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NCLB weapons of mass public education destruction

Juanita's button is mentioned below.
Now why don't we have folks being so bold as to banish WASL and the state
instead of saying banish NCLB but keep the state tests?

NCLB weapons of mass public education destruction
By Daniel Pryzbyla

May 29, 2003

Kept secret from the rest of the world, our country?s public schools have
been producing the dumbest students on the planet earth. There was only one
solution left for the U.S. Department of Education. High-stakes testing!

Enough dumbness is enough! Unable to find competent education accountability
standards in any of the 50 states, the No Child Left Behind education act
(NCLB) weapons of mass public education destruction were devised for a new
education marketplace. Proficiency by any means necessary for every kid
sitting in a desk would be whittled down to the tried and true measurements
of high-stakes testing and sanctions utilizing the equally tried and true
superiority of disinvolved multiple choice tests. These, as all marketplace
accountants can attest to, provide insightful comprehension of student
academic and social development. Get rid of all the nonsensical frills of
music, art, theatre, physical fitness, field trips and other non-academic
squandering. Back to the basic 3 Rs ? readin?, ?ritin? and ?rithmatic. If
you can?t perform on these tests in English, too bad. Sit in 2nd grade until
you?re old enough to drive or your school shuts down. Above all else, no
more whining!

Department of Education Secretary Dr. Rod Paige followed these hard-nosed
tactics of the international political wizards down the hall at the
Department of Defense after President Bush revitalized White House, Inc.
Long before ?September 11? and the search for Osama Bin Laden in
Afghanistan, Bush?s advisors already knew ?without a doubt? the appalling
oil czar and vicious dictator Saddam Hussein (unlike dictators that agree
with us) was stockpiling biological and other weapons of mass destruction
(WMD). They didn?t sit around and wait for wimpy UN weapons inspectors to
find them. Reliable evidence proved their existence, reason enough to attack
Saddam?s evil intentions before he could unleash his nuclear warheads and
WMD on all humanity. Well, we sure kicked butt! Started launching missiles
and bombs in Iraq on March 19, 2003 and Baghdad was in the bag by April 9.
How?s that for achieving war proficiency in record time? Sure! War is hell
and people get killed, but somebody had to have the guts to destroy Iraq?s
WMD before Hussein did it to us and other innocent bystanders. Less than 2
weeks later on April 21, Ret. U.S. General Jay Garner arrived to administer
Iraq?s ?reconstruction.?

?U.S. Central Command began the war with a list of 19 top weapons sites. As
of last week (May 12, 2003) only two remained to be searched,? Washington
Post staff writer Barbara Gellman reported in the Post?s May 19-25 weekly
edition. Nothing has been found. Leaders of the 75th Exploitation Task Force
equipped with ?biologists, chemists, arms treaty enforcers, nuclear
operators, computer and document experts, and special forces troops arrived
with high hopes of early success? finding Iraq?s WMD. ?Another list
enumerated 68 top non-WMD sites, without known links to special weapons but
judged to have the potential to offer clues. Of those, the tally around May
7 showed 45 surveyed without success,? she wrote. Accompanying the article
is a political cartoon by Auth of the Philadelphia Enquirer. It depicts a
befuddled ?Uncle Sam? caricature asking President Bush, ?So, if there?s no
link to terror, no WMD, and the Shiites want an Islamic state, the war was
fought to send a message? What?s the message?? A swaggering confident Bush
wearing cowboy boots and gun holsters on his hips, holding 2 fired pistols
aimed upward replies, ?Shoot first. Ignore questions later.?

At the onset of NCLB in January 2002, Secretary of Education Paige began
using the ?Shoot first and ignore questions later? political scheme after
President Bush signed NCLB high-stakes testing accountability standards and
public school sanctions into law. When details of the 900-page report soon
became explicit, it was obvious it received little, if any, pedagogical
scrutiny. A NCLB protest button says it best. ?There?s no such thing as a
?standard? child!? Paige knows this, but also ignored it too. Before
arriving into the ranks of education administration, many of his previous
years were spent on the football gridiron as a head football coach. With 40
college players on a team, even after they reached a higher level of
maturity, they remain non-standard. Not all his players could throw a
football 40 yards. Not all his jocks were ?standard? in height, weight,
speed or intelligence. Not all of them were capable of making diving catches
in the end zone or kicking a 40-yard field goal. In fact, recruitment was
based on many of their non-standard features. Nor were all his players
throughout the years equally adjusted to meet the immediate higher athletic,
academic and social demands required of their new environment. If former
coaches appear later as classroom teachers, administrators or as Secretary
of Education, they should understand the frugality of standardizing,
tracking or categorizing the intellectual and social nuances of the human
species ? no less relying on multiple choice high-stakes testing for
promotion and high-school graduation. However, Paige still chose to follow
the White House, Inc. script, ?Shoot first. Ignore questions later.?
Meanwhile critiques kept surfacing.

?We urge policymakers to use testing to inform, rather than replace,
decision-making. A test score reveals only a very limited amount of
information about individual students,? wrote editors Gary Orfield and Mindy
L. Kornhaber in the preface of their Century Foundation book ?Raising
Standards or Raising Barriers? ? Inequality and high-stakes testing in
public education? published in 2001. Orfield is professor of education and
social policy at Harvard university, and Kornhaber is the director of K-12
education at the Civil Rights Project at Harvard and is a research associate
at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. ?Therefore, all major
professional associations involved in educational testing, as well as the
National Research Council, emphasize that decisions about student promotion,
retention, program or curricular placements, and graduation must be based on
more than a single test score?It is not objective to rely on a single test
score or test scores alone in making important educational decisions; it is
a misuse of testing technology.?

A chapter ?The Adverse Impact of High-Stakes Testing on Minority Students,?
written by education researchers George Madaus and Marguerite Clarke,
highlighted four conclusions after more than 30 years of research at Boston
College. 1. High-stakes, high-standards tests do not have a markedly
positive effect on teaching and learning in the classroom. 2. High-stakes
tests do not motivate the unmotivated. 3. Contrary to popular belief,
?authentic? forms of high-stakes assessments are not a more equitable way to
assess the progress of students who differ by race, culture, native language
or gender. 4. High-stakes testing programs have been shown to increase high
school dropout rates, particularly among minority student populations. Also
citing data from a United Kingdom study in 1992 with 7-year olds relating to
the national curriculum, it revealed low-income students, students whose
first language was not English, and special needs students performed at
significantly lower levels than other students on English, mathematics and
science assessments. Gender was the only factor that varied in impact across
the three subjects. In English and mathematics, girls performed at a
significantly higher level than boys, although the difference in mathematics
was small. However, in science there was no significant difference between
boys and girls. Madaus is the Boisi Professor of Education and Public Policy
in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College and Clarke is assistant
professor of research in the Lynch School and associate director of the
National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy.

Unlike the alleged WMD in Iraq that have yet to be found, NCLB weapons of
mass public education destruction have been located. They have caused, and
continue to cause serious distress and harm to students, families, teachers,
public schools, and public school districts while exercising the illusion
and fallacy of ?raising standards.? NCLB architects had no concern or
respect for pedagogy. They remain hell-bent concocting a political strategy
to ?raise barriers? instead to improvise their education marketplace theory
after the rejection of private and religious school vouchers originally
included in NCLB.

The No Child Left Behind education act is political folly, not worth a penny
of its pretentious and deceiving namesake. Its intent of weapons of mass
public education destruction utilizing high-stakes testing and sanctions
must be erased from the chalkboard with immediate repeal.