A friend of mine is the principal of a public school. He confirms what should be obvious to everyone: public schools throughout the country are severely under-budget, and its getting worse all the time.
But, he explains, the “No Child Left Behind” program adds insult to injury. NCLB mandates that kids be given a series of tests, so that all of a teacher’s time is spent teaching kids what they need to know in order to pass the test.
What’s wrong with that?
Well, the single most important thing that kids can be taught is how to think for themselves. This is not a liberal statement. Do you want your kids to be able to think for themselves when their peers offer them drugs — so they can say no?
Of course you do.
And on the other side of the aisle, do you want your kids to say “how high?” when a tyrranical leader says “jump” ?
Of course not.
Indeed, the top performers in most professions have to be able to think for themselves, rather than just spewing back memorized facts and concepts. You obviously want your kids to do well, right?
But the non-stop hamster-treadmill that is teaching for the test, administering the test, and filling out paperwork after the “no child left behind” test is given means that teachers don’t have the time or resources to teach kids how to think for themselves. They’re too darn busy. If you don’t believe me, go talk to a teacher.
Because NCLB precludes teaching that shows students how to think for themselves, it would be more accurate to call it “No Brain Cell Left Behind” . . . because the kids subjected to this sham aren’t going to graduate with very much in the way of real intelligence left in their heads.
Given that one of the main goals of public education is to indoctrinate kids into supporting their government, I’m not entirely convinced that this is accidental.