"His fifth success was No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the education reform
bill cosponsored by America's most prominent liberal Democratic senator Edward
Kennedy. The teachers' unions, school boards, the education establishment,
conservatives adamant about local control of schools--they all loathed the
measure and still do. It requires two things they ardently oppose, mandatory
testing and accountability.
Kennedy later turned against NCLB, saying Bush is shortchanging the
program. In truth, federal education spending is at record levels. Another
complaint is that it forces teachers to "teach to the test." The tests are on
math and reading. They are tests worth teaching to."
Uh, no. First of all, sir, how would you know that they are tests worth teaching to? Have you ever looked at one of them? Each state has their own tests, and there are tests for each grade level. So, fifty states times an average let's say of eight testing levels per state, with tests for both math and reading (or, as we like to call it in the educational field, language arts), that's 800 tests. I wonder how many you have even seen.
Secondly, federal spending is at record levels but the mandates placed on schools is greater than those levels. Where is that money coming from, sir? When you mandate programs that cost $34.3 billion in 2005, but fund it with $24.9 billion, where is the extra $9.4 billion coming from? Existing programs, which had to be cut.
It's not testing and accountability we teachers loathe. It's politicians and magazine reporters who can't subtract whole numbers and write out of complete and utter ignorance of their subject matter.