Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Don't Get It

So much of the coverage of Obama's NCLB Jr. proposal reports that the Obama administration is undoing the prescriptive and punitive elements of Bush's NCLB.

But that is not true.

The law requires states to close 5% of the lowest supporting schools and fire all the teachers there. It requires states to "turnaround" the next 5% lowest supporting schools and fire half the teachers. It requires all teachers to be tracked by test data and suggests adding tests to subjects other than reading and math in order to do so. It changes Title 1 grants to a competition so that only districts that do EXACTLY the kinds of "reforms" Obama and Duncan want get the funds. And it will push national standards so that every teacher in every state must teach the same things every other teacher in every other state teaches

Those proposals sound VERY prescriptive and punitive, yet the WSJ describes them like this:

The Obama plan contains many departures from the No Child law. One of the most striking is its concession that states and local school districts should be the main enforcers of success, not Washington.

How did they get that idea?

I'll repeat - Obama wants to ranks all schools in the nation, close or turnaround the lowest 10%, fire all the teachers, track teacher data and rank teachers according to test scores, institute national standards prescribe the curriculum teachers use, and change the funding formula so that only states that do EXACTLY what they want get money.

That is VERY prescriptive and punitive and makes way too many mandates states must follow from Washington.

One Republican in Congress saw it that way:

Minnesota Rep. John Kline, the ranking Republican on the House education committee, said he feared the administration was "tilting the scale too far in the direction of federal control, taking too many decisions away from local school boards and states."

But Dems do not see it this way and are ready to ram the proposals through the Congress and get them to Obama's desk so he can actually have a major piece of legislation to sign.

You can be sure if President McCain or President Palin was pushing this kind of bill, those same Dems would be hammering it.

But because this is Obama, they're cheering it.

The administration thinks they will have a bill signed into law by the end of the summer.

In other words, these proposals could be law by next September.

I wonder if after this goes into effect and thousands of schools get shut down and tens of thousands of teachers get fired and the administration starts action against states that do not follow the national curricula and punishes states for not opening enough charter schools by withholding Title 1 money, if the same reporters who wrote how gentle and kind this NCLB re-do by Obama is will write the truth about the law instead.

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