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Noah on NCLB

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Huan Yi
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0 posted 01-12-2005 08:06 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Noah,


“I, like I've professed many times, am opposed to the No Child Left Behind Act for many reasons personally and can't even begin to know where to start, but since that is not the general interest of this thread, . . .”

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


“Noah, I would be greatly interested in your ideas on NCLB.  I say start another thread discussing it, ...”

JoshG


I am interested too.  Having no children, I’ve paid no attention to the subject
and would like to understand it and apparently its errors.


JoshG
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1 posted 01-12-2005 08:14 PM       View Profile for JoshG   Email JoshG   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JoshG

ah, yes Huan... this will be an interesting topic
Juju
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2 posted 01-12-2005 09:17 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

Yes I am intrested to, I hope he explains before I go back to school.

Juju
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3 posted 01-14-2005 01:54 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



Hey, Huan Yi! I'm sooooo glad you decided to launch this new topic regarding the No Child Left Behind Act! Education is an issue I feel very strongly about (education and the environment are the two most important issues of all, in my opinion) so if I may, let me explain how I don't consider No Child Left Behind an effective education initiative.

I think the best thesis to make in opposition of it is, "NCLB is a siege on the public school system". Some may say it is a reform of the public school system. But I look it as an initiative rooted on mistrust and pressure points. I think it's actually a rather cynical initiative that has drawn high expectations for all public school systems, expecting them to reach all these thresholds in test performance, punishing schools who fail to reach the thresholds with sanctioning and budget cutting and making the public school system more competitive than ever before. So I actually see it as an excuse to find an alternative to public schools.

I think the scariest thing about NCLB is that its architects claim its based on "scientific evidence". If they mean science as the Hawthorne Effect, the theory that if you put more pressure on someone, he or she will work harder and better, you're just pressing your luck and gambling with the children. How is assuming the grass is greener on the other side of the fence every time, or the theory sending a kid from one school to another will excel, scientific?

The public school system isn't perfect, but something as reckless as this is, I don't believe, the solution. It's intensely politically-motivated, and education I believe should be as least politically-motivated as possible. It influences the whole corporate culture again in buying out more schools and offering children a Stouffers type of offering. And, ultimately, I just see this as education's Pandora's Box.

In my experience volunteering and helping educate children at local elementary schools with kids with special needs, I have come to realize the importance of the proverb, "It takes a whole village to raise a child". It makes me wonder, "Where is the community? What must be done, or, what is example, to bringing the village together again for the sake of our children?"

Here in Portland, in 1998, the City of Portland and Multnomah County agreed to partner up to support school success and education by forming a "school-based delivery model". In result, a committee of representatives from the county, city, state, school districts and local community organizations was formed, which met for seven months to design this ideal delivery model. The labor of love formed in the process was an expanded community school proposal that "added educational activities and social services, and increased the involvement of families, community members and local businesses."

Together, they patented what is now known as "SUN Schools", which stands for "Schools Uniting Neighborhoods". They selected eight schools to begin with to go under the name, which they chose the schools based on four characteristics; 1) "a successful history of integrating services and intergovernmental collaboration", 2) "a successful history of community partnerships", 3) "had a three to five year plan which integrates the broad parameters of this concept on a local level", and 4) that the school had challenging neighborhood conditions, such as "underserving by social support services", high numbers of students from different backgrounds, or challenged by unemployment or poverty.

In the process, each SUN school believes in the ethics that learning "involves personal discovery, action, observation and reflection" and that their creative, hands-on active education program "is a process of respecting one’s self, the arts, and our connections to others and the natural world." They also encourage the community to volunteer and help out, for they believe interaction with the community advances the full social potential for each child.

I volunteered at one of these schools last term, Buckman Elementary. I witnessed and monitored multiple classes to see these ethics put into action, and I have to say it was the most wonderful experience of volunteer work. Last November, after suggesting to the teacher of Storytime Players to choose a story that also incorporates the moral of understanding others, she decided on "Giraffes Can’t Dance" by Giles Andreae, a book about a giraffe who wants to dance, but with crooked knees, jellylike neck and long wobbly legs, is the laughing stock at the annual Jungle Dance, until a cricket tells him that those who are different "just need a different song" and then finds his voice to the music of the moon, where his soulful dancing wins over the whole animal kingdom and teaches young readers that everyone can be wonderful, and we will in embracing the voice within.

I was reminded earlier in the year when learning of the social learning approach. After you govern yourself and find your integrity or find your voice, it takes observation to be able to relate or interpret other everyday life situations. Albert Bandura, a modern social psychologist, believes that "the fundamental approach of social learning theorists is based on the recognition that behavior is in large measure determined by situational factors outside the individual" and that the individual plays a major role in analyzing the situation through psychological response.

In other words, it’s basically the notion of "It takes a whole village to raise a child" all over again, in that we all must "attend to actions of others" and witness the situations, remember what happened and also what happened to who was being observed, choose to imitate or not according to our moral conscience, and treat each evaluation as a learning experience.

Ultimately, through understanding yourself and observing others, then interacting among others, you grow to acknowledge the importance of community, which I once again indeed felt since the first day volunteering there.

