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No Child Left Behind And The Military


des
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As a teacher and someone who actually knows what is in this law, I've always thought No Child Left Behind had another agenda. But here is something others might not be aware of. There is a hidden provision in the act which requires schools to hand over databases of private student info to military recruiters. One can opt out of this but you have to do, and no one will tell you about it. (I mean officially that is.) This is link to opt out:

http://www.leavemychildalone.org/index.cfm...63&mktcode=SOJO

 

The military has also built an illegal database of 30 million between the ages of 16-25.

 

This is from Sojomail.

 

 

--des

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>*hears NCLB and SCREAMS!!!!!!!!!!*

 

Why's that, October? Are you a teacher? (Just approached today by the biology teacher. And the day before by the mom. Kid can't do work as he reads at 3rd grade level. Teacher can't help kid as she already has 34 other kids. There is no "inclusion" science teacher. He's getting included by being given work he can't do in a classroom he can't function in. Operational definition of inclusion. Placed with age level peers and left to sink or swim. YIKES. Poor kid, poor mom, poor teacher. Everyone loses, except some administrator somewhere who can say "see we do inclusion".)

 

All I can tell about NCLB for sure is that it encourages the breaking of a commandment (might be thou shalt not kill in my case :-))

 

--des

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>*hears NCLB and SCREAMS!!!!!!!!!!*

 

Why's that, October? Are you a teacher?

 

 

I've been a sub for almost 4 years now. I completed my credential this past May (with a slight delay -- long boring story). I have a Multiple Subject Credential. I *could* teach Math which is badly needed but becaue of NCLB I can't :rolleyes: Right now that is about the only way to get a job (short of sleeping with the right person or otherwise being related to someone who knows someone!)

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Ah yes, the "highly qualified" teacher which means in plain English that you have taken certain standardized tests, doesn't matter the level of your experience. A year ago I could not get a job because, though I had had 25 years experience, I was NOT highly qualified as I had not taken the tests. I once asked some bureaucrat who was more qualified:

a teacher with 0 years of experience who had taken the tests or one with 25 years experience. Without a beat, she said "the teacher who had taken the tests". She was not bothered enough by this ridiculous comment to even qualify it with "well according to the state" or something like that. The irony was lost on her, but not me.

 

Well since education, according to NCLB, is now defined by how many little circles children can fill in correctly, then I guess it figures the teachers should be able to fill them in to. :-)

 

Another little tidbit: Some kids are quite traumatized by all the testing. My nephew who is high functioning autistic and dyslexic had to take the test. He had quite a fit, but I guess finally took it and filled it in in an interesting pattern as he had no interest in trying to do it.

Anyway this thing of just filling in the circles in patterns has a name: "The Christmas Tree". I guess many kids do Christmas trees regardless of season. :-}

 

--des

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Another little tidbit: Some kids are quite traumatized by all the testing.

 

 

Test Anxiety is a very real problem for too many people (kids and adults!) When I was in school in the mid-seventies to eighties they tested us in 2nd, 5th, 8th & 11th grade. That was sufficient.

 

It costs a ton of money which could be used to hire teachers who have broader educations (like I do!) Most schools I sub in waste about a month teaching to the test right before the test. Lost learnign time. Argghh!

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Though I am not talking about more usual test anxiety, though it is still a problem. What I am talking about is some of the special needs kids who are actually traumatized in a quite literal way by testing. Some of these kids will throw or knock over furniture, have catastrophic reactions (crying, screaming, etc.), become aggressive and the precipating factor is testing. They just can't take the stress, but in these kids it shows up in most extreme ways. Without NCLB, you could say, "fine, don't give these kids the tests". NCLB is demanding the testing in all but the most severe profound end of the spectrum (say kids who are non-verbal, not toilet trained, etc. (yep worked with these kids too). It doesn't matter if they function at a 5 year old level, they still take the tests.

 

I'm sure regular old test anxiety has a big factor in all this. They are testing everybody more and more often. Every two years isn't enough (from some official: "I think the parents want to know how the kids are doing" uh, what about from the teacher, report card, etc.etc.)

Some schools prep the kids before hand for weeks-- losing lots of instruction time in the process.

 

They are cutting lots of non-essentials (the list gets ever longer) to not just art and music (which should never have been cut) to things like elementary science (esp the more hands on kind), etc. An elementary teacher friend of mine says she can no longer teach interdisciplinary subjects (esp reading) as they require a programmed type reading program. (Might be fine for the kids who really can't read).

