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NCLB Outrages

People Speak About NCLB

Here are some comments from The Petition. Have you signed yet?

1. As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I have witnessed the devastating effects of this Act which leaves EVERY child behind.

2. As a parent with a child in Kindergarten, I am deeply concerned by what I have seen so far. Children need to be allowed to be children, especially 5 year olds. I feel like my little boy is being groomed for a life on an assembly line rather than being taught how to think and be creative.

3. I am not teaching students to love to read or love to learn. I am "phontasizing" them (shoving more and more phonics down their throat) which is in no way instilling a desire to pick up a book and read. I numb myself everyday to get through my teaching day. More and more curriculum to cover, more and more paperwork that goes along with the "data-driven dialog" that we endlessly babble about. It's sad; we are cultivating a generation of students who hate to read and who are not intrinsically motivated to learn. But heck, they can sure fill in bubbles.

4. "No Child Left Behind" is structured so that all schools will eventually fail. In the mean time, more and more children are handed concepts that they aren't maturationally prepared for. When they fail, which most will in those circumstances, the child is left with the only conclusion possible, that they are stupid because they don't understand. What else can that be called other than child abuse?

5. Rural schools have little hope of ever meeting the mandate of NCLB for highly qualified teachers. In our small school each teacher would be required to major in three, four or more subjects. While all the clauses of the petition have the ring of truth, #16 is the most salient: soon enough, ALL schools will be in failure mode, ready for education funding to be diverted to publicly funded, private education for the elite (also known as charter schools and voucher programs). NCLB is well on its way to being PCLB: Poor Child Left Behind. It is reprehensible that this legislation was passed with near unanimity by members of both parties.

6. I am retiring early primarily due to the manner in which I am forced to teach and assess, I don't teach much reading any more, I am too busy testing children. I have read the comments of others who have signed and agree fully. There must be a better way than NCLB. Fund education the way it should be, so that there are less than 20 students in each class, with enough updated computers to meet the needs of today's children. Give teachers some control over what goes on in our classes. We feel we are fleeing a sinking ship, after giving our entire lives to our students and our profession. It is a sad way to end a career.

7. We are instructed to only send students who have a hope of meeting AYP for Title One services. There is not enough money for failing students to receive services. In addition, as a taxpayer I am outraged that after-school tutoring services are offered based on low income criteria and order of registration. Therefore, I have an A+ student receiving after school tutoring at no charge and an extremely low student on a waiting list while four private tutoring companies are making a profit off my taxes.

8. Particularly the new regulations regarding the standardized testing of LEP/ESL students after only 14 month residency is insane. All the research shows that it takes from 5-8 years to become academically proficient in a second language!!!!

9. I am a teacher. NCLB is creating an environment that is leaving our most needy learners far, far behind. It handicaps teachers' ability to use classroom time to truly educate all students well. Teachers are not doing a bad job. Students are not doing a bad job. The passage of NCLB has created an environment where it is nearly impossible for teachers to create an environment where students are invited to engage their own learning. It is destroying public education in America.

10. As a private school educator, I am appalled to see what NCLB has done to our cohorts in public schools that are our partners. Wonderful creative teachers have been totally stripped of their creativity. Morale is the lowest I have ever seen it and the children suffer as a result. NCLB must be revoked if we want education to improve.

11. When Congress passes No Child Left Unfed, No Child Without HealthCare and No Child Left Homeless, then we can talk seriously about No Child Left Behind. Until then, let's do the right thing and amend or disband this law.

12. No Child Left Behind is harming my child. I have watched him change from an engaged, excited student to a passive student. Is this really the next generation we are looking for?

13. Requirements regarding military recruitment were "smuggled" in to this Law, which purports to be about raising educational standards. I call on you to bar recruiters and all recruiting mechanisms, such as compulsory registration for "Service", and providing personal information about students to recruiters, from all educational institutions, If Students wish to learn about military "Service", they can take the initiative to do so for themselves.

14. "NCLB" is an insult to the educational community and to teachers everywhere. "Teaching to the FCAT" is rampant in FL and our children are not getting the chance to explore incidental learning which sparks further study in a particular area. There is "no time" for such things, as it is of the highest importance that the school "score well". It is well known that different children learn in different ways. What works for one may not necessarily work for another. The NCLB ignores this completely & imposes a cookie cutter mold on all students, completely ignoring those "square pegs", who will fall behind because teachers are prohibited from taking the time to teach in an understandable way to them. As far as filtering money to homeschoolers and away from schools, the majority of homeschoolers DO NOT WANT the government to interfere with their children's education. Please keep your money; it is not wanted. I've been on both sides of the fence. My child has been homeschooled & public educated. The NCLB has to go!

15. I have watched this bill drive away children from the joy of learning and teachers from the joy of teaching. This act has been the most destructive force in education I have seen in my 29 years of teaching. It is the reason why I will teach one more year then leave the profession.

16. As an education student, learning about this act has honestly made me seriously consider changing my major on more than one occasion. I'm still not so sure I want to teach .... and it's all due to NCLB. It needs to be finished and never re-visited.

