Teachers in California Schools Say No to No Child Left Behind

Written by Patricia Hawke for www.schoolsk-12.com

NCLB Does Not Benefit, say California Schools 
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act has been mired in controversy ever since it was introduced by president Bush five years ago. Its proponents insist the bill is the only solution to improve the education system in the country. Opponents argue that it’s a one size fits all option that attempts to micromanage schools with out taking into consideration other factors that are a measure of a school’s success.
 
California school districts have been vociferous in their opposition to NCLB, and now teachers in the state’s schools are demanding that the state’s politicians do their bit to help block NCLB.  Authorities in California schools have appealed to Congress to block the reauthorization plans for NCLB that have been brought forward by two of the state’s most prominent politicians -Democratic senator George Miller of Solano, Chairman of the House Labor Relations and Education Committee, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat from San Francisco. California schools say Miller and Pelosi’s proposed reauthorization continues to focus on school scores on standardized tests as a measure of the school’s ranking and does not take into consideration other factors like attendance rates in California schools and the difficulty of the curriculum.  They also propose that NCLB should take into consideration the numbers of students graduating from California schools, and the numbers of students taking part in honors or advanced placement courses in deciding school rankings. 
 
How NCLB Negatively Impacts California Schools
 
This year NCLB labeled one in every four California schools as “failing.” Among the California schools labeled with this dreaded tag was a distinguished school that had managed to successfully clear 45 out of the 46 components in NCLB. The reason it was labeled “failing”? Ten students did not score high enough on one English language test. It is situations like these that are getting people in the California schools up in arms about a law they feel punishes low performing schools and teachers to the extent that they fall further down the rankings. It also pulls down high performing schools because of low test scores in one isolated subject. 
 
Experts at California schools insist the NCLB has a blinkered approach, and their fears have been compounded by the Miller Pelosi reauthorization proposal which they say will continue to punish teachers in California schools. The state estimates that it will need at least 100,000 teachers in the next 10 years and fears the continuation of NCLB will discourage new recruits.  The Miller-Pelosi proposal erodes local control while giving Washington the power to micromanage its schools. California schools are equipped to handle their own affairs and decide what works best for their students, and should be allowed to do so.

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