Tim Bartz, Entry #8

12/8/13

Final Projects

White House backtracks on changes to No Child Left Behind

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/11/15/changes-to-nclb-waiverrulesseeobamaadminbacktrackonpromises.html

Synopsis: The Department of Education has loosened its standards on the policy of NCLB (No Child Left Behind) since Obama’s campaign promises of 2008. As of three months ago, a plan was set in place that required any schools in the nation exempt from NCLB to prove that their children were not receiving a worse education than those not exempt by October of 2015. The Department of Education has abandoned this deadline, and while schools will still be required to submit standardized test scores, many believe that getting rid of that firm timeline “enables schools to ignore NCLB’s requirements.” Others would argue that the waiver allows states to incorporate their own educational reform, which is more specialized than that of the “one-size-fits-all” federal plan. The biggest issue the Department faces is how to get, “an effective teacher from a suburban or metro area to move to a low-performing district in rural Georgia?”

Analysis: I believe the NCLB, first enacted by President George W. Bush in 2001, is an unacceptable method of determining a child’s level of intellect. In Government Class, we have discussed why this tactic of standardized testing cannot possibly hope to measure a child’s potential abilities and creativity because the test is too uniform – it capitalizes on one type of learning style when there are hundreds out there. However, I still believe that the policy of NCLB is better than no policy at all. What troubles me, is that if our government cannot keep its educational promises, and enforce a system that has so much room for progress, than how can we hope to improve that broken system? In order for The Department of Education to finally discover the best method to measure a child’s intellect, it must first successfully incorporate the current method throughout all of the United States, not just the upper class regions. 

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