Tuesday, March 01, 2005

No Child Left Behind - Football Style

I think "No Child Left Behind" is at best well-meaning policy that attempts compassion and responsibility but at worst is the death of good teaching creativity and skill and possibly our education system. It's been making a generation of teachers crazy in Texas, where it's rooted, and will ultimately lead to a national teacher-principal uprising someday.

If you disagree, let me hear it. In trying to think through it, maybe one of us will change our minds.

Here is the football version.

I didn't write this and don't have a source, which is against my policy to post, but I've requested it from the person who sent it and I'll try to track it down and place the source here later.

No Child Left Behind: The Football Version

1. All teams must make the state playoffs, and all will win the
championship. If a team does not win the championship, they will be on
probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held

2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the
same time and in the same conditions. No exceptions will be made for
interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic
abilities or disabilities, or if they just moved to your school
yesterday from above the Arctic Circle. ALL KIDS WILL PLAY FOOTBALL AT A

3. Talented players will be asked to work out on their own without
instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their
instructional time with the athletes who aren't interested in football,
have limited athletic ability . . .

4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be kept in
4th, 8th, and 11th games.

5. This will create a New Age of sports where every school is expected
to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same
minimal above average goals.

If no child gets ahead, then no child will be left behind.


At 12:59 PM, Blogger DJG said...

I love the football analogy. This has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time. I was the student school was made for. I loved it and I excelled. My daughter however was not. She was a visual hands on, think on things a while, learner. School did not have programs for "different" learners. I was often held back because of the kids who couldn't keep up. My daughter was a kid who couldn't keep up. Public education should be able to meet the needs of both types of learners and not try to make quarterbacks out of everyone!

At 6:53 PM, Blogger Fajita said...

Public education is in a real bind. It holds the task of educating children no matter what. It must measure to make sure the public money is used efficiently (which many would argue that it is not), but any tool of measurement is suspect - for good reason.

Warehousing children is not the best way to educate them. It's the best way to educate some of them, but not all of them. Measuring them all by the same measuring stick is not all that great as well.

There is also the problem of fair and equitable education. Fairness, in such warehousing of children, ends up being reduced to sameness. Uniformity is the lowest common denominator of fair. However, uniformity does not work any better in school than it does in church.

Oh, I'll quit here - except to say one more thing.

Public schools are a place to connect with other people. If we as parents are intentionally missional in our thinking, then we can see the opportunity volunteering in the school, meeting parents of our kid's friends and so forth is right there. Maybe these inadequte houses of public education are a gold mind of community interaction wherein we can be missional.


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