Wednesday, January 03, 2007

petition against NCLB

i got this today from Jean Anyon.
sign it, distribute it, live it.

happy new year. here's to making good shit happen in it.

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A Petition Calling For the Dismantling of the No Child Left Behind Act

We, the educators, parents, and concerned citizens whose names appear below, reject the misnamed No Child
Left Behind Act and call for legislators to vote against its reauthorization. We do so not because we resist
accountability, but because the law's simplistic approach to education reform wastes student potential,
undermines public education, and threatens the future of our democracy.

Below, briefly stated, are some of the reasons we consider the law too destructive to salvage. In its place we call
for formal, state-level dialogues led by working educators rather than by politicians, ideology-bound "think tank"
members, or leaders of business and industry who have little or no direct experience in the field of education.


1. Misdiagnoses the causes of poor educational development, blaming teachers and students for problems over
which they have no control.

2. Assumes that competition is the primary motivator of human behavior and that market forces can cure all
educational ills.

3. Mandates data driven instruction based on gamesmanship to undermine public confidence in our schools.

4. Uses pseudo science and media manipulation to justify pro-corporate policies and programs, including
diverting taxes away from communities and into corporate coffers.

5. Ignores the proven inadequacies, inefficiencies, and problems associated with centralized, "top-down" control.

6. Places control of what is taught in corporate hands many times removed from students, teachers, parents, local
school boards, and communities.

7. Requires the use of materials and procedures more likely to produce a passive, compliant workforce than
creative, resilient, inquiring, critical, compassionate, engaged members of our democracy.

8. Reflects and perpetuates massive distrust of the skill and professionalism of educators.

9. Allows life-changing, institution-shaping decisions to hinge on single measures of performance.

10. Emphasizes minimum content standards rather than maximum development of human potential.

11. Neglects the teaching of higher order thinking skills which cannot be evaluated by machines.

12. Applies standards to discrete subjects rather than to larger goals such as insightful children, vibrant
communities, and a healthy democracy.

13. Forces schools to adhere to a testing regime, with no provision for innovating, adapting to social change,
encouraging creativity, or respecting student and community individuality, nuance, and difference.

14. Drives art, foreign language, physical education, geography, history, civics and other non-tested subjects, such
as music, out of the curriculum, especially in low-income neighborhoods.

15. Produces multiple, unintended consequences for students, teachers, and communities, including undermining
neighborhood schools and blurring the line between church and state.

16. Rates and ranks public schools using procedures that will gradually label them all "failures," so when they fail
to make Adequate Yearly Progress, as all schools eventually will, they can be “saved” by vouchers, charters, or