May 28, 2005

as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me…..

Betsy Newmark, a teacher, has a good post on how NCLB is shaking up public schools. This quote is not specifically on NCLB, but on how people don't get serious about making changes without serious carrots and sticks...

...But after the new [South Carolina] law was passed tying bonuses to improvement, things really changed. Suddenly, we implemented some real changes. I was teaching in a magnet school where middle school students could take three electives a quarter. We had talked for years about requiring kids with low reading and writing skills to take targeted electives. Now, finally, this was put into place. The principal moved some money around to hire a couple of teachers whose sole job was to work with those students. We tried new computer-teaching programs that targeted specific weaknesses in reading. We began new math electives to reteach basic skills. An afterschool tutoring program and even some Saturday classes began. And, guess what, our school, which had a mix of academically gifted students and neighborhood kids who had low skills, started to see some nice improvement in the basic reading and math skills of those lower-achieving students. What was so noticeable to me was the difference in the administration's actions from the period of time when the state was just setting goals for improvement with no teeth behind those requirements, and afterwards when a carrot-and-stick approach was implemented. We wanted those bonuses for showing substantial improvement. And the stick was the threat that schools that didn't show improvement would have to have state officials come in and oversee every aspect of our school if we didn't improve.

So, that is why I supported No Child Left Behind. I abhor the idea of the national government getting involved in local issues like education. However, now that NCLB has been implemented, schools across the nation are discovering the inspiration that the carrot-and-stick approach to accountability can have to force administrators to focus on raising the achievement levels of those students who previously were getting left behind....

I also don't think education should be the responsibility of the Federal government. BUT, if that's what it takes to solve the desperate problems that afflict public schools, then DO IT. If terrorists took over a school, no one would complain about Federalism if the US Army came to the rescue. Our public schools have been taken over by lefty thugs who are destroying children's lives to preserve their own perks and power. The Democrat Party has blocked all meaningful school reform for decades, because the so-called teacher's unions are about the biggest contributors to the party's coffers. They are murderers! Leaving minority children without the tools to succeed in life, leaving them trapped in hell-holes of crime and poverty...that's murder. And everyone who votes Democrat is complicit in murder, and has blood on their hands.

And if President Bush bludgeons our schools into actually teaching children to read and write, without regard for the niceties of Federalism, I say we should support him...and I'm thinking of Bill Quick, and his excellent compadres, who have been complaining that there have been no conservative or "libertarian" victories, and Bush has "done nothing for us." The hell with that! People are in chains, and Bush and his team are breaking into dungeons, and setting people free. Around the world, and right here at home.

For people of the Right to stand aside and sneer while Bush is struggling to break the strangling monopolies of the government schools is wrong. It's equivalent (though less loathsome) to those cold-hearts who seize hungrily on the abu Ghraib abuses or the stupid "Bush lied" line, to try to preserve the Middle East as a sinkhole of poverty and oppression and torture and terrorism.

Take a look at these NYT (yes, even they can see it) articles on the successes of NCLB and charter schools. (Thanks to Kaus) They spell hope for future generations, and for the future of our country...

Posted by John Weidner at May 28, 2005 10:57 AM
Weblog by John Weidner