No Child Left Behind: El Stupido!
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If the law of unintended consequences ever worked, it certainly works inexorably and efficiently today in the field of public education. The No Child Left Behind Act is an horrific piece of legislation. It is a strong motivating factor in superintendents sending mandates to principals to reduce the number of suspensions. The results? Principals are allowing students to make statements like "Fuck you, bitch" to teachers with impunity. That’s right! Students are allowed to use the most vile and profane language toward teachers on an everyday basis. We get calls and visits from teachers nearly everyday concerning such egregious language used on a constant and regular basis toward teachers. Some of the more flagrant situations occur at Atlanta’s King Middle School (of course, nearly all schools in the Atlanta Public Schools could justifiably be on this list), DeKalb’s Chapel Hill Middle School, Fulton’s Banneker High School, Hancock’s Hancock Central High School, Gwinnett’s Shiloh High School, Clayton’s Alternative School, and Clayton’s Mt. Zion High School (the same school where police officers recently had to wrestle a student to the ground to take away a gun and a chain). Teachers are now physically attacked on a regular basis. This is especially true in urban settings. But, because school officials want their schools to pass the almighty Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) test (which partly is based on school attendance), these same gutless and inept officials simply refuse to suspend or expel their miscreant students! In fact, the students threaten the teachers by saying that they are going to see the administration about them! Yes, the students now see the administration as their enforcer, not the teachers’ enforcer!

The No Child Left Behind Act tries to make every student a scholar. But, most of our public school students don’t even attend college, much less graduate from college. If you take into account the student drop-out rate (which hovers around 40% in Georgia), then a large majority of our public school students never attend a college or university. They need training for a skill in the real work world. The No Child Left Behind Act may be good politics for politicians but it is stupendously stupid for public education!

The following five paragraphs were sent to us by one of our members in Columbus, Georgia. This vignette adroitly illustrates the stupidity of the No Child Left Behind Act.

1. All teams must make the state playoffs, and all will win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, then they will be on probation until they are the champions, and the coaches will be held accountable.

2. All kids will be expected to have the same basketball skills at the same time and in the same conditions. No exceptions will be made for interest in basketball, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities. ALL KIDS WILL PLAY BASKETBALL AT A PROFICIENT LEVEL. At the end of each season, each player will be able to dunk the basketball proficiently.

3. Talented players will be asked to work out on their own without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who aren’t interested in basketball, have limited athletic ability, or whose parents don’t like basketball.

4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be kept in the 3rd, 8th and 11th games.

5. This will create a New Age of Sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimal goals. If no child gets ahead, then no child will be left behind.

                                                              March 18, 2005

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