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No Child Left Behind?

Posted on December 5 2012

As a retired educator, I remember the freedom of teaching in a creative, relaxed setting - one which addressed more than the so-called "3 R
Since my retirement, I continue to hear teachers complain about the ever-looming Test (capitalized, as if it were a divine being) that overshadows each day's lesson plans. They talk about how teaching isn't fun anymore: How their children score on The Test reflects upon how the teachers are "graded." Feeling they are imparting knowledge, but not understanding, many teachers are counting the days until they can retire.
As educators will verify, a guest speaker can enliven any class and ignite interest where there was little before. Recently (first week of February) I contacted the principal of a school near Houston. I introduced myself as a best-selling author and a retired teacher and explained that I had recently published a book about a knock-kneed cowboy who learned to accept himself as he was.
When I offered to speak to the fifth grade classes about accepting IBM Info Mgmt DB2 Technical mastery v2 000-M45 Exam Questions themselves (instead of simply seeking approval from others), I was shocked by the principal's response: "This isn't a good time for us. Teachers and students are just too busy preparing for the TAKS [Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills] right now. The reading test is on March 3." When I indicated that I'd be willing to present after that date, I heard, "Well, then in April they'll be taking the math test. In fact, there will be students doing re-takes on May 19. Some students will have to continue re-testing into the summer. Let's plan to have you out in the fall."
The principal's response did not hurt my pride, but it did hurt my heart. Barely February ... and all the students apparently have to look forward to is... is what? No student left behind? You're kidding, right? So, if no student is left behind, what are the schools doing with the kids that passed the test the first time?
I hurt for the teachers who - as did I - chose teaching so they could make a difference in children's lives - not so IBM Lotus Live Technical Sales Mastery Test V1 000-M67 Exam Questions get their schools score "exemplary" based on a State-mandated test. What do we achieve by providing knowledge, but not understanding? By filling students' heads, but allowing their hearts to remain empty, or bitter or sad? So what if our schools earn "exemplary" scores on The Test, but those students graduate as emotional illiterates?
Who will teach children and adolescents that they have a choice about the way they think and feel about themselves? Are we willing to step up and educate our children emotionally? Or shall we simply develop another standardized test to determine whether those kids are good at relationships?
No child left behind? Don't bet your sweet child on it!
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