Renaming “No Child Left Behind”

Great blog from The Scallion, regarding Arne Duncan’s reaction to Alyssa Wheatley, the one child in Kansas who was “left behind”. Apparently a “moron” , Arne stated that ( after interviewing her) it was no surprise that she was left behind. We questioned the validity of this blog when we could find no concrete evidence to back anything that was written, but it did get us thinking.

So let’s talk about No Child left Behind. It is true that the DOE has been looking into changing the name of this program for some time now. We are in agreement that the name of this program must change in order to change the perception of education. But before any changes can be made, we need to first focus on the big picture.

Teachers cannot work miracles. They can only mold and shape, motivate and educate. Students who need special services are given the help they need and parents who recognize their childrens’ weak areas often hire tutors. There are however students out there who no matter how much education, special services, one on one time they receive will inevitably ” fall behind”. It is not the teachers fault, nor the parents. Some children are just not programmed to be students no matter how hard outside forces try to make them. Years ago we recognized this and those students were sent to BOCES, which offered technical education and skills in

order to be able to make a living. Back then there was no such thing as “No Child Left Behind”.

Until the structure of education is changed, how can we also expect 100% success? Let’s be realistic. The average elementary teacher is alone in a room juggling 20-30 students of different needs, learning styles, and intelligence. It is impossible to split one person into 25 pieces so there is no way for one on one education to take place everyday. The best a teacher can do is to work in small groups and get to a small handful for quick assessment. Until classroom numbers come down and real money is spent hiring more teachers, building more schools, the children are going to get less attention. Even pull out-programs these days are in larger groups. Gone are the days of one on one attention. Those students who are lucky enough to have parents who can afford tutoring have a fighting chance.

While the debate rages on and schools stay overcrowded, the attention is on changing the name of a program. Below is a poll with some suggested replacements for the “No Child Left Behind Program”. Tell us what you think.

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