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Have We Learned Something Good From the Department of Education?

Posted by on Feb. 9, 2012 at 8:08 AM
  • 14 Replies

Haven't We Learned Something Good From the Department of Education?

Posted by Christine Luhnow on February 9, 2012 at 8:06 AM

teacherThe question of whether the U.S. Dept. of Education should be eliminated is probably not a question that should be answered by looking to the "top" of the pyramid, where getting rid of it makes a sexy soundbite in this 2012 election, but to the "bottom" where students, teachers and parents are experiencing its effects. 

Right now, it's playing out as the Republican crusaders are going to halt that out of control Democrat Barack Obama in his tracks before he can cross that line between federal and states rights by using the Department of Education to resolve the impending student loan crisis.  Obama lost me when he thought it would be a good idea for the feds to get into the banking, healthcare and auto industries.  And I don't know that it's appropriate for the feds to resolve the student loan crisis. But shuttering the department is election year politics and fails to acknowledge that the Department of Education and the "No Child left Behind" act have had bi-partisan support in the past. And specific pieces of it were even voted for or praised by the Republican candidates themselves, including Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Most importantly, test scores are rising.

It was a Democrat, President Jimmy Carter, who brought the Dept. of Education back to cabinet level status. But it was Republican George W. Bush who gave it teeth when he helped usher in "No Child left Behind." (That's right folks, a Republican who was concerned that students, especially minorities, were the victims of soft expectations in districts where bad teachers and inadequate funding were often to blame for low test scores.) "No Child left Behind," is an Act of Congress passed by a bi-partisan group spearheaded by Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Rep. John Boehner of Ohio that forces schools to meet certain standards to have access to federal education funds. As an aside, i would like to point out that Boehner and Kennedy are as far right a Republican and as far left a Democrat as we've seen. Proof that our politicians can work together when they try hard enough.  (Hey D.C.! Is anybody listening?) 

As a parent, the Dept. of Education and No Child left Behind allow you to get your school's report card by going to websites like the following: http://www.greatschools.org/improvement/quality-teaching/61-no-child-left-behind.gs. You can also get free help with reading for your child, transfer to a different school if the school is failing or help teachers get funding for retraining. You could argue that these laws put control, not in the federal government's hands but in the hands of parents, students and teachers.

According to Wikipedia, most states have seen test scores rise since "No Child Left Behind" was enacted. The Department of Education points to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results, released in July 2005, showing improved student achievement in reading and math:[13]

  • More progress was made by nine-year-olds in reading in the last five years than in the previous 28 years combined.
  • America's nine-year-olds posted the best scores in reading (since 1971) and math (since 1973) in the history of the report. America's 13-year-olds earned the highest math scores the test ever recorded.
  • Reading and math scores for black and Hispanic nine-year-olds reached an all-time high.
  • Achievement gaps in reading and math between white and black nine-year-olds and between white and Hispanic nine-year-olds are at an all-time low.
  • Forty-three states and the District of Columbia either improved academically or held steady in all categories (fourth- and eighth-grade reading and fourth- and eighth-grade math).

In closing, I would say that, like Planned Parenthood, this is a wonderful issue for Republicans to show their concern for those whose access to quality education is limited because of race, income and geography. Every child should know how to read. And the states and local controls weren't enough. Thank God one Republican was married to a school teacher who cared. Way to go, W! It would be nice if you and the party got credit for caring and if the current crop of candidates could reflect the positive impact Republicans have had on student test scores.

by on Feb. 9, 2012 at 8:08 AM
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Replies (1-10):
oredeb
by on Feb. 9, 2012 at 10:45 AM
4 moms liked this

 not to trust them with our kids?

katzmeow726
by on Feb. 9, 2012 at 10:47 AM
1 mom liked this

THere...that's a bit more accurate.

Quoting oredeb:

 not to trust them with our kids  PERIOD?


oredeb
by on Feb. 9, 2012 at 10:51 AM

 yea!!!!!hahahahahahahahah

Quoting katzmeow726:

THere...that's a bit more accurate.

Quoting oredeb:

 not to trust them with our kids  PERIOD?


 

usmom3
by BJ on Feb. 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM
1 mom liked this

 I agree!

Quoting oredeb:

 yea!!!!!hahahahahahahahah

Quoting katzmeow726:

THere...that's a bit more accurate.

Quoting oredeb:

 not to trust them with our kids  PERIOD?


 

 

borgen0128
by on Feb. 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM
1 mom liked this
Agree!


Quoting usmom3:

 I agree!


Quoting oredeb:


 yea!!!!!hahahahahahahahah


Quoting katzmeow726:


THere...that's a bit more accurate.


Quoting oredeb:


 not to trust them with our kids  PERIOD?




 


 


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
mem82
by Platinum Member on Feb. 9, 2012 at 1:51 PM
3 moms liked this

I think NCLB was a decent idea on paper, but almost impossible to put into practice. It is to George W. what the Health care bill is to OBama. Schools should have to meet scores and not fail our kids in the same way everyone should have health care but it's not going to work.Sadly. 8( Now teachers teach to the test and nothing else. We are killing our creativity that should be keeping the US at the top of the food chain. 8(

bmw29
by Member on Feb. 9, 2012 at 1:54 PM
1 mom liked this
I also agree. Although I think the teachers union is just as corrupt and detrimental to our childrens education.

Quoting borgen0128:

Agree!




Quoting usmom3:

 I agree!



Quoting oredeb:



 yea!!!!!hahahahahahahahah



Quoting katzmeow726:



THere...that's a bit more accurate.



Quoting oredeb:



 not to trust them with our kids  PERIOD?






 



 


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
usmom3
by BJ on Feb. 9, 2012 at 4:47 PM

 I agree with this about the TU.

Quoting bmw29:

I also agree. Although I think the teachers union is just as corrupt and detrimental to our childrens education.

TigerofMu
by Bronze Member on Feb. 10, 2012 at 9:05 AM

I think you're both wrong there.  The so-called "teacher's union" that I belonged to was a professional association where teachers worked together to try to find and grab hold of extra opportunities for their students, as well as improving their own teaching.

TigerofMu
by Bronze Member on Feb. 10, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Ad while the article is very well written in some places, it's very obvious this author has a strong bias.  If you've actually lived under NCLB, it's like trying to teach with your hands tied behind your back and your mouth taped shut.  Sure, there were great thoughts behind it, but it was sadly lacking in the actual implementation.  Schools were ordered, threatened, cajoled and pushed into tiny boxes, promised funding to meet what for some were nearly impossible goals, never given the promised funding, and required to jump through the hoops anyway!  Yes, I think there should be accountability.  Yes, I think there should be standards.  Yes, our neighborhood school is crappy, hence my children aren't in it.  But I know that there is another side to that story, and she's not telling it.

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