Well here we go again! Now No Child Left Behind is going to be modified and amended-we think. For years we have known the law was mightily flawed. But we got the law because the teachers and their unions were asleep at the switch. If the change comes to be, it will be known as ESEA as amended, so we will go back to the original Elementary and Secondary School Act.
Why is the law being amended now? Because the 2013-14 school year is coming and that is the year all of God's children were supposed to be on grade level in reading and math. Any person with a grain of common sense knew that wouldn't happen but it sure made for great press. As the time approaches the various governors are realizing that they will be saddled with many failing schools that have not made adequate yearly progress. And they will be giving their electoral rivals a great issue to run on. So the way to fix that is to remove the requirement for adequate yearly progress (AYP). Finally a bi-partisian issue we can all live with. Of course this is all for politics and has nothing to do with good education.
Where are those all powerful teachers unions now that they have a chance for a second bite at the apple? Probably out worrying about some health and welfare issue. They, too, are not interested in quality education.
Senator Isakson, a Republican from Georgia, wants to add an amendment that would remove more students with disabilities from the assessment process. That may turn out not to be an issue if all the states are allowed to do what they want and pick and chose as to who will be included in the assessment. Some special education interests are upset. They think this change could take us back to the time when students in special education were barely challenged academically because there was no expectation for academic success. That would be terrible. By the same token, it is equally terrible for children with limited academic abilities to be repeated failures by expecting them to achieve that which they are unable to do. We might be able to find a middle ground if we had professional rather than political leadership on the issue. But we do not.
I continue to dispair that of all the professional groups, mine is the only one that has chosen to be more like a blue collar union and less like a professional group. Then we jump and shout when we are not treated as professionals.
Looks like my miracle of all children being on grade level by 2014 isn't going to happen because the requirement will be gone by then. Yet another miracle that didn't come to pass.