This past Friday (1.8.10) marked the 8th anniversary of Bush signing NCLB into law. Now, I’m the first to agree that NCLB is riddled with problems, some of which have been mentioned by other authors of this blog in recent posts (I myself have two related posts: NCLB (as long as he has a chance of passing) and NCLB & the Gifted Kids).
But NCLB is a complex law and it’s easy to damn the whole thing because aspects of the law haven’t worked as planned or have created a host of bad things in its wake. For instance, I like that school accountability has increased, albeit by enacting some dumb ideas to measure it. I like the idea of teachers having to be highly qualified and know their content, even though how we’ve assessed “high-quality” seems to have missed the mark. I like that there are now state curricula, that schools a town apart aren’t teaching drastically different things, but if I had my way, we would have a National Curriculum – like every other leading country. If we’re going to have a national law (NCLB), why not have a National Curriculum and national standards with which to measure compliance with the national law? Why should a public high school diploma be worth more from Connecticut than, say, one from Alabama?
No matter what we’d like, it’s pretty clear that NCLB isn’t going away. I have my hope for NCLB 2.0, as do many educators, but we’ll just have to wait and see what Obama and Duncan do with this. For a recent and interesting Washington Post article on the subject, check this out. dven.