The only real effect of NCLB’s pressured-filled expectations of school-wide improvement, and its emphasis on teacher quality has been to drive away schools’ most valuable resources — highly motivated teachers, says author and education activist Jonathan Kozol in a Chicago Tribune Q&A.
Studies show that school improvement is best achieved through high-quality teaching. But under NCLB, teacher quality and creativity is crushed in an atmosphere that Kozol says turns classrooms into “miserable test-prep factories.”
The former public school teacher argues for less frequent testing, reduced class sizes, and an amendment to the transfer provision that would require states to transfer students in failing schools to high-performing ones.
In the end, Kozol warns against stifling teachers’ spirits, saying “…in the long run the high morale of our teachers is our most precious asset. If they lose their delight in being with the children, they won’t stay, and we’ll lose everything.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.