Category Archives: Education

Will Duluth have failing schools courtesy of NCLB?

As I was leaving town for Texas I caught a story in the Strib. It was in the DTrib too. It suggested that because Minnesota allows schools not to count the test scores of lower performing special education students when they number fewer than 40 to a school the NCLB cops would come in and clean house. As a result Minnesota (and possibly Duluth) will likely see a lot more of its schools labeled as “underperformers.”

NCLB (No Child Left Behind) is the Bush brainchild based on his Texas education reforms. The NCLB has irritated his Republican base which has balked at having the Federal Government to override state standards. Utah is among the more resistant.

On the plus side NCLB pushes states to pay attention to the academic progress of their poor children. On the minus side there is nothing in NCLB which requires states to equalize funding for impoverished school districts. Rather, it pushes state’s to implement cheap mind deadening “drill and kill” rote memorization and expensive mass testing.

Bush’s Texas miracle has led a lot of desperate school districts in that state to cheat. That’s not very encouraging.

Failing Schools

The Strib had a story today about the likelihood that more Minnesota Schools would be singled out as schools of failure thanks to No Child Left Behind.  This Bush brainchild was based on the corruption riddled reforms he instituted in Texas. Its punishments were so draconian that schools all across Texas cheated to make their scores look better.

Several Republican controlled legislatures balked at NCLB and have ignored it. New rules from the Federal government now threaten to designate hundredsof Minnesota schools as failures. I know Minnesota’s Republic legislators will welcome this development. 

Algebra

The Trib has a story about the small number of Minnesota junior high students taking Algebra 1 and 2. Seems to be that too many elementary teachers are more focused on language arts than math. Understanding this and reacting accordingly makes a lot more sense than rampaging around pointing fingers.