Tuesday, January 04, 2005

No Child Left Behind Goes To High School

Secretary of Education Spellings
President Bush has announced that the No Child Left Behind Act should also apply to high schools. He has placed the accomplishment of this goal on his second term agenda. According to the Dallas Morning News, the Administration wants to expand testing and curriculum standards to all four high school grades.

President Bush's new Education Secretary, Margaret Spellings, is expected to lead the effort.

Everyone agrees that something needs to be done in order to ensure that American high schools (and educational institutions in general) must do a better job of preparing young people for college, work, and life.

But are more tests and higher standards really what is needed when
crimes like this continue to happen in our schools on a daily basis?

None of these federal statutes ever seem to hold students accountable for their behavior in elementary, middle, and high school. The rule of thumb (for repeated bad behavior is this: "Let's give him or her another chance.") Nobody addresses the issue of unacceptable student conduct in our schools.

Almost any public school teacher that you care to ask will verify the previous statement.

The effort to reform our system of education must begin with transforming our schools into clean, safe, orderly, and nurturing environments where learning can take place.

And until the politicians and the educational bureaucracy confront the problem and actually do something to eliminate crime, violence, and other disruptive behaviors from our public schools, will there ever be meaningful systemic change.

The problem has been with us for decades. And all the various legislatures, boards, unions, and bureaucrats seem to be able to do is talk. Talk may be cheap, but in the end the costs of continuing to do nothing are exorbitant.

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