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Embracing NCLB: Oddest Answer of the Month

Mr. Youngblood was featured in a Teacher Magazine article September 2005.


Embracing NCLB: One School's Experience

Randall Youngblood, Teacher, Rail Road Flat Elementary

Scott Cech, Teacher Magazine (Moderator):

Good evening, and welcome to Teacher Magazine’s Live Chat.

Joining us from Rail Road Flat, California, is Randall Youngblood, a 21-year teacher at Rail Road Flat Elementary. Despite its small size, the fact that 60 percent of its students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, and the relentless shrinkage of its state budget allocation, the 100-student public school has posted top scores on standardized tests.

In answer to how his students have managed to do steadily more with steadily less, Youngblood is blunt: “It’s a grind, really. We come in, and we work all day.” His modus operandi and his theory of teaching are identical: “Just plow ahead.”

I’m Scott Cech, managing editor of Teacher Magazine, and I’ll be moderating this discussion with Mr. Youngblood on how he’s met the challenges of the No Child Left Behind Act with test-focused learning, firm classroom discipline, and some misgivings.

Question from Annie Levin, gardener:
now that you have your gold star, and your statistical "proof", i would like to know how many of these children would be interested in laying on the closest, greenest, hill and deciding what animals the clouds look like. this "academic" prison sounds like a waste of childhood to me. what exactly, in your heart of hearts do you believe you have accomplished?

Randall Youngblood:
Annie, thanks for the good word. I hope all is well in your world. Hopefully I've helped my students have confidence in their abilities and to care about other people. God bless you.

— Annie Levin & Randall Youngblood
Teacher Magazine Live Chat


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