Friday, February 09, 2007

No Child Left Behind

My sister teaches elementary school in a bad part of Oakland. She has a blog and keeps me aware of the trials of being there... you'd be surprised, though, because the "horrors" she deals with are less the drugs, guns, violence, poverty that you'd expect (although that certainly plays a huge rol as well), and more the programs that the government has imposed with the intention of teaching America's children.

I do try not to get too political in my working life but, in the words of my sister Bronwyn,
"No Child Left Behind isn't working. I'm willing to bet that politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike, have no idea what daily life is like for children or teachers in these low-performing or "failing" schools. If they did, no one would be suggesting ridiculous strategies, like imposing "sanctions" against schools that are not making progress on the tests. "Sanctions" is not my word - it is the official word used - our sanctions were having our teachers' aides taken away - obviously punishment isn't a successful motivator because we're still a "failing" school. Iraq, North Korea, Cuba, and the children of East Oakland - all the beneficiaries of sanctions by the U.S. government."

Anyway, her blog is, and her message to the community at large is:

"Hi everyone,

Hope this doesn't feel too muich like spamming, but public education is in BAD shape and needs your help. I know that you all are from all political views, so what I would ask you to do please, if you are one who cares about public education, is to read my blog, especially the most recent entry, and then ask every public schoolteacher you know about No Child Left Behind. It's due to be voted on (it expires in Sept) in Congress, so if you have concerns, PLEASE write your representative. (try not to use my name if you can help it!)

This is not a partisan issue and I am not against accountability. But the reality of No Child Left Behind is (I believe) slowly killing public education. If you disagree with me, that's fine. But please ask the people who live it.

Thanks for your consideration!

Stories from East Oakland"

I emailed my representatives but I think they already know it is a mess. Anyone know some people in power?

In any case, her blog is a good and informative read. It will make you grateful for your job even if your job is dull. The kids are always interested to meet class visitors, so if anyone wants to go help out with me, let me know!

Bronwyn took all of the photos above.

1 comment:

justducky said...

So appalling, to think we live in the wealthiest country in the world.

What good is our country's abundance when little children are suffering with these horrible conditions. Iraq is costing billions. How about a billion for schools!