Here's a quote and an url from Michael Winerip's last column today as
education columnist for the New York Times:
"Which leads to my second proposal. We need a No Family Left Behind Law.
This would measure economic growth of families and punish politicians in
charge of states with poor economic growth for minority families.
"FOR example, in Ohio, black families earn only 62 percent of white
household income, one of the biggest disparities nationally. So every year,
under No Family Left Behind, Ohio would be expected to close that income
gap. If it failed to make adequate yearly progress for black families'
wealth, the governor and legislators would be judged failing, and after five
years, could be removed from office. This way public schools wouldn't be the
only institutions singled out for failing poor children.
"And if states succeeded in closing the economic gap, test scores would be
expected to rise, giving politicians and teachers a chance to celebrate
"A final concern with the federal law is that it is so driven by state
testing that there's too much time devoted to test prep, too much time spent
drilling facts for survey courses, and not enough emphasis on finding
something children will fall in love with for a lifetime - the Civil War,
repairing engines, science research, playing the trumpet.
"Fortunately, the remedy can be found on Ms. Ray's walls in Huntington, W.
Va., a quotation from William Butler Yeats: "Education is not the filling of
a pail, but the lighting of a fire." I recommend that as the official motto
for a new, revitalized No Child Left Behind law."
Here's the url for the full column (NY Times requires registration but much,
including this, is free)
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