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The 13th Bracey Report on Public Education

This year's Report begins and ends with No Child Left Behind

Posted: 2003-10-03

Gerald Bracey terms NCLB "a weapon of mass destruction."

To produce last year's report required me to sift through 2 1/2 drawers full of materials. This year, there were 3 1/2 drawers. Attention is being paid to public educaiton; much of it is not benign. On the education news front, budgets and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) dominated. Because readers certainly know the budget situation in their own states, we begin with NCLB, in two parts.

NCLB: The AYP Trap

Last year's report said of No Child Left Behind, "[It's] a trap, a Trojan Horse. . . choose your metaphor." These days, Americans speak mostly in war images, so I now call NCLB a weapon of mass destruction targed at the public schools in a campaign of shock and awe, which, given the incredible underreaction of educators, I must conclude is working. I first expressed that sentiment in an article that no one would publish in April 2002. (The article can be found at www.america-tomorrow.com/bracey/EDDRA) No one seemed to believe it then. They do now. . . .

Find out why these people won coveted Golden Apple Awards:

  • Superior Court Judge Howard Manning, Jr., Wake County, N.C.

  • Michael Winerip, New York Times

  • Doug Oplinger and Dennis Willard, Akron Beacon Journal

  • Don Orlich, Washington State University

  • Martin Swaden, Edina Minnesota

  • Gary K. Hart, former CA senator, current teacher

  • Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times

  • Geoffrey Nunberg, Stanford University

  • Read the complete report in the October Phi Delta Kappan. You should be a subscriber.

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