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Saturday, October 25, 2008

No Child Left Behind?

I have always despised the No Child Left Behind Act. I also never liked posting federal-type issues here unless I can find a specific example to tie it in to our region. I think I've found it. While in the course of substituting in an area school system (hint: not Norfolk), a friend of mine encountered a 7th grade-age student in the 4th grade. This 12 (going on 13) year old student could not read. To make it worse, there were other students in the grade reading 1st grade level books or below. It used to be that if you could not read sufficiently, you got held back. Now, the school system hires an assistant to 'help' the student. I have witnessed these 'assistants' reading questions to test to students and then suggesting correct answers. How does this help the students? It certainly won't allow them to succeed in society. I know most bosses/managers won't let you bring an assistant to read to you into work. Furthermore, how does this help society? We spend extra tax dollars on kids that have no desire to learn due to their tax-payer subsidized 'assistants.' Then the kids fail when they get out into the workforce. This NCLB program is a waste of time and money. It is time that the Education system was fixed, not pseudo-fixed. At a time when Hampton Roads is trying to recruit employers to maintain jobs in our area, we have an education system that instills laziness and stupidity into our children. Let me clarify that I have no problem with children with disabilities having assistants. I do have a problem with a normal child being treated as a disabled child solely for the purpose of higher SOL scores and lower drop/fail rates.

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