Alexander Russo notes that We Need a Plan For Victory for NCLB:
Last night's Presidential speech on the plans for the next steps on the war in Iraq has me wondering -- where's the "plan for victory" when it comes to No Child Left Behind?The war being fought over the federal No Child Left Behind Act continues. Read the rest of Russo's communiqué right here.
I'm not sure there is one.
For the past three years, a diverse group of opponents (insurgents?) have waged a war of words, lawsuits, and bureaucratic chicanery against the federal law, slowing its implementation and undercutting its legitimacy in the public mind, despite a record infusion of billions in additional federal funding.
The civilian damage caused by the war over NCLB has been extensive. Thousands of schools have been wounded and maimed by not making AYP, or by having an embarassing achievement gap revealed, forcing curriculuar and instructional changes that not every agrees are correct. Tens of thousands of teachers have had to explain to their principals and parents why they aren't highly qualified. Millions of parents have been confused and frustrated by letters sent home telling that they have the theoretical right to transfer option and free after school tutoring -- but it's just not available.
And, perhaps most unfortunately, the idea of standards-based accountability and high expectations for poor minority children has been attacked and in some circles discredited as unrealistic.
Stay tuned for further dispatches from the front.