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NCLB Outrages

10News Survey: Teachers Believe 'No Child Left Behind' Hurts Students

by Staff

Like students across the country, many students spent the first part of May taking standardized tests.

The tests were part of the No Child Left Behind program.

It is a federal program that many teachers surveyed by 10News do not support.

“I agree with the idea. Of course we don’t want any children left behind,” said third-grade teacher Tom Stellar.

But Stellar said the idea and reality are different.

It is something reinforced in the 10News survey of more than 400 teachers.

Only 5 percent of teachers surveyed believe the program helps teachers.

Nine percent surveyed believed it helped students, but 67 percent of teachers said No Child Left Behind is hurting students.

“It’s good for teachers to be accountable and keep making progress. It measures that, but I think there is more to academic progress than the way they measure it,” said English teacher Eileen Bagg-Rizzo.

Signed into law by President George W. Bush four years ago, the program called for states to hold all schools to the same standards in math, reading, language and science.

The progress is measured by tests.

Children in the U.S. for three years must take the test in English.

“It becomes very difficult to get everyone passing,” said Bagg-Rizzo.

At many schools in San Diego, English is predominantly a second language, so the test scores are lower.

There is no funding for tutors to help those students who fall behind.

“There are some kids who don't understand the concept immediately. It's hard to go back and work with them,” said Stellar.

It is a challenge for teachers who feel blamed.

The 10News survey shows 74 percent of teachers feel they were punished when children under-performed.

Teachers worry the focus on test scores alone took away from the bigger picture.

— Staff
News 10
2006-05-24


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