Now’s the Time to Act on NCLB

Fixing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) “can’t be done in Washington time. It has to be in real people’s time,” said Secretary Duncan on Tuesday at Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus elementary school in St. Paul, Minn.

Duncan, joined at the school by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), was responding to a growing chorus of voices saying that NCLB should be fixed before the start of the upcoming school year. “We need Congress to work with a much greater sense of urgency,” the Secretary noted.

Duncan explained that NCLB is too punitive as well as too loose on goals and too tight on how schools can succeed. The Secretary repeated that the reauthorized law should allow creativity to flourish at the local level. “We won’t dictate curriculum from Washington,” he said. “We need to get out of the way.”

For more information on the Obama Administration’s proposal to fix NCLB, which is formally known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, read “A Blueprint for Reform” which President Obama released in March of 2010.


  1. I have been pleased with the NCLB proposal over all. There are some programs which have the potential to harm educational programs in rural schools, the REAP program is one of them. The Federal Government has been helping rural schools by providing REAP funding. There are only a dozen or so school districts in Pennsylvania that qualify for the grant. It would appear the new proposal would make the REAP grant competitive, a major shift from past practice. Currently, this grant is automatic with districts which have fewer than 600 students.
    I work in a school district that has 387 students enrolled in Kindergarten through 12th grades and our students have benefitted greatly from the REAP funds. The district uses the funds to purchase classroom technology. In fact, our school has been recognized as one of the nation’s top preforming high schools in 2008 by US News and World Report. If the grant becomes competitive, our students stand to lose out because we don’t have the resources to employ a person to write a grant. Frankly, just give us the resources and tools needed to do the job. I would prefer to have our personnel spend the time working with students rather than writing a grant. In other words, less time with paperwork and more time helping students learn.

  2. I have been a middle school teacher for 10 years and I love it! These children are so enthusiastic! They want to learn, but we have to challenge them. Yes, the system has many faults, yet there is still hope.
    I appreciate many aspects of NCLB (highly qualified teachers), but we must not allow this law to mean exactly what it says. “No Child Left Behind” should NOT mean, “Even though the child cannot read, we must not leave him/her behind. We must push him/her through to the next grade level.”
    What has ended up happening since this law has come into effect is that 7th graders end up in my room not even being able to identify the words where, here, and there.
    When I was in elementary school, if a student failed an end-of-year assessment, they went to summer school. They worked until they understood the grade- level material.
    Students worked diligently to avoid this consequence.
    What happens now in middle school when a student is below grade level? They are moved to the next grade.
    This is a downward spiral, which will eventually lead to illiteracy.

  3. Great Idea – Get gov. out of the way
    160.5 Billion (DOE Budget) given to the schools directly for each enrolled student (42 Million) at that school would mean $500.00 Dollars a day for 10 months per student. then regulate the schools administration to make sure that money goes to their education not buildings and unfunctional spending. No need for the 5,000 gov. and contract labor’s payroll. A computer program could handle the process with no more than 50 employees ( 1 from each state) working in that state.

    Government needs to be automated You would make a better moderator than an official.

    The system That DOE have created over the past 40 years had taken away the words Disipline and Respect. The Students need to have Ownership in their education not loans not grants or “Grattis” Education is not a right. It’s not a punishment. It is an Interrest that can be devloped No Child is born educated they only have interrest That must be the function of the teacher/family/friends to develop

    Education needs to look at the past not the future – One teacher and 3 grade levels all being taught at the same time (10 of each grade = 30 per class) Same teacher same room same students for 3 years ( 1-3 4-6 7-8 )

    Below is a 8th grade Graduation test from 1895

    What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895…

    Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?

    This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA .. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina , and reprinted by the Salina Journal.. 8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS – 1895
    Grammar (Time, one hour)
    1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
    2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications
    3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph.
    4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of ‘lie,’ ‘play,’ and ‘run’.
    5. Define case; illustrate each case.
    6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
    7 – 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

    Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
    1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
    2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet Long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
    3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs, what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs for tare?
    4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
    5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
    6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7percent per annum.
    7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft long at $20 per meter?
    8… Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
    9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
    10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

    U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
    1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
    2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus .
    3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
    4. Show the territorial growth of the United States .
    5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas .
    6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
    7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
    8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

    Orthography (Time, one hour)
    [Do we even know what this is??]
    1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
    2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
    3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
    4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u’.
    5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions under each rule.
    6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
    7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
    8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
    9.. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
    10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

    Geography (Time, one hour)
    1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
    2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
    3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
    4. Describe the mountains of North America .
    5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco .
    6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
    8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
    9.. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
    10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth. HUH??? Are they kidding??? This is hard to believe…. Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete.

    Gives the saying ‘he only had an 8th grade education’ a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?!

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