[Susan notes: "McEducation" is a good term.]
Published in The Journal News
As mothers of children just entering the public school system and teachers who have experience working in public schools, we wanted to express our concerns about the current administration's "No Child Left Behind Act" and encourage other parents to learn how it impacts our children, their teachers and our schools. While we have been told that NCLB will raise the bar and improve our school systems, the truth is that NCLB narrows educational choices and strategies by creating artificial tests of scientific reliability that do not belong in our schools. NCLB imports simplistic platitudes and panaceas from the world of business.
While many teachers struggle to educate our children for the 21st century and the global economy in schools that are under-funded and in need of basic repairs, NCLB insults and paints with a broad brush teachers and administrators who are not "performing."
Here are the facts: George Bush's last four budgets have cumulatively provided $22.4 billion less than what was pledged under the No Child Left Behind Act. John Kerry, on the other hand, has consistently recognized that "resources without accountability is a waste of money, and accountability without resources is a waste of time." He has a strong record of supporting teacher training and increasing the number of teachers, voting more than 20 times to increase spending on teacher training and salaries and more than 15 times to increase funding to repair American schools in disrepair. Yes, our schools need improvements, improvements built on a richly defined foundation of sound strategies that work. NCLB's scripted programs and "McEducation" approach to school improvement is not the answer. We encourage parents and those who care about our school age children to do the research and not rely on an administration with a history of obfuscating the facts to interpret the success of NCLB. If you want the truth, ask a teacher.
Maureen Kerl DiSavino and Mary Resanovich