teachers should do only what is necessary to get ready for the tests and then go back to “real learning”. Kohn also says to not over prepare for the test; research shows that those students that are prepared all year do as well as those that prepare for about a month. Kohn also believes that while teaching for the test that teachers should make it as creative and worthwhile as it can be so that the students are not having things drilled into their brain so that they forget it after the test (Kohn 2001). Now these recommendations for NCLB are only short term until the act can be reevaluated and rewritten to make a better learning environment for students. A more permanent change to NCLB would be the Forum on Educational Accountability’s (FEA) “Joint Organizational Statement on No Child Left Behind”. The FEA’s idea is that the government should not apply sanctions for failing schools but to support the state and localities in changing and improving the way students learn and hold them accountable when they are not making those changes. The FEA’s mission is “We endorse the use of an accountability system that helps ensure all children, including children of color, from low- income families, with disabilities, and of limited English proficiency, are prepared to be successful, participating members of our democracy”. Some of their progress measurements are “Allow states to measure progress by using students' growth in achievement as well as their performance in relation to pre-determined levels of academic proficiency”, reporting to the government and public how they are improving students’ growth, and fund research to find systems that are more effective for teaching and accountability for schools. Also the FEA’s would like a more comprehensive way to see students’ performance by not just using
Cinciripino, Gugliemo, and Mather 12 standardized tests as the only indicator that they are improving and that testing should be in the states’ hands and they should be able to select in which grades these tests should be taken (Forum on Educational Accountability) Conclusion NCLB is stated as “one of the most destructive educational policies ever implemented in this country” by Alfie Kohn. The strain on students to learn all of the information on the test, remember it, and regurgitate it back on a multiple choice test is not learning and not showing real progress. Although the thought behind NCLB was genuine the implementation was not. Not only do general education students struggle with these tests but those students that are in lower economical status, those with disabilities, and ELL suffer even more. The pressures that are put on these students are causing higher stress and a larger drop out rate. Action needs to be taken whether the implementation of the A-plus act, Alfie Kohn’s tips for rescuing our schools, or the FEA’s “Joint Organizational Statement on No Child Left Behind”. Something needs to be done to help students become better learners and for teachers to stop teaching to the test.
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- Spring '08
- No child left behind Act, Standardized test, Child Left, NCLB