Sheryl Stolberg’s long-awaited Margaret Spellings profile ran today. It’s smart and she reported the hell out of it even though education isn’t her beat.
But that shows through a bit in quotes like this:
“No Child Left Behind, as implemented, has not passed the common sense or the fairness test,” said Joe Nathan, director of the Center for School Change at the University of Minnesota. “It did not make sense to citizens or legislators to say that this school is going to have to be closed or reorganized because kids who may have been disabled are not achieving standards.”
Yeah, if that were true it wouldn’t make sense! Good thing it’s not how the policy actually works.
Update: Been meaning to say more about this but time has been tight. The primary reason I thought the article was pretty solid is that the NCLB narrative was mostly right, especially some of the first term failures that Congressman Boehner and former Bush Administration official Gene Hickok also acknowledge in the piece. That’s important context and Stolberg obviously took a lot of time to get the story as accurate as she could. It’s also not context that gets a lot of detailed play in the national media. And after some early stumbles I think Spellings has hit her stride; that comes through, too.
One Reply to “Stolberg On Spellings”
For me, the true test of NCLB is what happens here in rural Texas. TAKS testing ends in late April and our kids spend the entire month of May watching movies, spending the day at the park, watching movies, going to 6 flags, watching movies, sitting through a 3 hour slide show of the past year, watching movies, emptying out their lockers, watching movies and then watching a movie or two. Teaching stops the day before the final tests in April and picks up again in the fall. Education has nothing to do with school; passing the test is the only thing that matters. If something isn’t done soon, we’re going to have an entire generation of children who have no critical thinking or analytical skills and who wait to be told what to think or know. Natural curiosity is disappearing and the skill of teaching is almost non-existent.