Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Spellings Report: An Open Invitation For The Secretary

Over at The House of Spellings, they've posted this short statement from Secretary of Education Magaret Spellings regarding the dismissal of the NEA-sponsored lawsuit (background here) which asserted that the federal No Child Left Behind Act was an underfunded mandate:
"This is a victory for children and parents all across the country. Chief Judge Friedman's decision validates our partnership with states to close the achievement gap, hold schools accountable, and to ensure all students are reading and doing math at grade-level by 2014."
As with all of the Secretary's utterances, accountability for student success is placed wholly on the schools, while no mention is ever made of the need for both parents and students to also be held accountable for their own academic success.

The Secretary's words grate upon me every time I have a pupil who won't even try to do an easy five-minute homework assignment, or a parent who repeatedly refuses to speak with me about how to best help their child succeed. And let's not forget the fact that in our junior high school, we can no longer require students to report for after-school help or tutoring.

Maybe Secretary Spellings would kindly accept an invitation to come into my junior high classroom, stand before any one of my 5 classes, (of 35 seventh-graders each, of differing academic abilities and English-speaking proficiency levels) and show me how it's done. I'll be especially interested in seeing how Ms. Spellings answers the student who says to her (As he has to me for 38 straight days.) that he "forgot" to do his homework assignment.

I'll just stay out of her way and observe her instructional and disciplinary techniques. I'm sure that I can learn something from watching the country's foremost educator apply her theories of educational reform in an actual classroom setting with 35 young adolescents.

After all, those EduCrats folks in their Washington offices are the self-proclaimed experts in Everything Education and I'm "just a teacher" who actually works with real children, real parents, and real disruptions of the educational process each and every single school day.

Heh. I'm looking forward to seeing the Secretary in our classroom soon.
See the latest edition of The Carnival Of Education right here and our latest posts over there.