Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
I don't know why this is called the 'opposing' view - it seems to be prevailing wisdom by now. But I guess we're still waiting for an autonomous press. Anyhow, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson writes, "I have a one-point plan for No Child Left Behind: Scrap it." I am inclined to agree. From where I sit (and admittedly, that's somewhere outside the building) it seems to me that NCLB is a large exercise undertaken in lieu of actually funding education. It's a way to distract attention from the low teacher salaries, the unequal allocation of funds across divisions, the lack of investment in equipment and resources, and the general abdication of government responsibility for education. I mean - Joanne Jacobs describes a case of NCLB "working exactly as advertised" where, instead of simply funding a remedial reading program for the ten English learners who did not make it 'up to grade' (whatever that means), NCLB called one of the better schools in the state a "failing school" and completely gutted it - without adding resources to fund the mandated changes. In fact, "Napa had to dip into state lottery money and a legal settlement with Microsoft to buy Read 180," a program mandated by the 'restructuring'. Via Tom Hoffman. See also Ravitch's Reversal. (As an aside - as I write this I'm also thinking that NCLB probably also plays into the master narrative described by Jay Rosen today.)

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 03:34 a.m.