Comment from the Washington Examiner, 02Jan'06 (Emphasis is mine)
Most teachers and parents I know hate No Child Left Behind - not because we don't want students to learn or teachers to be held accountable, but because it's such a simple-minded solution to the problem of getting children to think rather than memorize. "Learning" is not about rules, dates or who did what on Page 453. It's about how to organize information so it makes sense.
What education needs is an understanding on all levels that we are sweating the small stuff; our graduates know the dates of the Civil War but don't know how to figure out cell phone charges or airline blackout dates. We need students who read, think, extrapolate and deduce. No test on Friday; the real test is for the rest of your life.
So my "New Blank Document" is a wish that the new year will bring common sense to educators. Don't throw out the tests, but ask our students to do more than remember. Memory is the first thing to go after a month, a year, a decade.
Make education foster a compulsion to read and write carefully. That's a gift that never expires: There's no blackout date on careful thinking.
Erica Jacobs teaches at Oakton High School and George Mason University. E-mail her at email@example.com.
It's my guess that the powers that be don't want a citizenry that can think for themselves. Then maybe they would except an elite that acts in their own interest without regard to anyone else. The more I get into this the more that I think that this is what actually is happening.