Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Agency to Examine 'No Child' Loophole

Agency to Examine 'No Child' Loophole - AP

Testing the NCLB: Study shows that NCLB hasn't significantly impacted national achievement scores or narrowed the racial gaps - Harvard Civil Rights Project

As a magic pill for that which ails our schools, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) leaves a lot to be desired. While it places the Bunsen burner closer to the backsides of educators, it does not help kids go to college, the achievement with the greatest impact. Rather, it minimally insists that 12 years of school yields 8th grade math skills and, perhaps, 10th grade English capabilities.

Even so, to ‘game’ this minimum requirement in a manner that has 2 million kids excluded from the requirements is unconscionable. I suppose it is the kindly cheating of our children by the very adults charged to educate them that began this mess, so I should not be so surprised at this slight-of-hand. However, if this is allowed to continue, officials should change the name to SCSLB, or Some Child Still Left Behind, in all fairness.

It is depressing enough that the federal government must step in to insure the minimum value of a high school diploma, but now there is the task of removing a hidden door that transports the most needy minority kids beyond the status of being counted.

While we search for understanding and programs that close the performance gap between Black kids and their classmates, everyone must count. The performance of teachers, principals, and school leaders must also be audited to catch other inevitable gaming, or outright cheating, that in turn cheats our kids.

As painful as it may be, many of us are still in denial about how we lose Black kids, via under performance in early education. Any program or behavior that supports group denial is an anathema to Black progress, and must be stopped.

James C. Collier


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