17. I have always been passionate about my job, and never felt I needed to be paid for what I do. I no longer find any joy in teaching and feel that I am harming children far more than I am helping them. I have chosen to take a leave of absence for a year to try to heal the wounds I feel from this heinous law. OF COURSE no child should be left behind, but this law is so terribly flawed in its implementation! The government would act just as foolishly if it legislated that no lawyer would ever lose another case, no doctor would ever lose another patient. People are not widgets, or pieces of metal, to be shaped and molded in cookie cutters. There is SO MUCH MORE to education than the passing of random tests. We are dealing with human beings, many of them very flawed and damaged. Educational decisions should, no MUST, be made by educators, not by legislators who have absolutely NO IDEA what the art of teaching, and nurturing responsible human beings, is about!!

18. NCLB does not understand how children learn... it seems to say... you are six so wear a size 6 shoe, shirt, dress...

19. I fully support this petition and couldn't have said it better! The current educational system does, indeed, threaten our democracy. I worked in public schools for 23 years (until 2000) and my husband teaches at a public high school. With our own children, we have sacrificed my gainful employment and opted for homeschooling - not for religious reasons - but to avoid the unbearable direction schools have taken since NCLB. We had no choice, and we have NEVER regretted the decision we made six years ago.

20. NCLB is a horrible program. It assumes that ALL children learn at the same pace. Well they don't. They shouldn't be forced to. I pulled my child from the local public school for a number of reasons. I find the whole 'teach to the test' philosophy ridiculous, and grossly limits learning for bright students while the students who have difficulties are 'coached' along. This program is a disgrace; it makes teaching, REAL teaching impossible.

21. I teach in a low-income area where science and social studies do not exist due to the pressures of our state tests. It is also abhorable that special education students are forced to partake in a test that causes frustration beyond belief.

22. In addition, our Pediatric dentist is seeing more patients with tooth erosion due to acid reflux and grinding at an earlier age...an interesting study would likely show a correspondence to the age standardized testing begins!

23. We need to change this approach soon. Many excellent teachers are leaving the profession and moral is at an all time low among teachers, administrators, parents and students. I have been teaching for 12 years, and I have never seen such destructive policies in education. NCLB is double-speak for leave any child who is not your average learner behind. ELLs who speak little or no English, Exceptional Education students, and students who have difficulty meeting the standards in overcrowded classrooms with exhausted teachers are being left behind. Those parents who can are putting their children in private schools so they will not be subjected to a curriculum that is being driven by standardized tests and to schools that are expected to meet NCLB's mandates with very little funding from the federal government. I'm ready to bail out soon if something isn't done. So please, please do not reauthorize NCLB.

24. Dismantle NCLB I should not be administering a standardized test to a three year old !!!!

25. We call it "Most Children Left Behind and No Teacher Left Standing." In 31 years, I have never seen teachers so unhappy. It's a sad day when teachers are crying because they can't spend more time on what children need because they HAVE TO COVER EVERYTHING BEFORE A TEST! Is this what America wants? I don't think so. Do parents realize young children get 15 minutes or less for recess daily because there is too much to teach? I don't think so. Does America realize that all the emphasis on testing has taken away the time for a personal relationship between teachers and students? I don't think so! Do Americans realize the only entities not being left behind are the testing companies? Wake Up America!!!!!

26. Dismantle before we lose more children. We've already lost a generation.

27. I am a child left behind.

28. The NCLB act is a travesty - you don't fatten a pig by weighing it and you don't educate a child by testing him

29. NCLB has been the worst thing to hit American Education in my lifetime. Schools worship Data instead of learning. Textbook companies are taking money from teachers and students. Centralized testing has made creative teachers go into hiding or leave the profession and boring teachers are thriving. America's greatest strength is our inventiveness, our ability to think creatively. We are destroying this power systematically in the name of Corporate profit. Democracy is at stake here. Let's destroy this terrible law.

30. I am filled with sadness when I substitute teach. Kids are practically tied to their desks most of the day to "meet the standards" set out for each grade level. There are so many facets to becoming a whole person that math and language arts don't cover. Academics pushed on younger and younger kids does not produce smarter, more prepared adults.

31. As a mother and filmmaker I have documented the humiliating results for children and teachers. We need to organize for positive change in our schools. This petition gives hope and courage.

32. I am an elementary education major at a college in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. I have seen through my coursework how the students are being overwhelmingly pushed in order to get the skills to do well on these tests. Because of NCLB, the superintendents feel pressure, so they put pressure on the principals; the principals feel pressure, so they put pressure on the teachers; and the teachers feel pressure so they put pressure on the students. This is not a good situation and would not, in my novice opinion, be an environment conducive to learning. Thanks for this opportunity!

33. As a Professor of Child Development and Educational Studies I work with a number of early educators who care and educate preschool through school age students. I am hearing nightmare stories of Kindergarten classes with no art, no music..only Kindergarten with no time for social, emotional, creative or physical development which supports cognitive learning. The young child, birth to eight years of age learns differently, their learning is integrated and there is a need to learn curriculum in an integrated fashion. Worksheets and drill type directive learning does not support foundational life long learning processes. We are going to be viewing some serious issues with our children in the near future. Please repeal the act and let teachers teach and the children learn appropriately. There are going to be ramifications to our communities because of the inappropriate focus on spending most of the child’s school day on preparing for tests. Please help.

34. NCLB is to education what the Iraq war is to democracy

— 34 People who speak out for children
Educator Roundtable


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