Friday, May 12, 2006

All 50 States Get Failing Marks on "No Child Left Behind"

Even though the Constitution of the United States gives the Federal Government no role in Primary or Secondary education, Leviathan has slipped his chain and the Feds have now presumed to lecture the states as to what Washington thinks constitutes an adequate education.

Even though Ronald Reagan proposed eliminating the Department of Education (which did not even exist until the 70's), the new "conservatives" in the Republican Party have more than doubled its budget and vastly increased its powers.

At issue is the "No Child Left Behind" requirement that all teachers will be "well qualified". The opinions of the local principal, school board, parents and students about how well qualified a teacher is no longer matter. Instead, wisdom will come down from above in the form of a federal checklist. It indicates that a "well qualified" math teacher is one that has X, Y and Z math courses. By this standard, the feds say that all 50 states are failing, and that the answer is to make teachers take more college courses.

Folks, I have known teachers that have doctors degrees that could not teach their subject to save their life. I know others that have only a minimum of formal education in their subject but more real knowledge than the doctor, combined with an ability to teach everything they know.

The federal check list is a stupid idea that is more about enriching liberal universities and giving government educrats papers to shuffle than it is about educating young people. In fact, the added requirements are going to make the teaching talent pool worse, not better. The reason is simple. There are already too many hassels and hoops to jump through in order to teach. Telling teachers that they need to give up lots of money and the next four Summers taking classes that are next to useless is a sure way to push out some of the best teachers- the ones that have other options. By adding requirements, you drive out talent and actually wind up with worse teachers. But educrats either do not understand the free market or do not care about anything but growing their program.

Add to this that the requirements threaten rural schools the most. Many of them have teachers that teach two or three subjects. If they need three more classes in each subject they teach to be "well qualified" then that is nine classes. That is a strong disincentive to remain in the profession.

My rant is over, but the No Child Left Behind Idiocy continues, and it will continue until the American People wake up and reject statist answers instead of accepting whatever idea comes down from D.C. as long as it is advanced by a self-proclaimed "conservative".


Blogger Harvey Edwards said...

Of Course I had to jump in on this one. Being an unemployable educator myself, "Dont fit State requirements" Yet I was considered an outstanding instructor in the Military.I read this article with a lot of understanding and also a sense that I hope it is not too late to take back our Schools for the kids sake and for the sake of our own State.
Even though Government jobs make up over 1/3rd of our States employees it is extremely difficult to get in to their system. When I did my time serving my country 30 years. they figure I am not good enough to do anything more. This is magnified in the small communities where jobs are scarce in the first part. This is also exactly why the small schools are falling left and right under the power of the State. Every time I hear that phrase lately, "State Run Schools" it makes me think of my many visits to China, the only difference there is they proudly wave their Red Star. I believe that if the DOE keeps up with its power trip that the citizens should give them their own red star of accomplishment. You know something else, I love to publicly make my thoughts known. It is because I am an American that I do it. Another thing , If I werent speaking some truth there would be a call or visit asking me to shut up. The powers to be dont want the citizens to think they are in any way behaving in an unconstitutional way but be assured they are. Take the challenge. Try to visit a small town college and get permission to ask for students participation in a democratic process. I have when I asked to visit two campuses to be placed on a third party ballot. As the kids say I was kicked to the curb. An unconstitutional reaction in anyones book.
I welcome any administrator or lawyer to tell me I am wrong, To this point they stay quiet. Why?

10:01 PM, May 12, 2006  
Blogger Iris Stevens said...

You're absolutely right!! I've been in the classroom for 29 years and the nonsense required by both the state and federal govt. gets more onerous every year. Now that Arkansas has mandated 60 hours of boring, monotonous,meaningless, professional development for each teacher (more than all but one other profession) each year, it's not worth walking into the job. And the state has also taken over what we teach, how we teach it, and when we teach it. Really, they just need to hire a team of robots to do their biding. And I can assure you that the colleges that will be getting all these teachers to retrain don't have a clue what or how to teach teachers. It's sad to see the new ones come in so poorly educated and trained. Yes, the govt. has done more to destroy education in my lifetime than it's done to help it.

10:48 PM, May 12, 2006  
Anonymous fed up said...

The 60 hours of teacher training is a racket. The folks running the coops have their circle of buddies running the training and they don't want to let anyone else in on it. It is too lucrative.

5:36 AM, May 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One Unified School District # 1 Republican Dave Bisbee warns: eliminate school districts and local school boards.

This is what all this teacher qualifications and other hoops being set up for schools to jump through is about - gradual takeover of all the schools - total dictatorship, socialism or communism. Here are some of the details:

Article from AR Dem Gazette May 13
"The report by the Legislative Audit Division armed lawmakers with more information on where and how tax dollars are being spent in the state’s $ 4 billion-a-year public school system. Lawmakers say that information will guide future attempts to rein in the state’s 250 districts, which have 450, 000 students.

Some warned that the information would push lawmakers to support the state taking direct control of the schools.

“Wouldn’t all of these aggravating, alarming issues be completely eliminated if we, as a Legislature, would go back to the proposal we planned to adopt two years ago and plan to make superintendents state employees ?” Sen. Jim Argue, DLittle Rock, the Senate president pro tempore, said to Sen.

David Bisbee, R-Rogers.
Bisbee said the report will incline legislators to want to put the districts under the central control of the state, which would effectively eliminate school districts and local school boards. That would have one school district covering the entire state, which he called “Unified School District Number 1.”
“Every time somebody pulls one of these deals, they just push the Legislature a little closer to that Unified School District Number 1,” Bisbee said. The school districts “are going to get us there; and when they do it, they’re going to all be state employees.”

Currently, pay and benefits for superintendents and school staffs are largely determined by local school boards. But lawmakers are likely, during the 2007 legislative session that begins in January, to propose putting those employees under state control, said Tom Kimbrell, executive director of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators.

“We have a difference of opinion there,” said Kimbrell, who said his organization would oppose making superintendents state employees. “When you become a state employee, you become one of the bureaucrats and you become controlled by the political machine, instead of becoming advocates for kids.” Link to entire article:

Do bloggers have any suggestions as to how we could rein in this Republican Senator who wants one school district?

6:55 PM, May 13, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I meant to give this its own article, except that the Dem Gaz would nail me on copyright if I put in their article as is.

11:28 AM, May 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. »

3:14 PM, February 05, 2007  

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