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Madfloridian's Journal
Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion
Thu Mar 10th 2011, 11:39 PM
instead of causing them to be successful. As soon as the students meet a testing goal, the next year they raise the goal. The parents are not clued in that the standards are being raised, so they blame the schools and the teachers, especially the teachers.

I remember in 2003 when Howard Dean made an offhand comment after a rally, and remembered I was even questioning the accuracy of the statement myself until I thought it out. While the Bush administration was claiming it was a way for the schools to succeed, Dean said the opposite.

2003 Howard Dean on NCLB... "every school in America by 2013 will be a failing school."

"The president's ultimate goal," said former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.), one of the Democrats who now harshly attacks NCLB, "is to make the public schools so awful, and starve them of money, just as he's starving all the other social programs, so that people give up on the public schools."


He also said:

Dean criticized President Bush, saying his administration will lower the standards for good schools in New Hampshire, making them more like poorly performing schools in Texas. The Bush administration believes ''the way to help New Hampshire is to make it more like Texas,'' Dean told supporters in Manchester, adding that ''every school in America by 2013 will be a failing school.''

"Every group, including special education kids, has to be at 100 percent to pass the tests,'' Dean said. ''No school system in America can do that. That ensures that every school will be a failing school."


Well, guess what. It's 2011, and already 82% of public schools are failing the standards set by NCLB.

I really am impressed with how Mike Klonsky's Small Talk blog explains how Arne is having to re-triangulate all over the place.

After a decade of NCLB

After a decade of No Child Left Behind
We're approaching 100% "failure"

Arne Duncan said Wednesday, that 82% of all schools could now be labeled as "failing" under NCLB rules. The DOE estimates the number of schools not meeting targets will skyrocket from 37 to 82 percent in 2011 since states have "raised standards" to meet the requirements of the law. Yes, we're truly racing towards the top.

The latest news has forced Duncan to re-triangulate. He has been pushing, so far unsuccessfully, for NCLB re-authorization for the past two years. He still praises NCLB for supposedly "shining a light on achievement gaps among minority and low-income students," but now admits, ""No Child Left Behind is broken" and needs to be fixed.

...."The law is all about test-and-punish. "Fixing" it, could only mean easing the standards or allowing waivers for charter school or other Duncan favorites. But when we first made this point, he labeled us a "proponents of the status quo." Remember?

..."Finally, says Duncan,

"We should get out of the business of labeling schools as failures and create a new law that is fair and flexible, and focused on the schools and students most at risk."


They have been pushing for years to close "failing" schools. Now they are truly in a jam. They have way too many failing schools on their hands, and not even enough charter companies to take over all of them yet. So they back-pedal, I guess.

From MSNBC:

Obama once said he wanted to see 5000 failing schools closed.

President Barack Obama intends to use $5 billion to prod local officials to close failing schools and reopen them with new teachers and principals.

The goal is to turn around 5,000 failing schools in the next five years, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Monday.


The plan is to beef up funding for the federal school turnaround program, created by the No Child Left Behind law, which gets about $500 million a year. The stimulus legislation boosted funding to $3.5 billion. Obama's budget would add another $1.5 billion by shifting dollars away from traditional formula programs.

Obama doesn't have authority to close and reopen schools himself. That power rests with local school districts and states. But he has an incentive in the economic stimulus law, which requires states to help failing schools improve.


The blogger points out that Arne Duncan once stated he wanted to see 1000 failing schools turned around each year.

From the NYT:

U.S. Effort to Reshape Schools Faces Challenges

Mr. Duncan wants to see 250 schools closed and reconstituted next year. That would mean dismissing thousands of teachers next spring, hiring replacements and opening newly reconstituted schools in fall 2010.

Formal closure is necessary for chronically failing schools, Mr. Duncan said, to reset the learning environment more dramatically than simply tweaking the curriculum and retraining the old staff.

Eventually, he said, he hopes to see 1,000 failing schools turned around each year.

The federal government lacks the authority to close schools, so Mr. Duncan’s first challenge is to persuade scores of local districts to begin school turnarounds that, judging from Chicago’s experience, will anger teachers, administrators, parents and local politicians. Another challenge will be recruiting the high-quality educators crucial to helping reconstituted schools succeed.

Teachers union contracts could be another major hurdle.


Hell, yes, those union contracts could have been a major hurdle, but they are being negated even as I write. No problem. No one standing up and shouting "stop".

One of the major goals was to close 5% every year of the lowest underperforming schools and make them turnarounds.

That's a lot of schools, even the 1000 or 5000 figures previously given for closing won't hit that level.

From 2010:

Under the new NCLB lowest 5% of schools will be punished more harshly...

The WP covered this in March of last year.

The accountability system known as “adequate yearly progress” — the measure of how much progress schools, school districts and states made annually based on a cockamamie formula involving standardized test scores — will end. That’s good. Under AYP, even excellent schools were deemed to be failing.

But another arbitrary accountability system will be put in its place — and the current standardized testing schedule put in place by NCLB will remain. Very bad. The lowest achieving 5 percent of schools in every state will be punished even harder than under NCLB, according to my colleague Nick Anderson, who reported about the Obama plan today.


I like the way the blogger ended his post. Concise and to the point.

NCLB's stated goal is to reach 100% proficiency in reading and math by 2014. But the way things are going, if we stay the course, we should reach 100% failure rate some time within the next three years.

Congratulations are in order, I suppose.


I don't know where Dean got his NCLB figures back in 2003, but he was eerily correct. In 2011 we are at 82% failure...right on track.




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