 

 

--des

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They do. In fact, this was the case with my nephew, only trouble is that the school conveniently forgot about her request and he was tested anyway. There is pressure from the school to do this, as part of the requirement in NCLB is that 95% of the kids are tested.

If they are close to being out of compliance they may look to these kids. Of course, some schools just cook the books. I think that is the case in Texas where they just down right lied as to the % of kids who graduated from HS or the drop out rate. There are also schools here in NM which will say they have no special ed. kids. This is impossible, but would be advantageous as you can guess these students won't help out the test scores. (They divide the population-- reduced rate lunch, white, black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, and special ed. Each of these populations must have all the students meeting the test goals for each year, even if these students don't speak English.) The English speaking thing is the big problem here in NM. If a child isn't young, it can take up to 7 years to develop the English necessary to do real academic work. The tests don't allow translation for non-English speakers, believing they can make up for this in 2 years and not 7. They might actually be fairly good in English for conversational purposes, but not good enough to be able to pass tests or take English lit or social studies, say.

 

 

--des

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They do. In fact, this was the case with my nephew, only trouble is that the school conveniently forgot about her request and he was tested anyway. There is pressure from the school to do this, as part of the requirement in NCLB is that 95% of the kids are tested.

If they are close to being out of compliance they may look to these kids.  Of course, some schools just cook the books. I think that is the case in Texas where they just down right lied as to the % of kids who graduated from HS or the drop out rate. There are also schools here in NM which will say they have no special ed. kids. This is impossible, but would be advantageous as you can guess these students won't help out the test scores. (They divide the population-- reduced rate lunch, white, black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, and special ed. Each of these populations must have all the students meeting the test goals for each year, even if these students don't speak English.) The English speaking thing is the big problem here in NM. If a child isn't young, it can take up to 7 years to develop the English necessary to do real academic work. The tests don't allow translation for non-English speakers, believing they can make up for this in 2 years and not 7. They might actually be fairly good in English for conversational purposes, but not good enough to be able to pass tests or take English lit or social studies, say.

 

 

--des

 

I've seen the problems, studied the problems, studied the solutions (dual immersion programs for all students, but at the very least ESL people) but politics being as they are they people aren't interested in what is right, just their own agenda (personal power, is my guess).

 

What would happen if *all* parents refused to have their children tested? hmmm... grass roots revolution!

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I am also a teacher. I have three degrees, one in Biology . I have taken many math classes for science. I took the test and passed so I am Highly Qualified in English and Math besides Science, but thanks to Bush and his fuzzy education mandates I can't give English or Math credit in English or Math to ESL students because I am Highly Qualified, but not competent because I didn't take enough credits or the right credits in Math ect. Now, a elementary teacher who takes the same test and received far lower scores than I can give credit because her degree is k to 8 while I have k-12 ESL and 7-12 for science. I have taken more and higher math than this other teacher, but I can't give credit because of my secondary degree. I taught at university level in Korea and at an airforce base, but can't give credit to a 7 th grader. I don't think the president has a clue what he is doing.

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Amen, re: Bush not knowing what he is doing. But you know in Texas they get such good results. 60 Minutes and elsewhere have reported that many Texas schools are cooking the books. Maybe Bush really believes that there has been this drastic decrease in HS drop outs. I understand there are some law suits re:NCLB that will come out of Texas schools.

 

You know the scary thing about this "highly qualified garbage" is that administrators really *believe* this stuff. I once asked a principal at a school I was well unqualified at, long story but I hadn't taken the tests, who was more qualified, a person who had taken the tests but was right out of college or a person with 25 years experience (like me) who had not taken the tests. He answered without missing a beat, the one who took the tests. He didn't even qualify his comments in any way, like "well according to the tests". Yesterday some midlevel principal told me that the state "standards" were really important. I have to write a sillybus (my new name for syllabus) on the class I am teaching which is to teach kids how to read, and I have to base what I am teaching on the standards. Never mind that the kids can't read! Of course, I can make up something. Anyway, I guess the vice-principal really believed all that standards junk as well. I'm not sure that the people who write these standards have that much knowledge of kids and developmental levels, so they have crazy things like kids learning no. lines in first grade. So people have bought into this stuff. And maybe they'd go insane if they didn't.

 

According to NCLB, a HS level teacher teaching students who read at a primer level will have to get "highly qualified" in English. There is a test for reading, so at least I can do that. To my knowledge the test contains large amts. of stuff on whole language, a program that won't work with low level readers. To my knowledge there is nothign on it about multisensory explicit phonetic approaches which are the only thing that really does work.

