The reauthorization of the ESEA is under way, but most of us know this thing called No Child Left Behind is not worth trying to “reform” – it has destroyed children, teachers, administrators, schools, districts, and the integrity of an entire profession and U.S. enterprise (public education) as it openly required that corporations (e.g. testing corporations) take over control of curriculum and assessment in every public school in America. Diane Ravitch writes below about why it should be ended:
- It has incentivized cheating, as we have seen in the well-publicized cheating scandals in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.
- It has encouraged states to game the system, as we saw in New York state, where the state tests were made easier and more predictable so as to bolster the number of children who reached “proficiency.”
- It has narrowed the curriculum; many districts and schools have reduced or eliminated time for the arts, physical education, and other non-tested subjects.
- It has caused states to squander billions of dollars on testing and test preparation, while teachers are laid off and essential services slashed. Now we will squander millions more on test security to detect cheating.
Because of NCLB, more than 80 percent of our nation’s public schools will be labeled “failures” this year. By 2014, on the NCLB timetable of destruction, close to 100 percent of public schools will have “failed” in their efforts to reach the unreachable goal of 100 percent proficiency in reading and math. Has there ever been a national legislative body anywhere else in the world that has passed legislation that labeled almost every one of its schools a failure? I don’t think so.