No Child Left Behind

Editor MNH:  11/26/05

In Ann Arbor, where our daughter, Christine, went to Kindergarten, the cut off date was December.  When we moved to Marshfield she entered first grade at Washington Elementary School. Since the cut off date for Marshfield was September she was  young for her class. During parent/teacher conference Miss Wilson, her teacher, assured me that Christine was holding her own, but she wasn’t played out yet. She did not like reading writing and rithmatic, but loved to go to the back of the room, where she could cut, paste and color. Nevertheless Miss Wilson passed her on to Mrs. Bymers, her second grade teacher who in turn passed her on to third grade. Miss Wilson and Mrs. Bymers, wherever you are, many thanks. In eighth grade Christine changed. She became ambitious. In no time she made up what she had missed playing through the lower grades. I shudder when I think  what would have happened to her had she gone to school with Bush’s program “No child left behind (NCLB)” in place. She would have been probed, tested, dissected, tracked and  labeled, needing extra help from teachers funded by the  NCLB program. Every politician who wants to make hay  is picking on education. It is such a safe subject. President  Bush is no exception. Where are our educators and state politicians to protest the usurpation by the federal government  of matters belonging to the states? 

Intelligence is like a well containing a certain amount of water. If the pressure is strong enough the water will bubble to the surface on its own. The federal government with its NCLB program coerces us to fund  pumping stations, telling us the more pumping stations the more water. It does not work like that.  It will only achieve one thing: good-bye childhood, hello rat race.