 

Soma, there are quite interesting bilingual programs here that seem to work and get both hispanic and Anglo kids reading, speaking and writing in both languages. They take awhile though. I think they like instant fixes.

 

If 40% of the parents refused to let their kids be tested, it would cause chaos in the system and prob. be very effective. I think, though, that parents don't really understand NCLB for the most part. They think of it as something of a long string of reform proposals which didn't work. Teachers are the ones that really hate it, but the powers that be have made it appear that we are the "problem". "Oh they don't like it as they will have to be accountable" etc etc.

The AFT and NEA have oppose it but this just adds to the feelign that you know "big labor opposes these kinds of reforms". I understand at some very high income schools with large no. of kids going to college, nos. of students protested the testing and just didn't take it. I'm sure that is a suburban schools biggest nightmare. The school could end up on the "rotten school list", like the vast majority of city schools. (Of course it is will be the natural result of NCLB anyway. IF the schools dont' lie and cheat, ALL schools will eventually fail as all children must be at grade level by a certain year. This includes special ed, including kids with severe reading disabilities, Down's syndrome kids, kids just off the boat after two years, etc. After that various private agencies and companies can come in without much consideration of their standards and take over aspects of public education at tax payer expense. I should really get in on the ground floor of such things! :-} )

 

Some parents of special ed. kids see it as hope that they will eventually have to teach their kid something. They see it as setting high standards for special ed. kids. I think they don't realize it isn't an educational program but a bureacracy and testing one.

 

I see more hope on the horizon as Conn. has sued the government re: the testing requirements and unfunded mandate aspects of NCLB. I understand large nos. of states are working on suits, planning them, or callign for opting out of NCLB. I believe it is up for reauthorization next year??

 

 

 

 

 

--des

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Wow, so much to respond to.

 

I've seen various takes on the NCLB. Many districts that I've been applying to do not use the "Highly Qualified" terminology. They call it "NCLB Compliant." I think that is more accurate. Certainly it is *not* my ability to pass the CSET that makes me highly qualified, it is my ability to teach children! And the CSET certainly doesn't indicate that (I think there was one question that actually pertained to teaching rather than regurgitation of the facts).

 

The Dual Immersion programs (teaching children two languages simultaneously) are interesting for one fact: By 6th grade children who have been in the program who have English as a second language out perform English Only students who go through a traditional English Only program. Of course the students who were speaking English in the first place do equally well to those who's language was something other than English. WHy isn't all of the United States doing this? I mean supposedly we want to improve our education as a whole and this would raise the bar of what the 50th percentile would look like! I personally think it is prejudice. As Americans there is a belief everyone else should speak English. Heaven forbid our child know Spanish or Vietnamese!

 

This is my take on NCLB: THe ultimate goal is to "prove" that Public Education is a complete failure (which it is totally not). But "proving" this religious conservatives can get the government to pay for their children's religious education in a religiously conservative school.

 

Of course they recently came out in the paper that when adjusted for income Public School students out perform private school students in Math. I suspect when the study is done for English Language Arts, Science, and History the same will hold true.

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>Wow, so much to respond to.

 

Well once I get going on this.... :-)

NCLB has become my favorite thing to love to hate.

 

>I've seen various takes on the NCLB. Many districts that I've been applying to do not use the "Highly Qualified" terminology. They call it "NCLB Compliant." I think that is more accurate. Certainly it is *not* my ability to pass the CSET that makes me highly qualified, it is my ability to teach children! And the CSET certainly doesn't indicate that (I think there was one question that actually pertained to teaching rather than regurgitation of the facts).

 

NCLB compliant is a little more meaningful, however schools around here use the laws language which is "highly qualified".

 

 

>The Dual Immersion programs (teaching children two languages simultaneously) are interesting for one fact: By 6th grade children who have been in the program who have English as a second language out perform English Only students who go through a traditional English Only program. Of course the students who were speaking English in the first place do equally well to those who's language was something other than English. WHy isn't all of the United States doing this? I mean supposedly we want to improve our education as a whole and this would raise the bar of what the 50th percentile would look like! I personally think it is prejudice. As Americans there is a belief everyone else should speak English. Heaven forbid our child know Spanish or Vietnamese!

 

They definitely DO work if done well. But they do take time, and we do, as a nation, like quick fixes and beliefs like the idea that every child should take only 2 years to learn something. So that's part of it. And I agree that it may also be a form a prejudice. I think bilingualism is a gift. I feel very sad that there are Native American children (mainly Navajos here) who don't know more than a smattering of Navajo. Without Navajo schools, the language could die in a generation. But somehow they have been given the idea that Navajo is bad (and the government has a huge responsibility on that).

