With the presidential election behind us, efforts to reauthorize and re-shape the landmark education law might start up again in earnest.
Many of you have watched public education transform because of NCLB. What’s different, and what has stayed the same? What in the act, if anything, would you keep in place, and what would you pitch?
If nothing else, hasn’t NCLB focused more attention on children who have historically been failed by the system? I guess the real question is whether that attention has helped those kids and the schools they attend, and how progress should be measured.
Here’s what American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten had to say:
WASHINGTON—The seven-year anniversary of No Child Left Behind is no cause for celebration. For the past seven years, NCLB has become a stand-in for real discussions about a robust education policy that prepares children for the 21st century.
The AFT wholeheartedly agrees with what President-elect Obama has said repeatedly about this law: that its goals—high standards, an excellent teacher for every child, and closing the achievement gap—are the right ones, but that schools need to be supported in order to make this happen.
The AFT looks forward to working with a new Congress and administration to ensure that this law is retooled and reauthorized to provide real solutions for closing the achievement gap. Focusing on collaboration with teachers, parents and community partners; building capacity; and creating community schools—i.e., schools that offer a variety of wraparound services, including tutoring, recreational and social service programs—are three great ways to start. If the law can reflect these ideas, then we can truly help all schools offer every child a rigorous, well-rounded education that prepares him or her for college, work and life.
image by fraley_tera from flickr.com/creativecommons