Thursday, January 28, 2010

No Child Left Behind?

Let's face it during the week I feel like my life is crazy and sometimes I have a problem posting enough for my readers. Tonight is my night of homework so I have decided to post something that I had to write for one of my classes. I know that it might be rough, but essentially I don't think many of you care, but I have some personal opinions about how I feel the government is doing things and how I personally don't agree with the system. Enjoy! Stay Classy Nappanee/Muncie!

When the No Child Left Behind act was signed in 2001 it appeared as if the plan would create a perfect education plan, it was soon realized that there were flaws to the act. What was important to the plan was that it’s attempts to improve student learning. For many years schools had not been accountable for students that had been forgotten about, but with NCLB schools would have to achieve adequate yearly progress. This made it important for each student to be as smart as possible when it came to standardized tests. This brought a second improvement to education as students that were in schools that were not achieving were able to move to any school (hopefully one that would be better to their education). As in any education adjustment there was also a change in funds. This act attempted to be able to move around funds to try and help improve the efficiency of education. Another attempt was by including the Reading First initiative. It is important that every student is learning how to read so they are able to excel in all of their classes. They put together this act, but did the plan do the job it wanted to?
While I do not agree with the NCLB act, I think that it was done in good interest and we have seen some benefits from it being passed. I don’t agree with specific parts of the NCLB, but instead I agree with the concept. The idea was good and I think that because of it we have seen increase of productivity and improvement in the knowledge of the students because teachers are more accountable. Without the NCLB I do not believe that we would see such improvements in the education of the students. I think that it has also made our teachers more accountable and has helped to sift out the educators that were not doing a good job in the first place.
So why do I think that it doesn’t work? The act was not looking for improvement, but was instead the plan was to create students that were all at the same level of education. They were basically asking for a perfect society and I think that is what makes the plan impossible. It also set up a time frame for which these “perfect” schools needed to be produced. I do not agree with the government’s involvement in education because I feel if you have never taught in a classroom then how are should you be able to set up plans. I do not know how they can expect every student, no matter what their background, to learn at the same speed. When it comes to funds I think that there will never be a perfect way to organize them, but I know that if a school is having a problem it should receive more funds. This should not be vice versa. If the government thinks it is so easy then they would have set up a plan that would actually work.
If I was in charge of a project of this magnitude I would not have planned for something so far out of reach. Personally I think that they should have set up three to five goals at which that wanted to achieve (Example: improving reading by twenty percent). I really think that they could set up a temporary deadline, but it is important that it is not fixed because as I have said it is impossible for everyone to learn at the same speed. I think the biggest problem is how to access improvement and accountability. Without the tools or tests assess the situation then how can we tell if something is working? I think we need to find a way to make sure that the bad teachers are being sifted out. I would create program or organization that follows the teacher and examines how the students are doing in comparison to the teaching. In this nation students are being excepted into universities based on one exam they take on a Saturday morning and others are taking standardized test for a full week. Personally I have never seen this actually used in the classroom as a way to get the student’s grades. Either teachers need to start testing and teaching like these standardized tests or the country must start testing like the students are being tested in the classroom. In other words if I were in charge I would start from scratch and start reorganize what we had in the past. There are always some ideas that should stay around, but I think it is time to start fresh and start doing things the right way.

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Graduation Open House Pictures

Thanks again to everyone who attended!