Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Dayton says No Child sets schools up to fail

Has it really been that long since my last post? School is out, my classroom is shut down and now comes all those chores I have been saving up all year to do. Luckily I am still waking up early and can find some time to read news on the internet early in the morning, but finding time to post is another matter. Anyway...

I found this one on Sunday, and even though the panelists and I appear to be at opposite ends of the political spectrum, there is a lot here to agree with...

NEW ORLEANS -- Rep. Margaret Dayton's warpath against the federal No Child Left Behind law took her to New Orleans on Friday, where she told education writers that the law performs functions better left to state and local officials.


Speaking as a panelist at the annual meeting of the Education Writers Association, Dayton, R-Orem, outlined her opposition to the law that she says has "set up schools for failure."


The federal education law creates a culture of dependency, Dayton said.

"It really presupposes that central planning is going to be more effective than local control -- that public brains are going to be more effective than private brains," she said.

Petrilli argued that national standards are needed to increase achievement but conceded that NCLB is failing.

"In some ways it's creating a race to the bottom," he said. States are obliging schools' and parents' requests to make the tests easy enough to achieve "socially acceptable" pass rates, he said.

Dayton said she objected to the idea that achievement is the key. Giving all students the opportunity to learn should be the focus, she said.

"I think to say the achievement gap, it is not a worthy goal to address because it is very dampening to the entrepreneurial spirit and damaging to achieving students, especially those who learn at different times and in different ways," she said.

Dayton has been a critic of No Child Left Behind since it became law in 2002. In 2004, she led an effort to opt out of NCLB, and in 2005 sponsored a Utah law that prioritizes the state's education goals over federal requirements. The Department of Education has denied Utah's efforts to use a "growth model," which gives greater weight to growth in student achievement.

Dayton also questioned the federal Department of Education's annual $70 billion budget, and said the offices "metastasize" each time she visits. The department could be scaled back and relegated only to sharing best practices among states, Dayton said, with a budget of just $15 billion. Then each state could receive more than $1 billion for education, she said.

Now, the money paid in from each state is returned "with strings attached," she said.

Jason Kamras, 2005 National Teacher of the Year from Washington, D.C., public schools, also participated in the panel and said "human capital" is the key to reforming schools.

"All this is going to come down to having the very best people our country can offer serving as teachers, school leaders, counselors, district personnel and superintendent in our public education system, period," Kamras said. "Unless we have quality people, you can pass all the standards you want and adopt all the curricula and all the neat textbooks and products of the day, and nothing's going to change."

The comments are interesting as well:

an anyone say Duh? Of course the no child left program is a failure.OF course it is designed to create more dependency. The government wants everyone to be more dependant on them. The more people that are dependant on government for their every need, the easier they are control. And that is what the government wants more of, control over the people. They don't want an independent people, they want slaves who can't think for themselves. An independent people can and will rise p against their masters after so much abuse and wrongdoing by the government. If we are dependant on the government for everything, we are more likely to accept our slavery conditions.


NCLB is about but one thing: Federal vs. local control of our schools - and children.

Utah would be better served if they told the feds to take NCLB and shove it. It would likely cost a bit more that 100 million to the state (of OUR money) but we would then be able to do with OUR schools what we wanted.

The VERY first issue that we could deal with is the vast number of foreigners that we are educating - as a federal mandate. Our state taxpayers are paying for the education of these foreigners, and we should have NO obligation to do so. It should, after all, NOT be the responsibility of our state taxpayers to pay for the cost of educating children of foreigner's.

If we ended NCLB, that would cost the $100 million, but the savings of doing so would offset that cost by many times.

We just might be able to afford to pay for the schooling of OUR children!

Now, if you you have read this blog at all you have have probably figured out I am a card carrying progressive (never really did like that liberal term) and I imagine these Utahin's and I would have much to argue about, but on federal control of education I believe we agree. NCLB is such a bad idea that it brings all kinds of people together to fight aagainst it. At least that is my hope for 2007 when it comes up again in congress.

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