The No Child Left Behind law is set to expire next fall and I am sure that leaves many teachers with a bit of a grin on their faces. After all, this law, while it has many positives to it, is just an added stress to already stressed out teachers.
Because the law expires next year, something will most likely replace it or it will be amended to have new and improved aspects to it. Just what would the NEA (National Education Association) like to see happen next with The No Child Left Behind law?
The NEA likes the idea that test scores are based on race, ethnic background, income level and other areas, to show achievement gaps between different sets of students. It doesn’t like that there are no resources supplied to the schools and teachers when the gaps are there to help close those gaps. The NEA believes without the lack of support and resources, schools that are being labeled as a school not in compliance are receiving a bad reputation. It is hard to fix the problem when there are no resources or support and no one is focusing on the underlying problems that may be causing the school to fall behind.
The NEA also believes that the No Child Left Behind law is focusing too much on test scores as the one and only way to measure if a school is in compliance or if the school is successful. It isn’t fair to judge a school solely on its test scores. Many schools, in order to keep in compliance with The No Child Left Behind law are teaching solely to the tests they are given, and the NEA is concerned. It may look good on paper, but where does that leave students in the future? The NEA believes this type of issue will have a negative effect on how our schools compete with schools around the world.
The NEA would like to see the No Child Left Behind law tweaked a bit. It would like to see schools having smaller class sizes with a comprehensive curriculum that helps student build up a knowledge base and emphasizes critical thinking skills.
The NEA would like to see schools being graded or judged on how students do in several different areas, not just based on one standardized test score. It would also like to see that not only are there great educators teaching children, but also more parental involvement with schools and outside of schools and more money from the government to make sure all of this occurs.
These changes that the NEA wishes to have happen sound wonderful to me. What do you think needs to change with The No Child Left Behind law to improve it? Do you agree with what the NEA wishes, and has requested to have happen?