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NCLB Outrages

Ask The Secretary

Questions from the public that Margaret Spellings will never hear.

By Bridget Gutierrez

The U.S. Secretary of Education is visiting Atlanta Public Schools tomorrow [11/15/07] to highlight the system's latest results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which, although I haven't seen them yet, I've heard are pretty good.

No doubt Margaret Spellings wouldn't be coming if the performance wasn't going to provide some evidence of support for the federal No Child Left Behind Act, now up for reauthorization.

While she's here, Spellings is going to be stopping by Venetian Hills Elementary School, which, you may recall, received a Blue Ribbon School award from the U.S. Department of Education earlier this year.

According to the media release about Thursday's visit, Spellings will tour some classrooms before participating in a schoolwide assembly. I'm told she'll only have about 10 minutes for questions before she's whisked off to a closed-door meeting at Morehouse School of Medicine.

So, if there's one burning question you could ask the secretary, what would it be?

By Janine

Question: If we must have No Child Left Behind to measure progress, why are you not using testing that will accurately demonstrate progress--or the lack of it. That is one of the major criteria for a valid test. I must measure what it purports to measure. As it is , the test results are comparing apples and oranges..i.e. this years 8t graders with last years 8th graders; they are NOT the same students and it is not a valid measure. As I am sure Ms. Spellings must know, in order to accurately measure progress, THE SAME STUDENTS MUST BE TESTED BEFORE INSTRUCTION AND THEN AGAIN AFTER INSTRUCTION...which for schools here means at the beginning of the year and again at the end of the year. As it is, NCLB testing is indicating nothing more than the change in the school population/demographics. Example: The 8th graders this year had 45% of students whose first language is not English. Last year's 8th graders had 3% whose first language is not English. It is predictable that the CRCt will indicate a lack of progress from one year to the next.Duh!!! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the test is not measuring what it purports to measure!!!!

By V for Vendetta

Question for Mrs. Spellings:

Why does the federal government hate education?

Thank you for your time Mrs. Spellings, now I'll let you get back to the classroom, er, I mean office. What I meant was, you used to be in the classroom, right? No? Not ever? Just like all of those other educrats, I guess.

By jim d

Here ya go.

Mrs. Spellings,

You are on record as saying "Our universities are known as the best in the world, and a lot of people will tell you things are going just fine. But when 90 percent of the fastest-growing jobs require postsecondary education, and fewer and fewer Americans are getting one, are we satisfied with just fine?"

You have also made the point that few objective measures for judging the quality of a school are available to parents at the college level and you support testing to provide this data.

We in the U S have, at best, a middling public education system when compared to our peers in the developed world, yet you have admitted we have one of the best higher education systems.

So here's the question--What on earth--what deranged misfiring part of your brain--makes you think that government intervention is going to improve higher education when you've already made such a stinking cesspool out of public education?

By V for Vendetta

jim d -

That was great. You had me laughing out loud!

By jim d

Unfortuantely V, it's no laughing matter.

The fed has already demonstrated what they can do to education. If we allow them to proceed with plans affecting our colleges, we will soon become a 3rd world nation. But hey, I guess that is "world class." Right?

By jim d

Here's another great question for her.

"Would you please resign your post?"

By JustMe

While NCLB is aimed at increasing the lowest level of students that would have been "left behind," are you aware of the impact NCLB is having on the higher level students?

Why does it seem acceptable to the federal government to "leave behind" the high student achievers? How might this impact the ability of the US to compete globally?

By JustMe

Bridget, Just curious. Are you asking us for a question because you (or another ajc reporter) may have an opportunity to actually ask her the question?

By thomas

Ah, yes- another Bush government photo op (propaganda).

They go to a known test prep mill in order to say that NCLB works. It doesn't.

All they do in APS is test prep all day, everyday in order to claim "high test scoresÂ." They may get some black elementary students to BARELY pass the CRCT. But would you compare the total academic capacity of these students with those at your average suburban school?

By Bridget Gutierrez

JustMe: I probably won't have time to ask everyone's questions, and I will have to ask about the test scores in APS, which I'l be writing about. But I wanted to know what questions y'all had, in case I do have the opportunity to speak with her further.

By jim d

Hey Bridget,

Just print mine and hand it to her.

You have permission to give her my phone number if you wish so she can address the question personally should she feel too culpable doing so publicly.

By Janine

Bridget: Me, too, what jimd said!!

By Lisa B.

Mrs. Spellings,

Are you going to fire every educator in America when by 2014, despite our best efforts, we fail to make all those low IQ kids smart enough to pass "the Test?"

By C.R.H.

Standardized testing at the university level? I would LOVE to be a fly on the wall when they tell tenured professors they must all give the same tests and follow a specific curriculum that is designed by a bunch of morons/politicians/administrators.

By Concerned Aunt

Ask Ms. Spellings why she thinks education makes a difference. One nephew graduated from Vo-Tech, the other dropped out of high school. Both are in jail. Education doesn't help unless jobs are provided. Promises, promises. I keep on seeing children left behind.

By catlady

Ask Ms. Spellings when the dept. will have people who KNOW something about education, who are ACTUALLY teaching daily, make decisions and implement and evaluate them in an unbiased way? When will the dept. actually read unbiased data and not put their spin on it? When will the ââ¬Åunintendedââ¬Â (I am not sure they really are) consequences of governmental programs and rules be examined, perhaps even BEFORE they are put off on others to implement? And clean up after?


It's useless to talk to anyone in this administration. I'm annoyed about what they have done to the USA enough to support Congressman Ron Paul for President - and I don't agree to all he proposes¦

By WhatWillBridgetDo?

I would ask her if she was here to celebrate the WIDESPREAD MASSIVE CHEATING or the FALSIFIED DISCIPLINE DATA, both of which have been well documented, (but of course NEVER followed up on by the AJC).

As long as she's dropping by for a PR moment, she might as well drop by the AJC offices to give them their "Shill of the Year" award for all the work they do for APS in lieu of real reporting.

By Lee

From Ms. Spellings bio:

"Prior to her tenure as Education Secretary, Spellings served as Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, where she helped create the No Child Left Behind Act and crafted policies on education, immigration, health care, labor, transportation, justice, housing, and other elements of the President's domestic agenda. Previously, Spellings worked for six years as Senior Advisor to Governor George W. Bush with responsibility for developing and implementing the Governor's education reforms and policies."

Well, well, well. We finally have a face and a name to put with the horrendous NCLB legislation. She worked on immigration also.

The lady is a walking, talking disaster movie.

He11, she helped write the NCLB, do you think she is going to say anything but how wonderful it is?

Anyway, here are my questions:


Ms. Spelling, 15 years ago, there were two private schools within an hour's drive of my home. Today, there are seventeen. If public schools were doing a good job, do you think we would have this explosive growth in the private school sector?

If public schools are doing a good job, why are public school teachers sending their own children to private schools? They, of all people, should know.

And finally, how many hundreds of millions of dollars has all this excessive testing cost us taxpayers?

By fed up

Ms. Spellings, how do you live with yourself every day knowing how many teachers, parents and recent high school graduates (who realize they have learned nothing but bubbling skills) loathe you and how many children would loathe you if they knew you were the cause of their torment.

What particular medication do you take? No one could live knowing of the disdain for you that exists in this country unless they were on some pretty potent psychoactive drugs. I'm just curious as to what they are? If they can keep you in the fog you apparently are in, they could help even the most hopeless mental cases.

Bridget, why don;t you hand her the full blog on your way out of the "photo op." Just make sure she takes her meds before she reads it.

That woman makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

— Bridget Gutierrez
Atlanta Journal Constitution


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