No Child Left Behind is holding our kids back

Print Print
Jennifer Getka
Friday, June 11, 2010

There are many opinions in Washington regarding the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Most report that it is hurting our nation’s children. The focus of the reform is now on the teachers’ education and what they are doing in the classroom instead of focusing solely on student improvement.

Schools around the country have been marked as failing if they do not meet adequate yearly progress based on one test taken at the end of the school year. This test system is hurting our children because teachers are forced to focus mainly on what is covered on this test. This takes a lot of creativity out of the classroom and prevents real-life application.

Other teachers are skipping over subjects that aren’t included on the standardized tests, subjects such as foreign languages, science, gym, art and music.

School districts can also be to blame. According to Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, officials “started to make the tests easier so that the government would see improvement” in the school over the years. This method is wrong and very misleading.

There are ways to measure student achievement other than standardized testing. One excellent way is a portfolio method where teachers look at work done by each student throughout the year and compare it to see how they’re improving.

Aleta Margolis, executive director of the Center for Inspired Teaching, stated that “the best way to assess students is to look at real examples of their work created in multiple situations” throughout the year.

Another thing teachers can do is let their students give presentations, speeches or oral tests to see if they succeed or need improvement with their speaking skills.

Education has a great influence on our children, and we need to guarantee they are achieving at their highest level.

Jennifer Getka wrote this as part of Washington Seminar at Janesville Parker High School.

Last updated: 2:06 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

Print Print