Tuesday, September 25, 2007

No child gets ahead

It's a rare day when I agree wholeheartedly with the Cato institute. Their catch-phrase is "Individual Liberty, Limited Government, Free Markets and Peace"

They wouldn't exactly endorse my "health-care-for-all" position...but we might be able to find common ground on my "if-you-want-to-get-married-why-the-hell-should-the-gov't-stop-you?" belief.

Strangely enough, I think I agreed with just about everything they wrote on No Child Left Behind.

I've only had a child in the public school system for 2 years, so I'm no expert. But my initial impression is that the biggest result of NCLB is that school districts have uniformly dropped their standards.

The only thing that seems to really matter is to achieve a large percentage of "proficiency" within a district - so let's teach everyone the test. If it's not on the test, it just doesn't matter. And while were at it, let's drop what we require to be "proficient."

The larger number of mediocre students - the more recognition (and money) the district gets. Hurray!

Is this our goal? To actively produce mediocrity?

If the Cato Institute succeeds in creating a world of free markets, we are going to be in big trouble if we're the nation that supplies the mediocre workers.

All together now..."You Want Fries With That?"

So, I'm with Neal at Cato: End 'No Child Left Behind' and let some of our children get ahead, instead.


dawn224 said...

Just as fun is that districts can only exclude a tiny percentage of their population from the testing - meaning there are students with IQs of 65 (which qualifies for Social Services) taking these tests in some cases.

Bridgett said...

I tend to be very liberal on many fronts, but education, alas, I am with them too.

Of course, I have a feeling MANY people from many stand points are with them. Which begs the question why the heck we keep it around.

Perhaps because mediocrity is so comfortable and those who can afford not to be so don't have reason to change it?