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NCLB Outrages

No Child Left Glued to the Table

Ohanian Note: I received this account from a teacher in Buffalo, New York. In Buffalo, "highly qualified" means sticking to the script come hell or high water. . . or glue.

We are being instructed that during SMALL GROUP INSTRUCTION, teachers are NOT to interact with other students. Now last year kindergarten teachers tried to explain how difficult it was to keep 5-year-olds quietly busy with only Harcourt materials while we teachers worked with a small group.

Let's say you have 24 children, with 7 in a group. This means 17 kids are sitting for up to 40 minutes. . . quietly and NOT DISTURBING THE TEACHER.

The principal was observing one of the kindergarten teachers during small group time and a little 5-year-old with special needs using glue had the horrific experience of the top coming off of the bottle. Understandably, that child went up to the teacher--THE ADULT IN CHARGE. Also understandably--and professionally--the teacher got up to help this child.

That evening, the teacher got an email from the principal telling her SHE IS NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TO ENGAGE WITH OTHER STUDENTS during small group instruction (unless there is a real emergency)!

Here was a 5-year-old, covered in glue. What was he/she to do--get STUCK TO THE TABLE waiting for 20 minutes until the teacher finished with that one group?

GROWN-UPS, EDUCATED PEOPLE, ARE LOSING THEIR MINDS HERE IN BUFFALO, and we are supposed to condone this form of child abuse!

— teacher
Buffalo School System
2007-01-10


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