Wednesday, February 21, 2007

No child left behind - including smaller schools

From Forida comes this commentary:


Federal policies should recognize the unique needs of small rural school districts.

A third of our nation's schools are classified as rural, and their characteristics are far different from schools in large urban centers.

Rural schools are often in isolated communities with limited resources. In rural and small communities, there is often just one high school. They struggle to attract and retain effective teachers, particularly in math, science, special education and other specialized subjects.

It is now time to provide all districts with the flexibility they need to truly improve instruction and equip every child with the skills needed to succeed in school and the workplace...


The goal of NCLB - proficiency for all - matters just as much in small towns as it does in large cities. That goal must not change. Nor should the approach the law takes toward meeting that goal - high standards, accountability, teacher quality and options for students.

But applying those approaches means different tactics in different parts of the country. A size-6 suit will not fit everyone, yet everyone can wear a suit. Tailoring suits to meet everyone's needs will only make everyone look and perform better.

Unless you want everyone to stop wearing suits.

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