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Why has No Child Left Behind been blamed solely on Bush?

This was a TRUE Bipartisan effort. Ted Kennedy had a HUGE part in this. Why is he not criticized? Is this an example in the case of bi-partisanship does not effectively help the people? Even Bill Clinton said, "I want you to think about this, and I have to say, this was a train wreck that was not intended. No Child Left Behind was supported by George Bush and Senator Ted Kennedy and everybody in between. Why? Because they didn't talk to enough teachers before they did that," [2008]

It is well known they DID work with teachers Unions. So where is the division in thinking between teachers and the unions reps who speak on the teachers behalf? Who acknowledges this was a bi-partisan failure? Who places ALL blame on Bush?


Asked by grlygrlz2 at 3:25 PM on Sep. 29, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (106,530 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (27)
  • It's just easier to pin the blame on one spot for many people. I have always said (and said it on CM few times) that NCLB was a group effort and the success or failure should be assigned as such.


    Answer by ldmrmom at 3:33 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I hear alot of remarks on here but I havent heard anyone give examples of what is wrong with no child left behind. Our school is awesome so I guess Im jsut not seeing it but would be open to hearing so reasons/or personal experiences that people have had with this program.

    Answer by ria7 at 3:27 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I volunteer in the schools about 6-8 hours a week. I am involved in the Federal Literacy Program. I adore the time I spend in the schools, but I also see a heavy emphasis on teachers limitations on teaching based on misbehaved children, lacking parental involvement, NCLB, Administration poor decisions, UNION contracts, and even salary/benefit disputes.In our area, a school district recently had an open house and teachers were told not to attend because they were in negotiations and the union didn't want them returning to the school past their normal working time. I hear a lot from the teachers that they do not feel the union represents them as much as they did 10 years ago. What happened? Are the unions and politics playing too much in the teaching of our children? Is there a growing disconnect? Does anyone else see the Federal Government and Unions mandating the 'Nanny" role and stepping on the toes of individual teachers?


    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 3:36 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • Ria7, we are also blessed with a fantastic school district and amazing teachers. BUT, I still take issue with NCLB. I've sat in PTO meetings where 2nd and 3rd grade teachers have stressed how important it is for kids to master certain math and reading "rules" in 2nd grade because in 3rd grade the focus is completely on test-prep and there's no time to go back and review all the 2nd grade stuff. Kids need to hit the ground running in 3rd and just know those basic rules because the test deadline dictates it. That test is for the mandated NCLB assessment tests. Personally, I think teaching to the test has removed flexibility in the classroom. Teachers can't linger on certain topics for too long even if students need it because "the test" looms. Now, our district ranks higher than state averages (near 95% for meets or exceeds standards) and our kids are privileged to have teachers that teach age appropriate material (cont)

    Answer by ldmrmom at 3:38 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • (cont) in an age appropriate manner. We're also lucky enough to have the funding and resources to provide advanced placement and enrichment programs for kids that are ahead of the curve. In many places, however, that's not the case. In many cases kids that don't need the extra help to meet NCLB milestones get lost in a system struggling to make test scores that prevent penalization.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 3:40 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I don't see NCLB as a Bush problem or a Kennedy Problem. I see it as a program that had good intentions. But like every other Federal Intervention Program, it is full of flaws and problems. I think this is ANOTHER example of the greater the Federal Government involvement the lower the quality/results.


    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 3:41 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • Grly - I think much of what you're asking and witnessing is going to be highly dependent on the individual school district.

    My kids have 1/2 day kindergarten with teachers that still understand that 5 and 6 year olds learn best when they can experience concepts not just be talked at. We have a grade school full of teachers that realize experiential and age appropriate instruction is as important as content. We have a district that pays it's staff well and provides an array of in classroom supplies, activities and after school programs to keep kids enriched and growing. I don't see many teachers with their hands tied, per se. I do see a certain level of "must prep for the test" as I mentioned previously, but for the most part, I wouldn't for a moment consider anything in our district the "nanny" role.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 3:46 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • The federal government answered a cry from parents for better education and No child Left Behind is what they came up with. However, it was Bush that made it an unfunded mandate to keep tax money from being used.

    Answer by lori232 at 3:53 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • ldmrmom:I wouldn't for a moment consider anything in our district the "nanny" role.

    Besides volunteering in my kids scool district, I have had the opportunity to work in the inner city schools (Cincinnatti, Oh). They are a school district wrapped up in the mess of politics, unions, parental (non) involvement and lacking accountability across the board. There are soooo many kids who could benefit from vouchers, but they are forced to settle for mediocre education because their parents cannot afford to move. The school district is stuck in a political rut and I don't see how they can get out. Unions have demands. NCLB holds them down. Teachers have little incentive to do better than the status quo. The government stepping in and mandating testing has hurt these schools. Teachers are not held accountabile to much more than to pass the testing. Parents are not help accountable to parent. There is a serious disconnect, imo

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 3:54 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • However, it was Bush that made it an unfunded mandate to keep tax money from being used.

    The US already spends MORE money that any other nation on education. It is clear throwing money in Education is NOT the solution (imo)..  Why can't we hold the Department of Education Accountable? There is mounting enthusiasm to hold Medicare accountable and cut waste, shouldn't we do the same for the Department of Education? Maybe if we made it more efficient like so many claim be able to accomplish with Medicare, it would crate a "stronger, better" system?


    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 3:59 PM on Sep. 29, 2009