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Hotchalk Global

news & tips

A collection of helpful articles on teachers and teaching

Long Overdue

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan revealed plans today to overhaul the long abhorred  No Child Left Behind legislation.  Apparently this new administration believes that students should be “well rounded”.  YA THINK???????  Did it take ten years and two Secretaries of Education to figure that out??. 

Since its inception, teachers have complained about NCLB and its narrow focus on test scores and standardized assessment.  No Child Left Behind was a brilliant blunder by the Feds to regulate educational standards.  Its sole focus on reading and math scores diminished the value of every other curricular area and caused some schools and districts to eliminate them completely from their course offerings.  The arts held no place value under NCLB, since they could not be assessed using standardized measurement.  For years arts educators like myself battled the false notion that only quantifiable test results equaled quality education.  Creativity can ‘t be quantified.  Neither can a dramatic performance, musical ability or visual art skill.  Are they any less important?   Who makes up the rules as to what is important and what isn ‘t?  Today in a press release Duncan said, ” Reading and math are important, but so are social studies, science, the arts and recess.”  Now, because Secretary Duncan said what teachers have been proclaiming for years, are we going to see a decrease in the emphasis on standardized test scores and an increase in performance based assessments?   How many kids did we lose along the way while public education had it ‘s No Child Left Behind blinders on?  When will public education take its cue from the individuals who know the most about what should happen in a classroom- the teachers.

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