Friday, July 06, 2012

Predicting NCLB Failure was Child's Play

I notice that Arkansas has joined the list of 24 states that have been granted "waivers" from meeting the impossible-to-meet provisions of the "No Child Left Behind Act".    More to follow.   The article notes that " It's a reaction to realization that the original NCLB goals couldn't be met."  Duh.

When it comes to predicting the failure of central planning, I find that being right is ridiculously easy.  What is hard is getting anyone to believe me.   Just now, in 2014, our "leaders" have a dawning awareness that the original NCLB goals could not be met.   In 2006, this is what I wrote about those goals.....
The second problem with NCLB is that the provisions of the act cannot be met. Do you understand me? They can't do it, even if they turned the entire nation into an absolute dictatorship police-state whose sole purpose was meeting the provisions of the "No Child Left Behind" act. Even if they did that, they could not fulfill the goals of the act. What they are asking for is not attainable by government means.
The feds offered the states money if they would agree to do something that is impossible by 2014. Since it seemed so far away, they took the cash. Now the time is drawing near, and it is obvious that they are not getting it done. Nor can they. The goal is impossible.
It takes a vast view of government power, almost a communist idea that man can be shaped by his environment, to believe that anything Washington can do will ensure that each and every child will be proficient in reading and math by 2014 regardless of the home life, inate skills, or even level of desire to learn, of that child. A certain percentage of any group will be unable to meet the stated standards. A larger percentage of children will simply not be willing to put forth the effort required for them to do so, and any efforts to bring "pressure" on them and their family is a lot more likely to backfire, bringing ill-will and intransigence to the educational process.
 So how is it that the "experts" in the educational establishment failed to see what was so obvious to me seven years ago?   Well, we could hypothesize that they are disconnected idiots.  Alternatively, we could theorize they they knew the stated goals of the program were baloney, and the real objective of the program was for the central government to gain control of public education, which was formerly the domain of each state.   They meant to leverage the money into control, and to a large extent they have succeeded in their real goal.   In other words, the alternative hypothesis to their being idiots is that they are dishonest and crave power under false pretenses.   Obviously the latter hypothesis does not completely rule out the former.

Whether they are fools or knaves, the takeaway is that we ought to reverse the bi-partisan federal takeover of education, not authorized by the Constitution, and return control of public schools to the public again, preferably closer to the communities than even the state house.


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

What's easy is predicting the failure of central planning. What's hard is getting anybody to listen in time. Here's what I wrote in '06 about NCLB....

12:11 PM, July 06, 2012  

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