educationsystem - The George W. Bush administration set...

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The George W. Bush administration set forth their vision for educational improvement, known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), in 2001. The idea was to create an improved public education system and to close the achievement gap between all subgroups of students through accountability at each level of the education system. Testing/measurement of performance and accountability are topics of this program that President Bush still emphasizes greatly as the means to success. He recently had the 2007 Presidential Scholars at the White House and mentioned these two factors no less than 22 times in his brief address (Bush, 2007). From the outset, this legislation has caused much debate. It has created a heightened high stakes atmosphere for state standardized tests and has put the jobs of teachers, administrators, and district officials on the line more so than ever before. On the other hand, the results have been positive, according to state standardized testing (Bush, 2007). There have been some adjustments and modifications to the law in past years, and certain aspects of the law are left up to each state to interpret and define. However, there are other changes that groups representing teachers, principals, district administrators, and other officials in the education system feel need to happen in order to make this a more effective law. These changes are summarized in five categories by the representative groups and have been submitted for public consumption as the NCLB comes up for reauthorization in Congress. The first area of recommended change is in accountability. The representative groups such as the NEA, National Education Association, disagree with the current measurement framework “that bases its determination of school quality on a student’s performance on a single assessment, fails to recognize progress being made, and subjects schools and school districts to an ‘all or nothing’ system,” (National Education Association [NEA], 2007). I would concur with this argument to the accountability aspect of the law. Each year we have 8th grade students in our middle school who fail the state standardized test in math or reading who may be poor test
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takers but capable students otherwise. That is not to say that is the case with all of them, or even a majority. However, some students do not do well on tests normally let alone when the added pressure of passing on to the next grade is piled on top of that. That’s it. That’s their one method to show what kind of student they are. Regardless of how the students perform on the test, those are the results that will reflect the effectiveness of that teacher and school as well. The results that measure a school’s effectiveness as well as that of the teacher’s are also at the mercy of those students who decide to “Christmas tree” their answer sheets. In other words, students who do not take the time to even read the questions and just randomly fill in answers reflects on the performance of the teacher and school. As an example, I teach 7th
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educationsystem - The George W. Bush administration set...

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