 

 

>This is my take on NCLB: THe ultimate goal is to "prove" that Public Education is a complete failure (which it is totally not). But "proving" this religious conservatives can get the government to pay for their children's religious education in a religiously conservative school.

 

Well I think that NCLB is a plot to privatize education. The ultimate goal, if not amended, is that all schools will eventually become failures and be taken over fully or in part by private institutions which don't really need to have the same standards and don't. For instance, the private tutoring in reading is not using multisensory phonetic approaches and won't, while the public schools here are doing this. And of course, religious institutions have a big share of the private dollars.

 

 

>Of course they recently came out in the paper that when adjusted for income Public School students out perform private school students in Math. I suspect when the study is done for English Language Arts, Science, and History the same will hold true.

 

 

It is a big myth that private schools are doing so well. It holds for RICH private schools. The truth is that their performance is quite variable.

 

 

I think we do know of some things that really do work. We know Head Start works. We know that separating kids out early with reading problems will work, as it has worked where it has been done. We know that smaller systems work better. And so forth.

So they cut Head Start, don't fund early intervention programs, and centralize things MORE.

 

 

 

--des

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Great insight. When we give the test half the school doesn't come to school and since we do this for a week and give 3 different standardized test, our students miss 3 weeks of school. Our High Schools are modeling the Texas school scam. To have a student drop out is a bad mark so the principals have the students transfer to another H.S. in the district, but they never show up so our not recorded as drop outs. I get students who are in this country for only 3 days and I have to give them these standardized test. It takes me an hour just to get them to fill our the information on the front of the test correctly just so they can take the test so I put in the information myself because it is easier. They can't read, understand English yet, but that doesn't matter we test them anyway.

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Thank ye.

 

 

There's yet another Texas scam I read about. Anyway, you actually promote the kid in a higher grade (say the test in is 10th you put him/her in 11th). They skip the test. Or you demote him/her a grade. It's fun, it's easy. Though I personally think it is just easier to say you don't have x, y, z problem kids. Why go thru all the red tape. ;-)

Relating it back to Christianity--- well NCLB is practically an invitation to bear false witness

against thy neighborhood's federal government reporting agents.

 

On another note, I have yet to write what I have taken to calling a sillybus (syllabus). Makes sense for English lit, but I am having to write one for this class. OK the mission is get kids to learn to read. The goal is to get kids to learn to read. The activities are, uh, reading. I'll have to stick the state standards in there somewhere, as there is nothign in the state standards saying anything about getting kids reading on a primer to 3rd grade level to read closer to grade level. !

 

--des

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Here's what I don't quite comprehend. Go to your typical bookstore and peruse the "Education" or "Education Theory" shelf -- ok, so I'm getting a head start on my education reading -- and just try to find a book that's pro- standardized testing. Apparently then, there are no education theorists who actually believe it's a great freaking idea. Sooo..... why is standardized testing (and more significantly, evaluation of school and educator performance on the basis of it) orthodox education doctrine across the country in the public school system? While I can appreciate rants on the topic, I really genuinely want to know what my options are for raising a child that can think for himself, and steering him clear of the bureaucratic debacle that currently is public education.

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I think it is not educators that think up these things, but bureaucrats who have "beliefs" for lack of a better term. So they "believe" testing is going to show accountability, even though there isn't anything in the way of evidence. It is also true that ideas in education that would actually work take decades (or never) to implement. For instance, there is good reason to believe (from research) that pulling kids before grade 3, if they have reading difficulties, and putting them in intensive reading programs would prevent reading and school failure. But very few schools actually do those, and some that do, practice this in a way contrary to research.

 

I don't know how one would change that sort of thing. Bureaucrats run schools and often have little idea of children (or older kids), teaching, etc.

 

I think your kid is just about guaranteed to think for himself, unless he rebels against daddy and becomes mindlessly conforming. :-}

 

--des

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Here's what I don't quite comprehend.  Go to your typical bookstore and peruse the "Education" or "Education Theory" shelf -- ok, so I'm getting a head start on my education reading -- and just try to find a book that's pro- standardized testing.  Apparently then, there are no education theorists who actually believe it's a great freaking idea.  Sooo..... why is standardized testing (and more significantly, evaluation of school and educator performance on the basis of it) orthodox education doctrine across the country in the public school system?  While I can appreciate rants on the topic, I really genuinely want to know what my options are for raising a child that can think for himself, and steering him clear of the bureaucratic debacle that currently is public education.

