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NCLB Outrages

No Child Left Behind and Language Arts Education

The May issue of Language Arts, published by the National Council of Teachers of English, is devoted to NCLB. NCTE members may purchase this issue for $6.00. Non-Member price is $12.50.

Here is the Table of Contents:

Language Arts
Volume 84, Number 5, May 2007

Issue theme: No Child Left Behind and Language Arts Education

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# Thoughts from the Editors: NCLB Day by Day . . . - Patricia Enciso, Laurie Katz, Barbara Z. Kiefer, Detra Price-Dennis, Melissa Wilson

# "Are We on the Same Book and Page?" The Value of Shared Theory and Vision - Julie E. Wollman

# Reclaiming Recess: Learning the Language of Persuasion - Meg Gebhard, Ruth Harman, and Wendy Seger

# Test Development, Test Taking, and the Right to Learn - Kay Fukuda
This article documents the experiences of a single working mother as she advocates for her daughter and attempts to negotiate a shifting educational landscape that she knows has dire consequences for her child. It also documents institutional responses to this mother’s attempts at advocacy while they also adapt to the shifting landscape that imposes a central position for high-stakes testing.

# Literacy, Logic, and Intuition - Elizabeth Jaeger

The author calls into question whether learning to read and write is an exclusively logical and systematic process in which the child moves step-by-step from part to whole, as it is frequently presented in “scientific” reading research. She examines research on different types of intuitive behavior and suggests parallels in the development of literacy. She ends with suggesting ways that teachers can help facilitate intuitive awareness in literacy for their students. Such changes, she argues, will assist students’ reading and challenge the top-down control of teaching.

# Going Public: NCLB and Literacy Practices in Teacher Education - Dorothy C. Suskind
The author explores this question by first examining the narrow assumptions about reading and literacy that shaped the NCLB law. The author then argues that studies of literacy incorporating a sociocultural stance provide a different lens through which we can understand reading and demonstrates how she uses such research to educate pre-service teachers. Such a localized, contextualized approach to literacy helps her students to mediate the law and the particular, local realities they find in their classrooms through action research and public forums for sharing their learning.

# Focus on Policy: Taking a Stand on NCLB - JoBeth Allen, Bess Altwerger, Carole Edelsky, Joanne Larson, Cecilia Rios-Aguilar, Patrick Shannon, and Joanne Yatvin
Educators, authors, and researchers share their perspectives on No Child Left Behind – what it should do, what it fails to do, and what we can do about it.

# Research Directions: Re-Viewing NCLB through the Figured Worlds of Policy and Teaching: Creating a Space for Teacher Agency and Improvisation - Julie L. Pennington
No Child Left Behind has become a permanent fixture in the world of education. This paper seeks to use the construct of figured worlds as described by Holland, Skinner, Lachicotte, & Cain, (1998) to examine the ways policy makers and teachers navigate the world of literacy education. Viewing policy makers and teachers as participants in discrete communities, the theoretical position of figured worlds also allows for the possibility of re-viewing teachers’ positions related to NCLB as open to change. The notions of improvisation and agency are used to make spaces for teachers to rearrange the boundaries of their figured worlds and begin to shape the world of teaching from outside as well as from within.

# Profiles and Perspectives: Voices from the Classroom: A School Profile - Members of the Park Street School staff with Marilyn Johnston-Parsons
This article features writing of a group of teachers - including several different grade level classroom teachers from an elementary school plus the special education teacher and the counselor - who came together for one year to journal about their feelings, thoughts, experiences, and struggles within the political reality of American public education. These stories give voice to some of the major themes and frustrations that other teachers, researchers, parents, and children have concerning No Child Left Behind.

# NCLB: Key Components of Informed Debate and Action

# Children's Literature Reviews: No Child Left Behind: Literature That Captures What Standardized Tests Can't Measure - Barbara Chatton

# In Closing . . .Bahnta Takes a Test - Martha Bowling
A teacher reflects on the desirability of a law that requires even recently arrived immigrant children who don’t speak English to take standardized tests as an indicator of their intelligence.

— multiple authors
Language Arts


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