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The Department of Education has announced that eight more states have gotten No Child Left Behind waivers, bringing the total of states getting past George W. Bush's failed education law by agreeing to Barack Obama and Arne Duncan's bad education agenda to 19. Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island are the recipients of the new waivers.

While Obama has criticized No Child Left Behind in the past for its dependence on standardized testing, and in this year's State of the Union address said that he wanted teachers to "stop teaching to the test," his administration is granting these waivers in exchange for states agreeing to tie teacher evaluations to student "achievement"—in other words, the waivers essentially force teachers to teach to the test or watch their own careers suffer or end as a result.

Mitt Romney is much, much worse. But Barack Obama's education policies are both harmful and in direct contradiction to his own stated ideals for education.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It constantly amazes me that so many people who (6+ / 0-)

    got good educations growing up now want to work really hard to completely destroy the institutions and methods that gave them those good educations. It's not just the President, there are a lot of people of this mindset.

    All my sig lines are hand-crafted by demented elves living in my skull.

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue May 29, 2012 at 12:43:40 PM PDT

    •  I for one (4+ / 0-)

      Cannot look at my son's public school education and see anything resembling the education that I received. Granted I am far removed from MA, and back then I was a clueless teenager. But nonetheless.

      •  I think it comes down to $$$ (5+ / 0-)

        Smaller classes, teachers paid a living wage, etc. all cost money and that means taxes. Schools levies used to be automatic, of course you paid for schools and teachers. Nowadays schools are "ebil soshulists" (many of the folks that hare school can't spell, I wonder why?) so they can't get funding. I saw a bumpersticker the other day that pissed me off:

        If you can read thank a teacher.
        If you can read in English thank a Marine.
        The clear implication being spend $$$ on blowing people up because god forbid we get invaded by... oh, wait, who the fuck is going to invade us? Assholes. We should swap the military and education budgets for the next decade. Make the assholes in the Pentagon hold bake sales to buy their drones.

        All my sig lines are hand-crafted by demented elves living in my skull.

        by ontheleftcoast on Tue May 29, 2012 at 01:01:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why is that amazing? (3+ / 0-)

      It's a tenet of social exclusion that you destroy the pathways that make get you where you are.  

      Dear conservatives: If instead of "marriage equality" we call it "voluntary government registration of committed homosexuals," are you on board?

      by Rich in PA on Tue May 29, 2012 at 01:40:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In California (5+ / 0-)

    state officials refused to sign off on a waiver application because they felt that the costs of implementing this teacher evaluation by student test scores program was (a) going to cost more money than the waiver would generate and (b) out of scope of the original NCLB law.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Tue May 29, 2012 at 01:18:32 PM PDT

  •  I don't understand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26

    the "teaching to the test" line.

    How do they teach to the test if they don't know what is ON the test?

    The test creators take great pains to keep those items secret. The only thing teachers are supposed to know is the state standards for students at their grade level. Questions for the tests are based on those agreed-upon standards.

    Why don't they just teach the standards they already know must be covered? What is being taught other than the standards? How is this different from education 40 years or so ago?

    How do they know they are "teaching to the test" if the test contents are top secret?

    And if they ARE teaching the grade-level standards, why do students have so much trouble on the tests?

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Tue May 29, 2012 at 06:07:55 PM PDT

    •  Teachers know the type of questions on the tests (0+ / 0-)

      Teachers end up spending valuable instructional time teaching their students, as young as eight years old, to be good test takers. Students need to become familiar with the format and they need to build stamina for sitting through days of reading poorly written stories and articles and answering oft times inane questions. It has only been the past two years that test making companies have insisted that their test questions remain secret after the tests are given. They have done this for two reasons. They want to be able to use the same questions over and over again across the country and they do not want teachers and parents to be able to point out how poorly written and inappropriate some of the test questions are. Teachers have years of past tests that can be copied and used to help children learn good test taking strategies and they are being forced to help students get as many points as they can because of laws like NCLB and RTTT.

      Teachers know the state standards for their grade level and work incredibly hard to motivate and challenge each of their students to work toward mastering new skills and concepts that will lead them to the next level. But TEACHERS DO NOT TEACH STANDARDS, THEY TEACH CHILDREN and those children do not come neatly packaged.

      Your questions come with so many false assumptions about teachers, the nature of education, child development etc. I would spend longer trying to address some of your obvious misconceptions but I am a teacher and I have work to do to get ready for my students next week. By the way I teach children with disabilities and children that need remediation for many social, emotional and psychological reasons. My students have worked hard, they have had fun and they have made great gains this year. Many will not meet state standards. The entire final quarter of the school year is compromised because of federal and state mandated tests that encroach on valuable learning time. The test prep started in March and the final 4th grade (science) exam will be administered tomorrow. The year is winding down. There are now grade level field days, a smattering of scheduled field trips, end of year concerts and other activities that bring the school year to a close. If the days and nights in June are hot then the upstairs of our elementary building becomes stifling and it becomes harder to keep students working at a rigorous pace. Why do students have so much trouble on the tests? Maybe it is the tests.......

      Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

      by BMarshall on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 09:55:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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