Opinion
Federal Letter to the Editor

When NCLB Meets ‘Hunger Games’

March 11, 2013 1 min read

To the Editor:

I am an avid reader of Education Week, since the days of articles regarding the old Blue Ribbon Schools Program. I write because of your many recent articles presenting the ongoing federal support of ideas that I have found counter to the original intention of the No Child Left Behind Act.

I present here “Hunger Games, American Education Style.”

The Hunger Games of our American public schools are now in full operation: Every school for itself, and let the last public school stand alone. The winner of national standards, assessments, curriculum, teacher/principal evaluations, and hundreds of laws will be the most decorated and celebrated of all the land.

The once-a-year, two-week-long testing torture will bring us the winner. No more chaos of the past, just clear winners!

The schools will have no unions and very few benefits for the staff members that come from the winning schools. The curriculum will be the national standards given to every public school. No local control, with everything being directed from the Capitol.

The public school system as we know it is being replaced by nationalized programming focused on the test. A test that is meant to close down most public schools and stamp out non-national practices and themes.

The nation is instituting a system that starts with the very young (“tributes”) to prepare them for the big testing “games.” The best survive, but the vast majority get menial jobs with much despair. The president and the dominant federal elite make all the rules. Financial gain, power, and maintenance of an elite class are paramount to those in such positions.

As I read the Hunger Games books and watched the movie, the connection to our current policies in public schools seemed unfortunately to fit the script.

David R. Tobergte

Clinical Faculty

Department of Secondary and Special Education

Xavier University

Cincinnati, Ohio

A version of this article appeared in the March 13, 2013 edition of Education Week as When NCLB Meets ‘Hunger Games’

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How Schools Can Implement Safe In-Person Learning
In order for in-person schooling to resume, it will be necessary to instill a sense of confidence that it is safe to return. BD is hosting a virtual panel discussing the benefits of asymptomatic screening
Content provided by BD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Districts Are Centering Relationships and Systemic SEL for Back to School 21-22
As educators and leaders consider how SEL fits into their reopening and back-to-school plans, it must go beyond an SEL curriculum. SEL is part of who we are as educators and students, as well as
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
The Fall K-3 Classroom: What the data imply about composition, challenges and opportunities
The data tracking learning loss among the nation’s schoolchildren confirms that things are bad and getting worse. The data also tells another story — one with serious implications for the hoped for learning recovery initiatives
Content provided by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Miguel Cardona: Schools Must Work to Win Trust of Families of Color as They Reopen
As Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced new school reopening resources, he encouraged a focus on equity and student engagement.
4 min read
Education Secretary nominee Miguel Cardona testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee during his confirmation hearing Feb. 3, 2021.
Now-U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee during his confirmation hearing in February.
Susan Walsh/AP
Federal CDC: Nearly 80 Percent of K-12, Child-Care Workers Have Had at Least One COVID-19 Shot
About four out of five teachers, school staffers, and child-care workers had first COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of March, CDC says.
2 min read
John Battle High School teacher Jennifer Daniel receives her COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 11, 2021. Teachers received their first vaccine during an all-day event at the Virginia Highlands Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Va.
John Battle High School teacher Jennifer Daniel receives her COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 11at the Virginia Highlands Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Va.
David Crigger/Bristol Herald Courier via AP
Federal Ed. Dept. to Review Title IX Rules on Sexual Assault, Gender Equity, LGBTQ Rights
The review could reopen a Trump-era debate on sexual assault in schools, and it could spark legal discord over transgender student rights.
4 min read
Symbols of gender.
iStock/Getty
Federal Q&A EdWeek Q&A: Miguel Cardona Talks Summer Learning, Mental Health, and State Tests
In an interview after a school reopening summit, the education secretary also addressed teachers' union concerns about CDC guidance.
10 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during a press briefing at the White House on March 17, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona speaks during a press briefing at the White House on March 17.
Andrew Harnik/AP