Schools need to be able to compete for quality. Support vouchers. Schools can be run on some of the same economic principals as businesses. Why shouldn't I be able to spend the money meant for my kid's education on the school of my choice? Why shouldn't schools be able to pay teachers more because of demand for good teachers? Quality teachers should be revered. Crummy teachers should be forced to improve or be fired (just like any occupation). The Teachers Union doesn't help teachers or students. And, if teachers are just teaching kids how to pass tests because of NCLB, whose fault is that? It's the teacher's fault and the school's fault. We all had teachers that would essentially tell us what the answers were going to be on tests - way before NCLB. They just taught the test material. If we agree on the material, what difference does it make? If all a teacher does is go over and over the same material because that's what's going to be on the test, it's not the test's fault. A test is a valid measurement of learning (no, not the sole measurement).
The US is an odd ship. The captain yells out when he sees obtacles , but 535 individual propellers do the steering.
I agree with most of you, in that NCLB had good intentions, but the policy was written by people who, for the most part, attended private/prep schools or public schools during the 50's and 60's when the US was still "on top." For the most part, these policy-makers have no real concept of what teaching in a public school is like in the 21st century. This is the underlying reason why this policy was doomed to fail from the "get go". NCLB has done nothing more than force most public schools to teach test-taking skills.....which is great if these kids plan on working on a career in psychometry or if the future job market for professional test-takers begins to take an up-swing.
This is my 18th year as a public school teacher, and I must say, that my job has become almost "robotic" in nature. The US Dept of Educ, state, and local school districts have brought in "experts" to create pacing guides, take test-writing capabilities away from the classroom teachers, and provide scripted lesson plans and reviews which we're required to follow if we want to keep our jobs. Also, accountability now falls squarely on the shulders of the teacher, even though we're not allowed to actually "teach" the material the way WE KNOW our students will learn it best. Frustrating. So, in summary, yes, NCLB needs to die......quickly. I rarely give Obama an "attaboy", but in this case I must. The only thing that would make me happier than to see NCLB die, would be to see the complete abolishment of the US Dept. of Education. Boy, wouldn't that be a radical change for the better!
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." - Dr. Carl Sagan