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NCLB Outrages

The No Family Left Behind Amendment

Comments from Annie: This clever satire from a Seattle teacher fleshes out the basic implications of NCLB.

By Richard Slettvet

The relationship between SES [socioeconomic status] and achievement was consistent across all 20 countries. Students with highest levels of SES, as measured in this study, had an educational advantage over their lowest SES counterparts. This reinforces the associations previously documented in the literature both in the United States and abroad between SES and student educational achievement.

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, April 2006)

WASHINGTON Acknowledging the role that families play in the educational success of their children, Congress today enacted the No Family Left Behind (NFLB) Amendment to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001.

The NFLB will increase standards of accountability for Congress and the president to ensure that all families achieve high socioeconomic status (SES). Congressional districts that fail to achieve adequate yearly progress (AYP) will be subject to corrective action.

Key provisions of the NFLB follow:

In all 20 countries, 15-years-olds who live in a two-parent household have higher mathematics literacy achievement, on average, than those students who live in non-two-parent families (NCES).

Congress and the president shall take action to ensure that all students live in a two-parent household. Students in congressional districts that fail to make AYP will be given the opportunity to transfer, at government expense, to the two-parent family of their choice.

... having parents of high occupational status is associated with higher student mathematics literacy performance on average in all 20 countries included in the study (NCES.)

Congress and the president shall develop economic and trade policies to ensure that all parents have jobs with high occupational status. For congressional districts that fail to make AYP, the government shall provide low-occupational-status parents with training for and employment as brain surgeons, chief executive officers, professional athletes or supermodels.

There are clear educational achievement disadvantages to receiving instruction in a language that is different from the one spoken at home ... (NCES).

English shall be spoken in the homes of all students attending public schools. Establishment of the Homeland English Language Police (HELP) to enforce this portion of the law is herein authorized.

Highly qualified elected officials

All members of Congress are required to pass the high-school exit exam in their respective states. Elected officials failing to pass the exam shall be labeled "not highly qualified" and will not be permitted to use the congressional cafeteria or barber shop, or to vote on any issue involving education, the economy or stem-cell research.

Any president who is unable to correctly pronounce "nuclear" shall be denied access to nuclear weapons.

Any member of Congress who asserts that the Earth is only 10,000 years old shall be required to hike the Grand Canyon, rim to river, carrying the thighbone of a T-Rex, until he or she has an epiphany.


Congress will report SES statistics by social, ethnic, racial, religious, political party, IQ, hobby, and favorite reality-TV-show subgroup. Congressional districts that do not meet AYP for two consecutive years for any subgroup cited above will be identified "in need of improvement." Congressional districts that consistently underperform may be contracted out to the private sector.

Richard Slettvet is a special-education teacher working in the Edmonds School District.

— Richard Slettvet
The Seattle Times


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