No Child Left Behind (unless we want them left behind)

Science Daily posted an article today about negative implications of the No Child Left Behind act as seen in the Texas school districts, the model on which NCLB is based. Here’s a pertinent quote from the article:

The study shows as schools came under the accountability system, which uses student test scores to rate schools and reward or discipline principals, massive numbers of students left the school system. The exit of low-achieving students created the appearance of rising test scores and of a narrowing of the achievement gap between white and minority students, thus increasing the schools’ ratings.

In other words, the more underachievers we force out of the school system, the better our test scores look.

Although I tend to be liberal in general, I also tend to support student testing and accountability of students in schools. However, when the laws start bending the curriculum so that teachers are forced to teach to the tests, or when some students feel they would rather drop out than complete their education in a hostile environment, something is wrong with the plan. Maybe that’s the cause of the trend I’ve seen in my son’s generation; young adults ask each other if they graduated, rather than when they graduated.

No Child Left Behind, my ass. More like No Under-Achievers Beyond This Point.

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