Thursday, March 10, 2011

82 Percent Of US Schools Failing



Yet another reason to homeschool your children.
The system is broken.

AP News reports this:
An estimated 82 percent of U.S. schools could be labeled as "failing" under the nation's No Child Left Behind Act this year, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday.

The Department of Education estimates the number of schools not meeting targets will skyrocket from 37 to 82 percent in 2011 because states are toughening their standards to meet the requirements of the law. The schools will face sanctions ranging from offering tutoring to closing their doors.

"No Child Left Behind is broken and we need to fix it now," Duncan said in a statement. "This law has created a thousand ways for schools to fail and very few ways to help them succeed."

Translation: Now that standards are tougher, we have to change them so that more schools will pass muster. Let's just lower the bar. They want to reform this law? Personally, I'd dump the whole thing because the federal government has no business dealing in education matters; that's purely a state issue.

The reason why NCLB has been such a stellar failure is because it is yet another horrific bureaucratic federally intrusive unfunded mandate. It also has stupid rules and regulations that have nothing whatsoever to do with reforming education or really making the system work better. It's education cartel gobbly-de-gook designed to bloat administrative salaries and create more ineffective teachers (so they can join the teachers union) while putting legions of social workers in our schools to push worthless screening programs. Oh, and they do all that while milking the taxpayers dry.
The current law sets annual student achievement targets designed with the goal of having all students proficient in math and reading by 2014, a standard now viewed as wildly unrealistic.
What?
It's unrealistic that educators should be able to have their students proficient in what they are supposed to be teaching them? How is that unrealistic? Isn't that what they are being paid to do?

Oh I know, it's because they aren't teaching them that stuff - they are too busy instructing them on diversity and how to wear a condom while also recycling and saving the whales. Forget having to memorize times tables or actually learning to think for ones self and understanding basic reading, writing and mathematics. The education lobby is too busy promoting GroupThink and Socialist doctrine to actually have time, or be able, to impart proficiency in math and science.

Funny thing though ... homeschoolers and private schools, and even certain Charter schools, seem to be doing quite well in developing proficiency in their students. Interestingly enough, children living in urban areas who are lucky enough to be schooled outside of government schools (and there are a number of examples) seem to do quite well with their learning. So much for the so-called achievement gap.
Duncan said the law has done well in shining a light on achievement gaps among minority and low-income students, as well as those who are still learning English or have disabilities. But he said the law is loose on goals and narrow on how schools get there when it should be the opposite.

"We should get out of the business of labeling schools as failures and create a new law that is fair and flexible, and focused on the schools and students most at risk," Duncan said.

The Department of Education said its estimate was based on four years of data and the assuming all schools would improve at the same rate as the top quartile.

"Even under these assumptions, 82 percent of America's schools could be labeled 'failing' and, over time, the required remedies for all of them are the same — which means we will really fail to serve the students in greatest need," Duncan said.
Yes, so the lesson today is that labeling is bad - because it actually lets everyone know what an utter failure this dumbed down American government school education system really is. I guess Duncan and his crew will just have to fix that. And of course it will require more money. That goes without saying.

Want to know why the system is broken?
For starters read the Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto.