Federal Opinion

Roberta Flack, Vietnam, and NCLB - All in One Op-Ed

By Eduwonkette — May 13, 2008 1 min read
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It’s a deadly slow week in education policy, so I’ll pass along this op-ed in the School Library Journal (Killing Me Softly: No Child Left Behind) on a teacher’s decision to leave teaching because of the No Child Left Behind Act. Minus 5 points for the melodramatic beginning (I feel like the last marine who got out before the siege of Khe Sanh. I feel like the one Titanic band member who overslept, missed the voyage, and lived. In my darkest moments, I feel like a traitor.), but you can’t hold that against a guy who writes young adult fiction. Here’s an excerpt:

If you’re a teacher, thanks for being braver than I am. Thanks for riding it out when I’m just, well, riding out. And if you’re a parent, please fight for your child. Ask to see your school’s test-materials budget and its library budget. Ask to visit the classroom on a random day, unannounced. Ask whether your kid is getting more or less art than she would have had five years ago. Ask why band practice is at 7 a.m. when it used to be part of the school day. And while you’re mourning the loss of art, music, language, or history, ask the one most damning question of all: What took its place? If you get really riled up by the answer, please consider running for a spot on the school board.

As for me, I’m out. And I’m sorry.

Are teachers leaving because of NCLB? Does anyone have stories or data?

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