 

 

Because they want to convince voters that Public Education is a failure so people can have the state/fed gov't pay for their kids private education. This is not a rant! This is the actual reason for NCLB, etc.

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Because they want to convince voters that Public Education is a failure so people can have the state/fed gov't pay for their kids private education.  This is not a rant!  This is the actual reason for NCLB, etc.

Who is "they"? Education theorists, bureaucrats, both?

 

I think you're probably right... unfortunately it's becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Public Ed. is turning into a farce. My wife and I are both musicians and have many music teacher friends... her oldest sister (by 15 years) is also a career teacher. I shudder from the stories I hear.

 

I'm also very interested in following what's going on as far as religion/science issues in the classroom. As always, I think both sides have crucial points, but they both have blinders on. I emphatically believe that philosophical issues of meaning and purpose DO belong on the table in the science classroom -- pretending they don't exist for political reasons is pure thought-policing. But with the overall cultural swing towards political conservatism, I'm frightened that more Scopes trials are coming. Anyway, I guess that's a topic for another... er, topic.

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I think it is not educators that think up these things, but bureaucrats who have "beliefs" for lack of a better term. So they "believe" testing is going to show accountability, even though there isn't anything in the way of evidence.

I have beliefs about a lot of things, but without any credentials, nobody's going to hire me to make sweeping changes to implement them. :)

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Since we don't have equal education, the best thing you can do for your child is .ive or move in the zone of a good school. Check out the principal he/she sets the climate and culture of the school. In science classes you have to cover the standards, but on evolution I think the teacher can talk about all the different theories or discuss them. The problem is some students won't accept any criticism or discussion on their religious theory on evolution.

 

Thanks to all this testing, music, drama and art classes are being cut so the funds go to the testing companies. Text books rake in tons of money also making our system not very efficient. To make a generality the push is coming from Republicans who send their kids to private schools already. Greed is a spendid thing.

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> have beliefs about a lot of things, but without any credentials, nobody's going to hire me to make sweeping changes to implement them.

 

 

(re my statement about bureaucrats having beliefs (contrary to actual evidence) that "testing" determines educational accountability.) Yes, Fred but those who form such beliefs are "credentialed" in "administration", not in teaching children. Teachers don't these make decisions, nor to those who have studied the way children learn and think.

 

October, I think you are correct and it is not a rant to say that the "destruction of public education" is the long term goal. A friend of mine works as a Kindergarten teacher in a school that is on the last stage of redestruction (or whatever). They have placed all staff on alert. She spends her time having her kindergartners write a "mission statement" (really!); she is not allowed to integrate instruction during reading time (though what ever happened to kindergarten as a vehicle for socialization and readiness???); she must use a programmed text with all students; etc. etc. They have a tutoring program run by an outside agency (I have some not such positive experience with some of their practices) and in about a year or so they get to fire all the teachers and start over, or some silliness. (Don't keep the good ones, just fire everyone. This happened in Chicago, you never hear that this school then goes to new heights. Would any educator or scientist (or anybody else?) think this was a logical way to create a more successful school environment?

 

Ah yes money. Well, I was in Staples the other day and they told me about their discount program for teachers. They thought that the average out of pocket expenses by teachers was $1200 a year (I won't be surprised if I don't double that.) In our school we get $125 a year for each teacher. That doesn't even cover paper and pencils, file folders, etc. etc. Many of the kids don't all bring those. This is a pretty poor school. I heard that our school was "better" in funding than some and some had essentially 0 dollars. In contrast, the summer program I worked in (at a private school) allowed $250 for three weeks (not full-time). They handed me a $200 check when I started for buying materials. OTOH, the schools now typical ly spend thousands and thousands on big box fancy packaged reading (and to some extent math) programs by large publishers like Scholastic.

 

 

 

--des

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Because they want to convince voters that Public Education is a failure so people can have the state/fed gov't pay for their kids private education.   This is not a rant!  This is the actual reason for NCLB, etc.

Who is "they"? Education theorists, bureaucrats, both?

 

Education theorists? Heck no! They are the ones who are most against such things.

 

Politians and their rich constiutiants, the right wing Christians, no doubt.

 

I think you're probably right... unfortunately it's becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Public Ed. is turning into a farce.  My wife and I are both musicians and have many music teacher friends... her oldest sister (by 15 years) is also a career teacher.  I shudder from the stories I hear.

 

Antedotes don't make truth. The last study showed Public School students doing better in math than private school.

 

http://www.livescience.com/othernews/05041...hool_stats.html

 

I think when they look at Language Arts, Science, and History they will find the same is true.

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