If you have not read “Wit and Wisdom: A Curriculum Fable” you may want to so you understand how the following article relates to it.
A reader asked for more information related to this fable. After researching the revamp proposals for NCLB (No Child Left Behind) I found the following article and was surprised that there were some “good” changes to a system that is not presently working.
One of the changes that I see as a positive one is making testing more than just bubble in the dot. There are so many children that can test well but can’t apply the information to real life. If a child can’t use the information given to them in there life then what good is it?
Also, it looks as if they want to change what is considered “improvement” to be more flexible and less of a “one size fits all” approach. As a Special Education teacher that is music to my ears. The thought of my students being considered failures because they could not reach grade level standards made me ill. Students with disabilities work so hard to make progress and then to be labeled failures is just wrong. So I hope that they realize that “success” is different for each and every students. Some students will go on to college and some to trade schools and there is nothing wrong with either of those paths. We all need the lawyers and doctors of this world just as much as the carpenters and plumbers. Everyone has their strengths and no everyone has to go to a 4 year college to me a productive member of society.
Another change that looks promising is putting the power to change in the school’s and community’s hands. Giving them funding that will help them improve in a way that will work for them. At the last school that I work at we were told that because the district had fallen below state standards (not our school, we had improved yet again) we had to teach from the book and only from the book. Even though our school was succeeding we had to change and do it like every other school in our district. The method they wanted everyone to do was mandated by curriculum developers and not teachers. Needless to say, the school I was in was upset and scores did not improve the next year as they had in the previous 3 years. My guess is because they had to stop teaching in the manner in which the students learned best. So I truly believe that schools have the ability to find what works for their students and be able to continue using it if it is working.
These are just a few things I like about the proposed plans. I would love to hear from you what your thoughts and ideas are as well. So please leave a comment.