOVT 220) here, think that No Child Left Behind is working to some extent. There are a lot of flaws with the policy, but in general creating accountability for teachers and throwing more money into education are things most reasonable people would see as, for lack of a better word, good. However, if you don’t want to let facts get in your way of hating anything supported by Bush (even if you don’t know anything about the topic), there’s no need to let any of that concern you.

  7. Anonymous

    i hope that everyone realizes that it’s not just “Bush’s” no child left behind, but rather “Ted Kennedy-George Bush’s” No child left behind because Ted Kennedy was the main senate author of this bill and pushed it the most…bash bush, but also blast one of the most liberal senators, Ted Kennedy, who happens to be our key note speaker this year for no child left behind not workingdon’t be stupid and ignorant and only bash one side

  8. Anonymous

    i hope that everyone realizes that it’s not just “Bush’s” no child left behind, but rather “Ted Kennedy-George Bush’s” No child left behind because Ted Kennedy was the main senate author of this bill and pushed it the most…bash bush, but also blast one of the most liberal senators, Ted Kennedy, who happens to be our key note speaker this year for no child left behind not working

    don’t be stupid and ignorant and only bash one side

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