Thursday, December 29, 2005

No Child Left Behind?
The blogosphere is buzzing, the way only it can, over this Washington Post op-ed on education and the No Child Left Behind Act. I have lots to say about this, but I'm going to sleep on it a day and make sure I still respect myself in the morning. In the meantime, read it yourself and see what you think. Here's a choice bit, but read the whole thing.
By forcing schools to focus their time and funding almost entirely on bringing low-achieving students up to proficiency, NCLB sacrifices the education of the gifted students who will become our future biomedical researchers, computer engineers and other scientific leaders.
Not surprisingly, with the entire curriculum geared to ensuring that every last child reaches grade-level proficiency, there is precious little attention paid to the many children who master the standards early in the year and are ready to move on to more challenging work. What are these children supposed to do while their teachers struggle to help the lowest-performing students?
I'm especially interested what you public school teachers out there think, as well as you parents of public schoolers. If my immediate blasphemous reaction still feels right tomorrow--frankly my mind may have changed 3 times by then--I'll write it up in the morning.

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