No Child Left Behind law uncertain
It is critical that we repeat our rebuttals to NCLB again and again. Kudos to Siu-Runyan and Krashen for doing just this. This is the technique used by corporate America, one in which Progressives usually lag far far behind.
Comments by Yvonne Siu-Runyan:
The NCLB Act is a bad law. It does not promote
learning or providing our young with an education,
which empowers them as citizens. Instead the law was
designed to control and punish, instilling fear in
teachers and students alike. The high stakes tests
used are flawed for their assumptions about reading
and writing show limited understanding of the process
of becoming literate, limits reading and writing to
filling out worksheets and sounding out words. This is
Being literate involves analyzing from a critical
perspective what is being said/written, who is saying
or writing the message, what is the person(s) intent,
and what is left out and why. These are what NCLB
mandates cannot and will never be able to determine.
I have surmised that NCLB and the flawed high stakes
tests were meant to limit and curtail critical
thought, reduce literacy to filling in worksheets, and
sounding out words without thought to meaning, and
thereby controlling the citizens. An uninformed
citizenry is easy to control. Thus, in this current
climate of control, fear, the bullies in government
intimidate, voices muffled, and another peg is
hammered into the chipping away of Our Constitutional
The NCLB Act needs to be "canned." It cannot be fixed.
We need courageous people who have the courage to take
a stand for democracy, our youth, and our educators,
Comments by Stephen Krashen:
Unmentioned in most of the discussion of NCLB is the
fact that there is no evidence it has worked. In fact,
it appears to be harmful for reading instruction.
President Bush claims national reading test scores are
at an all-time high, but nearly all of the improvement
took place before NCLB was implemented.
American fourth graders showed no improvement (in
fact, a two-point loss) between 2001 and 2006 on an
international reading test (PIRLS).
Analysis of the Center for Education Policy report on
state testing revealed an increase of rate of
improvement of only 1/3 of one percent after NCLB was
These results do not mean NCLB is just as good as
previous approaches. It means it is worse. The Center
for Education Policy report tells us that the reading
component of NCLB, Reading First, takes up an extra
100 minutes per week. If there is no difference in how
well children read, the extra 100 minutes was a waste
of time and a waste of money.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 Six years after becoming U.S. law,
the fate of No Child Left Behind is uncertain.
No Child Left Behind, the school accountability
measure enthusiastically championed by President
George Bush, is aimed at improving the nation's public
school systems and bringing all U.S. students up to
proficiency by 2014 in math, reading and writing, The
(Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported Sunday.
"I think the chances for reauthorization in 2008 are
slim and none," said Mike Petrilli, a former Bush
administration education official now with the Thomas
B. Fordham Foundation. "The bases of both parties hate
There is consensus that the law will be scrapped once
Bush leaves office since the policy is so closely
associated with the president.
"School people have lived with the law for six years
-- they know the defects in it," said Jack Jennings,
president of the Center for Education Policy, a
Washington group that advocates for public education.
"Unlike most laws, this law has not been amended for
six years. The lid has been held tight, and that's
Staff, with comments by Yvonne Siu-Runyan & Stephen Krashen
INDEX OF NCLB OUTRAGES