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  • No Child Left Behind

       July 08, 2004

    Ms. Fedora's recent story about the California teachers that were caught cheating to help their students perform better on new standardized tests brings up a couple of interesting issues.

    1. Why are teachers opposed to the "No Child Left Behind" act, especially when it was passed by a bi-partisan congressional majority and is aimed at ensuring that our children get the very best education possible, which is what they claim to want, and

    2. Why are teachers opposed to standardized testing for teachers, when that testing would ensure that the people hired to teach our children are in fact capable of "teaching," and would pave the way for superior teachers to start making superior wages?

    The short answer to those questions is that the many teachers do not want what's best for our kids, they want what's best for themselves, plain and simple.

    Ask any teacher how they would feel about the government getting out of the business of licensing doctors, and they will no doubt be wholeheartedly against the idea, declaring that licensing performs an important public safety function, that it helps to ensure that the people practising medicine are truly qualified to do so. Ask the same teacher how he or she feels about dropping the requirement for continuing medical education for doctors. That's right, as a doctor, you have to complete so many hours of training of per year and you have to constantly be re-certified in areas that you have been previously certified to practice. No doubt, teachers will see no problem with these re-certification requirements either.

    Why, then, are they so dead set against sitting down and taking a test every so often to prove that they know what they say they know? Doctors have to do it. Lawyers have to do it. Teachers want to be looked at as professionals, and they want all the glitz and glamour that goes with it, but they don't want to do any of the hard work.

    National Educational Association (NEA), a union that claims 2.7 million members has announced their intent to defeat President Bush. Consider this:

    The union is collaborating with the liberal organization to coordinate nationwide political "house parties."
    Yesterday, union officials distributed 10,000 fliers to individual state caucuses informing them that filmmaker Michael Moore's anti-Bush film, "Fahrenheit 9/11," would be shown to delegates in the convention hall tomorrow immediately after Mr. Kerry's speech.

    I have seen the movie, and let me tell you, there isn't a single thing in there about teachers, or teaching, or schools, or the No Child Left Behind Act. Given their demonstrated inability to discern appropriate subject matter, I wonder how many of these teachers would pop in Fahrenheit 9/11 in a math class to demonstrate the pythagorean theorem?

    This "union" is selling a "we hate bush" message and doesn't have a genuine pro-education platform. By teaming up with groups such as, their leaders have taken the NEA down a peta-like path, and they're quickly losing the public's respect. Why their members continue to follow like such brainless sheep is beyond me.

    An NEA spokesman summed up their true feelings on the topic of education:

    "There is no way around it: No Child Left Behind forces us to spend money we don't have, on programs we don't need, to get results that don't matter."

    That's right, the union spokesman said that the whether kids actually learn anything or not doesn't matter. What does matter to them, then?

    Teachers famously complain that they are overworked and underpaid. They want to be "professionals," but they don't want to have to get professional certifications. They want more money, but don't want to have to prove that they're worth it. All highly compensated professions are highly competitive. It's hard to get into a good Law School, a good Med School, a good grad school of any sort. Do you what it takes to become a teacher? In most states, one only need have a bachelor's degree. Why do teachers think they should get graduate-level respect and compensation, but should be exempt from graduate-level competition?

    And, speaking of other professions, when a lawyer or a doctor messes up, they get sued for malpractice. Much of that "higher salary" goes to pay insurance premiums. Shouldn't there be a similar remedy for incompetent or negligent teachers?

    Lest this sound like an anti-teacher rant, let me just say: I'm not at all against paying good teachers more money. After all, if you want the best, you have to pay for the best. I think that No Child Left Behind is a step in the right direction. Teacher re-certification is a step in the right direction. These two initiatives will set up a system that allows for better teachers to be better compensated. The lure of higher compensation will draw more and better qualified people to the field, vastly improving the quality of education. The NEA is dead set against both of these initiatives because they don't think that their members can make the grade.

    If you want to be treated like a "profession," teachers, you're going to have to start acting like one.

    People are getting more and more tired of our failing public school systems, and it's only a matter of time before they figure out that your union is the real problem. Or, maybe that's why you're doing your part to make sure our kids don't learn anything in school.

    Posted by jkhat at July 8, 2004 08:31 PM

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    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: John Climacus at July 8, 2004 11:43 PM

    I'll tell you what man, they are against the standards in a big way, from the top to the bottom. My youngest just finished high school, and I have been to a series of back to school events, parents' nights, science fairs, casual conversations with teachers, and from the statments of teachers and administration the message is that the whole regimen is a Tragedy for the Children. The important subjects we now cannot cover, because we must teach for the Standards of Learning testing! The good children who will be held back because of the idiosyncracies of the SOL tests! It is drummed into the parents' - and I will guess, students' - heads, that because of Bush's program We Are All Victims. Resistence to the program is embedded in the academic culture.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: jkhat at July 9, 2004 11:00 AM

    They indoctrinate new teachers into their hate-cult while they're still in training. I know a few college students currently majoring in "education" that nearly spew venom when you mention Bush or the (bipartisan) No Child Left Behind Act. One actually said "Some kids just can't be taught! It's unfair to penalize a teacher for that!" It frightens me to know that our teachers are being taught that it's OK to fail, that it's OK to give up, that it's not their fault if their kids aren't learning anything.

    I can't think of any other profession that expects to be rewarded for failure. Writers write, and if no one reads what they write, they get fired. Not everyone is a good writer. Singers sing, and if no one pays to see them, if no one likes their music, maybe they shouldn't be in the singing profession. But teachers, they try to "teach," and if no one is learning, they blame everybody except themselves.

    Can you imagine a singer doing the same thing? Saying "no, my music is good, I'm a great singer, it's your fault that you don't like me," then picking your pocket to pay himself the money that he thinks he's entitled to?

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: A Republican Teacher at March 3, 2005 02:42 AM

    "One actually said "Some kids just can't be taught! It's unfair to penalize a teacher for that!" It frightens me to know that our teachers are being taught that it's OK to fail, that it's OK to give up, that it's not their fault if their kids aren't learning anything."

    I'm going to assume that jkhat has never attempted to teach American History to someone with a 70 IQ.

    There are SERIOUS flaws in NCLB. Flaws like expecting a 70 IQ MD boy to be reading on age level. It is beyond insanity. NCLB could be fixed and be funded and be a very effective program. However as it stands now the program is nothing but a drain on our public schools.

    The only reason I can see for supporting NCLB as it stands now is if you wish to see our public education system dismantled. Something that I could support as long as a private but well regulated system was put in its place. If that is the idea then PLEASE just do it openly. Otherwise I can see no purpose for NCLB.




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