Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

NCLB Outrages

A "conversation" with the Dept of Education: Are we participants or just an audience?

by Stephen Krashen

I just participated in the "conversation" between NCTE and the US Dept of Education. It was not a conversation. Even though only a few people were involved, maybe a dozen or so (not counting staff members), there was apparently no time for any interaction. The feds wasted a half hour telling us what we already knew, that is, what was in the blueprint, then discussed (at length) a few of the questions that were sent in that they had selected. They even discussed a question that wasn't sent in that a staff member thought was interesting.

I send in my questions in advance, as requested. None were answered.

I resent them during the session, as requested. None were answered.

I "raised my hand" electronically three times and got no response. Each time, my "raised hand" was electronically shut off.

None of my questions significantly overlapped with those chosen.

I asked how the feds could justify so much testing, more than we have ever had before.

I asked if they were aware of the evidence showing that the real problem in American education is poverty, not a lack of standards and tests.

I asked why there was such a push for STEM when we clearly have a surplus in these fields and are doing quite well in technology and science.

I asked why there was so much focus on college, why a high-school diploma will soon be a certificate of qualification for college when college is not for everybody: people have different interests, different talents.

My report on "participating" in a discussion with the US Dept of Ed is at NCTE ning.

Stephen posted his questions here.

— Stephen Krashen


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.