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Should Kansas school districts be allowed to use student achievement testing standards other than the federal government’s No Child Left Behind policy?

Response Percent Votes
76% 741
18% 177
Not sure
5% 56
Total 974


pace 5 years ago

The schools first duty is to the students. I know that money is tied to the dubious no child left behind but contrary to the school boards emotions, money is not the goal of our schools. It is necessary but if they let Bush's idiotic program derail education they are betraying themselves and the students. I assume the question is posed in such a way that it is seen as an either or situation. That is probably incorrect.

scarletbhound 5 years ago

People complaining that NCLB is "Bush's plan" should remember that the law was co-sponsored by Sen. Ted Kennedy and was based largely on Bill Clinton's Goals 2000 program. Whatever you might say about the law, it was clearly bipartisan. Similarly Obama's Race to theTop plan has won strong support from Republicans. Indeed, the primary opposition to Obama comes from Democratic-leaning teachers unions and the rest of the left-tilting educational establishment that simply doesn't want to reform itself to ensure that our kids have the "21st century skills" sought by Obama. It's sad that some people prefer to make cheap partisan points off the schools. Interestingly, in following education issues for years I have noticed that the strongest support for major reform comes from business leaders, the black community, leftwing think tanks (check the Democrats for Education Reform and the Economic Policy Institute, both of which are leftist and strongly support the Bush/Kennedy/Clinton/Obama approach) and governors of both parties. Unfortunately, the political atmosphere has become so partisanly poisonous that the status quo -- low test scores, functionally illiterate high school graduates, young people totally unprepared for a competitive global economy etc. -- is likely to continue. In other words, partisan attitudes reflected in the accompanying posts serve no one except the Chinese and Indians who are investing heavily in education and uphold rigorous academic standards that are far beyond the capabilities of the typical American child. So keep complaining about Bush, folks, stir the partisan pot so Obama will never get the bipartisan support essential to enact meaningful reform and surrender our kids' futures to our foreign competitors.

Kirk Larson 5 years ago

President Obama will never get bipartisan support from the Party of No.

ivalueamerica 5 years ago

the bill was presented as such, then watered down, politicized and then instituted by someone who many on both sides of the aisle consider the worst secretary of education ever.

And more important, is considered largely a failure by most educators.

And I consider it a cheap ploy to blame complaining democratic voters for a lack of bipartisanship. Mi complaining about a a conservative activist does not keep the conservative activist from being bi-partisan, it is his or her responsibility to mediate and fix it and they do not. While I am largely left, i always prefer a more centrist government where compromise is the way to go (so no one is happy). That is why i support a break of the 2 party system. Coalition governments have to learn to compromise to survive and in the end, avoiding one extreme or another often is best for the country.

overthemoon 5 years ago

A state should be able to follow their own plan if it is provably better and more effective. Given how riciculous and ineffective NCLB is, that should not be difficult.

independant1 5 years ago

And Ted Kennedy's, Co-Sponser of the bill. At least Bush reached across the aisle.

rgh 5 years ago

No, Steve Abrams is now a state senator so he's not on the State Board of Education. Kansas might have a decent shot of a good achievement assessment now that's he's gone.

KSManimal 5 years ago

Yes, things are very different in other countries. For example, in India schooling beyond "8th grade" or so is not mandatory. Many people stop at that point, and many others never attend school at all - millions are illiterate.

Just think how the mighty India's student's would appear if all those illiterate folks were factored in rather than weeded out........

Just think how great the good ol' USA's student's would appear if we only tested the top 25% or so of our students - like the "competition" does.

scarletbhound 5 years ago

You are missing a big factor in your comment on India. With almost 1 billion people, a significant percentage of which are under age 18, they only have to educate a relatively small fraction of their children to high standards to have more college grads etc. than we do. Approximately 55 million kids are enrolled in U.S. public schools K-12. India has roughly 400 million kids the same age. If only 15 percent of their kids have "college level skills," they will have more higher-level performers than we have children. The same factor applies even more with China's 1.2 billion population. The point is we have to educate a huge percentage of our kids to keep pace with them, yet according to the ACT only about 21 percent of the students who took the ACT last year have "college ready" academic abilities. And remember, that doesn't include drop-outs and kids who don't plan to go to college, only those who took the ACT. More important, we are running out of time. Within the next 10-20 years India and China, not to mention South Korea, Taiwan and other Asian countries, will have top-notch college systems that will blow our kids away unless we get busy reforming education. Sadly, more people on this site seem more interested in bashing George Bush than in pushing schools to improve.

overthemoon 5 years ago

There is no doubt that we have to put a huge emphasis on eduction. However, teaching kids to score well on tests is not effective education. Forcing teachers to spend more time on paperwork than in the classroom is not effective education. I don't care if Bush or Clinton or George Washington wrote is not effective. Because schools are not getting the funding and have to spend time prepping for tests, we have lost music, phys ed, art, languages and everything but remedial test taking.

There are so many good models for improving our schools...some charter schools, montessori, etc.

Don Whiteley 5 years ago

The problem is that states are closer to the real problem and their leadership more under the control of the unions. By allowing states to develop their own tests, we are also allowing the union to cover up weaknesses within their ranks. You can bet that tests developed and administered by the states will be more "teacher friendly" than federal standards.

Kirk Larson 5 years ago

Every teacher I know is firmly dedicated to doing what's best for their students. They sure don't go into teaching for the money. Most have to use their own money for teaching supplies because they're shorted by the school district. Sure unions protect their own; usually from being downsized by over-paid, cost cutting administrators leaving students without adequate teachers.

independant1 5 years ago

i know a teacher firmly dedicated to coke and pot.

independant1 5 years ago

And it costs money to come up with a new validated test. Can you say, raise the budget for another line item?

domino 5 years ago

NCLB was a great idea that failed!! I don't know of any teacher that feels like this has worked well - and they should be the ones that know! The whole thing needs scrapped and someone needs to start completely over - using ideas from teachers & administrators as to what needs to be done - not leaving it up to the politicians.

independant1 5 years ago

unhappily though, the bipartisan NCLB bill was passed and signed by the president. Will require legislative or budgetary action to repeal it. It'll take bipartisan action to do that. What are the odds of that happening? My guess less than 50-50

straightforward 5 years ago

As long as we evaluate the quality of education by using standardized tests we will have mediocre schools because there is pressure on teachers to make sure the lowest percentiles meet minimally acceptable achievement levels. Public schools seem to be stronger in Kansas than they are in many other states but it seems like this is slowly changing. Teachers and school districts are constrained by budgets that get tighter every year and education "standards" that result in funds going toward making sure everyone is average instead of helping those who want to learn excel. Private schools will slowly overtake public schools like they have in many other states because parents who can afford to will flock towards "quality".

OwlHead 5 years ago

No Child Left Behind is STUPID. NOT EFFECTIVE.

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