NCLB is left behind

Somewhere in the distant past, someone came up with a nice Goal - No Child Left behind.  (NCLB)  The idea that all children should be able to achieve excellence in education is a lofty goal but I am afraid that it ranks right up there with "Zero Defects" and another slogan someone tried to make happen.  

First of all, Goals must be achievable, measurable and have a cost benefit.  It is the first item right out of the box on that list that made it not a good  item to have on the list.  The idea that 100% of anything is something that you can achieve is not very realistic.  This morning I read that there are kids that will freely admit they are in school because they have to be there not because they want to be.  It is not the schools responsibility to motivate these people. the parents have to step up to the plate.

Let me remind you that I have been married to a teacher since 1968.  During that time, I have met many of her fellow teachers and have been very impressed with the quality and their ability to teach.   Consistently, I find them brilliant people that not only give of their time, but spend a lot of their own money on their students.  Sometime go to the resource room at your school and check out the science kits.  They often need bulbs, batteries and wires to help teach the kids.  Often there is little money in the budget for such things and teachers spend their own money to make them work. 
Speaking of money, is there any other profession that so undervalues their professionals?  Well, perhaps Social Workers who are required to have a Masters Degree are less rewarded but teachers must go up against the School Board and beg for a small share of the funds allotted to the schools.  Instead of rewarding them for excellence, they have been passed over or held back over the years.  

Don't hand me that crap about teachers only working 9 months of the year.  If you had to garner as many continuing education hours as they do, you would probably have them paid for by your employer and you would be given time off from your work to achieve them.   How do you think my wife got her Masters degree in Special Education?  By utilizing Petty Cash and going to schools when most of us would be sitting by the pool.  After teaching for almost five years, she not only had to go to school, she had to perform a practicum or Student Teaching under a certified Special Education Teacher.  No OJT for that level of certification. 

If you really want to single out a teacher to emulate, try one of the Special Education Teachers.  They must test each student to find out where they are proficient and prepare an individualized education plan for each student.  They work darned hard with the very children not able to make it in the class room and help them bring their skills up to the level of other students.  Will these students ever be able to achieve 100% proficiency.  Not with the current level of funding and resources. 

I guess this was all brought on by an article in the paper that said that several States have dropped the NCLB as their ultimate goal.  Will that mean they will accept much less?  Not if the teachers I know come in to play.  They are dedicated, motivated and willing to roll their sleeves up and work darned hard with the students. 
I have always said, "If you can read this, thank a teacher."  The Petty Corollary is, "If you can read this in American English,  thank a soldier.  Or kiss one of them for me.

My favorite Master teacher


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