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NCLB Outrages

Introducing ZombieX: No Zombie Left Behind

The good sense of this 7th grader also belongs in Good News.

by Zombie X

Hello all students! My name ZombieX, I am twelve years old and I am in seventh grade. The purpose of this blog is to allow our generation (a.k.a. Americaâs future) to express ourselves on the issues of education in the United States and to be informed on this topic regularly. Have you ever noticed that whenever the subject of education is brought up, only the adults have done all the talking? Donât you think they have done enough blabbering? And they say we talk too much. Wait a second, arenât they the ones who screwed things up for America? Think about it: global warming, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the economic crisis, the energy crisis, and of course the downfall of education. All of this happened on their watch. Arenât we the customers of education? Shouldnât we have a say in our future and Americaâs future? If you ask me, this isnât democratic. I donât know about you but, I value my education very much. Itâs about our future. Ask yourself, âIs it worth fighting for?â I say yes! Letâs hear from the kids for a change. What do you think? Please, read my blog and get involved. Enjoy!

I have been in public schools for seven years. That means that I have been oppressed all my life by âThe No Child Left Behind Actâ (NCLB) signed into law by President Bush in 2002. But really, what does âNo Child Left Behindâ mean? I think there is something missing because it implies, âleft behind what?â A great education? One would assume thatâs what they were talking about but I seriously wonder. Personally I believe that all students should be given great opportunities in school for them to learn the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in their lives, jobs, families, and relationships. School should ignite the passion for knowledge. Learning this stuff should also be enjoyable, exciting, and fun for all students in order for them to stay motivated in school.

But what NCLB really means is that no child should be left behind in two subjects based on a multiple choice standardized test. And while weâre at it, letâs make school as boring and as prison like as possible. Thatâs it. And I canât believe weâve made such a big deal about it. We rank schools and teachersâall based on studentsâ memorization and test taking abilities on mostly Reading and Math. The current book Iâm reading is called, âThe Zombie Survival Guide.â It should be sub headed, âHow NCLB is creating a generation of Zombies.â

So year after year, I participate in the ritual of passing the California Standards Tests (CSTs) in school and every year the format of the tests and testing schedule are the same. The teachers give us candy and pizza parties if we do well. Point of information, Zombies donât eat candy or pizza. They eat human flesh.

This year though for 7th grade something unusual and remarkable occurred before testing. My principal decided to give a speech that he believed would compel us to do even better on the test telling us about external and internal motivations that we should all have in order to do well. I couldnât help thinking that this is what my parentsâ taxes go for. Near the end of the speech, my principal talked about some test taking strategies and I will never forget what he said: âWhen you get stuck on a question, guess the letter C.âAre you serious? This is the pearl of wisdom that I âm supposed take away from my time at junior high?

Well it does make me think about twelve years in the future when I have a research job on the Hadron Collider and I am about to discover the Higgs Boson particle a.k.a. the âGod particle.â So, when I am stuck on a complex formula that may be the key to finding the Higgs Boson, Iâll know what to do; choose the letter C! Yeah right. No wonder America is so messed up. This is what standardized tests are doing to our education, to my generation, and Americaâs future.

More words of wisdom that my principal shared with the students was called the âprocess of elimination.â This is a strategy where when you are given a number of answers, you must eliminate answers that are obviously illogical until you have narrowed it to two answers. For example, letâs say there is a math question; 20 times 20 with the following choices: A: 4, B: 400, C: 4000, and D: 50. We can eliminate answers A and D because they are way off., leaving B and C. Luckily, we have my principalâs ultimate technique so we just choose the letter C! Itâs that simple!

Now, letâs apply process of elimination to real life. Take the war on terror for example. Thus far, we have eliminated Saddam Hussein, a handful of terrorists, thousands of enemy insurgents, probably tens of thousands of civilians, and of course any chance for democracy. However, we also recently eliminated Osama Bin Laden. We hit the Jackpot.

I suppose the experts would say that this is proof that the process of elimination does indeed work. Maybe we do live in a multiple choice world after all. For those who believe we do and want to test us to death, I choose ânone of the above.â

— Zombie X
K12 News Network


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