Sunday, March 14, 2010

President proposes overhaul of "No Child Left Behind": greater flexibility, maybe easier "career-switching"


On Saturday, March 13, President Obama proposed an overhaul of the 2001 “No Child Left Behind” law, which president Bush had claimed a pride and joy (“My Pet Goat” notwithstanding). The transcript of his address is here.

States and school districts would have more flexibility, and testing in other subjects besides reading and math (such as science and social studies) would be viewed as important measures of progress. There would presumably be less pressure on teachers to drill and “teach to the test”.

There would be less emphasis on formal teacher certification, and more emphasis on results. It might get easier for people to switch into teaching from other careers. But of course school district budgets need to get healthier again to support career switching now. (See my post Saturday March 13 on the “BillBoushka” blog.)

Sam Dillon has a major front page story on Sunday’s New York Times (web url) here.

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Note also the story by Elizabeth Landau on CNN, that March 14 is “Pi day”, link here.

In other education news, the media has been discussing the effect Texas school districts have on the content of textbooks, since Texas is such a large customer of textbook publishers, although e-publishing is somewhat mediating this effect.

Texas is one of a few states which says it will be able to resist new federal standards in education as says it is doing well now, even at lower costs.

Note: CNN says that "science" was recently added to the current NCLB measures.

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