As a former teacher, I viewed this as good news. No Child Left Behind operated under the assumption that all students will graduate and not be left behind. In theory, this is a great idea. Who doesn’t want children to be successful by graduating from high school and moving on to a higher learning institute?
The only thing is the criteria does not take into account is the diversity of the subgroups within the larger population. The teachers are then held accountable when the student doesn’t succeed. (Special Ed, Emotionally Impaired, Learning Disabled, Autistic students are all considered within a subgroup).
So just to be clear, students, regardless of their ability, take the same test to determine the AYP. I am also bothered by the fact that subgroups are determined by race. Really?
So the honor student in honors classes is held to the same standard as the student in special education classes.
And if the school fails, people point fingers at the teacher.
A one-size-fits-all education in which the teacher is judged when his/her class has a myriad of different needs yet they all are expected to succeed at the same test? How can anyone be successful in this predicament?
I feel hopeful that the state of Michigan will have more flexibility to determine what students need in order to be successful, but it will be interesting to see what the new requirements are since they have yet to be determined (or communicated). I like that there is more “transparency,” but again, I am still bothered by the fact that teachers could still be held to the fire if their class is not successful. It just doesn’t sit well with me that the performance of a teenager, a complete individual making his/her own choices, determines the success of a teacher.
I am really hoping that we can finally help students reach their full potential while treating teachers with respect as professionals, not scapegoats for a failed national program.
What are your thoughts on Michigan being exempt from the national standards of No Child Left Behind?