That's what I feel a lack of in NCLB. Community. NCLB is more testimonial than scientific to me, and privatizes more than it volunteers.

In a Leadership for Change class I took last semester, I learned something that I still feel now. Peter Vaill, a professor from the University of St. Thomas, likes to think of these times as "swirling rapids of permanent white water" and that simply working harder is not the way to fight the tides, but rather working smarter. Working smarter collectively, knowing that "collaborative practices build more community and commitment than isolated, individual actions do.", reflectively smarter in taking the time to make sense out of what is happening "in order to gain perspective and understanding" and "keep a sense of common purpose" and spiritually smarter in being aware of our values that help shape our character. In this co-op personal leadership approach, Vaill claims we can gain new insight and understand and recognize paradigms and the progress we’ve made.

I just don't see that happening under NCLB. This is a gamble, a shot in the dark, a lot of helter-skelter, and I'm concerned of the unpredictable effects it can have on the public education system and the relationships between students, teachers, parents, educational activists and faculties.

I think we need something that leans more to community like SUN Schools.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20
Juju
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4 posted 01-14-2005 09:08 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

Well noah, most of your arguments are all right. I actually agree with afew of you points, But I still find my self supporting nclb alot. I have a few questions and points like,

-Why is it the U.S.is one of the top spenders in education, but the U.S. is one of the lower ranked when it comes to schooling

-I think pressure is good. Thats what they do to yah in collage. In k-12, subjects are repeated and instead of teaching it once well, I go through physics 3 times, biology 2, geograghy 2, and english it was the same stuff. I think this law will hope fully pressure teachers to get it rigth once so maybe highschool will take less time. just a thought. it is just tax money.

-I am glad you noticed that some change is needed. If someone didn't they would be in denial.  

-I think though I agree mostly for what it stands for. pushing is a good thing. no motivation is bad.

-Well I am running out of time so I will add on later.
Midnitesun
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5 posted 01-14-2005 09:45 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Hey Noah, I've heard comments about the SUN schools...all positive. And some of the negatives about the NCLB is that, some students of the 'brighter students' leave schools that are borderline or 'failing.'
Other serious problems will be more evident when these 'failing' schools begin to be turned down for funding as well as losing 'prime' teaching positions.
The neighborhood-centered focus almost always proves to be the best, if you can get enough people to work together, to commit to volunteering some time as mentors.
Too often, the NCLB approach means No Child Leaps Forward....
Alicat
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6 posted 01-14-2005 10:00 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Well, at the very least, give the President his dues for actually trying to do something positive about educational socialism.  That term is one I (hopefully) created while I was in school, meaning that all students are equal, and like socialism, all are equal to the lowest common denominator.  All students progress at the rate of the slowest person, and this was the major problem I had with the educational system.  And that was far from a new problem, even back in the late 70's and 80's.  The dumbing down of schools has been ongoing for well over 30 years.  Back in the early 80's, it was widely accepted that the national reading level was between 5th and 8th grade level.  These days, I fear that has slipped into the Elementary School grades.

At least this President is trying to do something (in contrast to the Presidents from Nixon onwards).  The funding argument can be squarely placed at Congress's door, since they are the governmental body which makes law, levies taxes, and sets budgets.  They are the ones who emasculated the bill, then attempted to load so many other programs on the NCLB budget that it oinked.  So often, when people holler about the Administration, they might mean the Executive Branch, but really mean the Legislative Branch.  How I wish they would have studied Government their Senior year a bit better so that they would know the difference.

And yes, I know Nancy Reagan fought very hard for education.  Regrettably, she was not a Senator nor Representative.
Not A Poet
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7 posted 01-15-2005 12:01 AM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Ali, the problem you refer to really started to become a serious when the federal courts decided to take over the local public school systems. That was in the 60s and by the 70s, you are right, at was almost universal chaos.

Mistletoe Angel
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8 posted 01-15-2005 02:47 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



Alicat, I agree with what you're saying, I really do sympathize. The Administration is indeed at least doing something here. I'm just arguing it's a very bold and extreme gamble they're making here. The NCLB initiative is not merely dipping your toes in the water or getting used to the water temperature until you get your feet wet, it's just diving in and seeing if you can adjust to everything all at once. It's not safe.

And as I go back to what Juju was saying earlier, indeed a good deal of motivation comes from discipline, authority and, yes, a little pushing. But you can only push so hard that then it just won't help, it just doesn't feel right, and to some, it may further discourage someone or feel abusive to ones emotions.

You always hear that a relationship is based on trust and communication, and building such relations in the school environment is the necessary step to beginning to resolve these conflicts. Activists and teachers alike must act and communicate accordingly and respectfully. Norms must be eastablished to stop the reckless constant reorganization process, so teachers and education advocates can save their breathes and make their voices heard for the good of the community. A code of ethics must be agreed upon and adopted in a diplomatic process through schools and organizations alike, mission statements which acknowledge the fundamental need to "teach the whole child" and teach as a community of learners. Finally, the money must be managed responsibly and the general public must be convinced that these schools need the money, not the lip service.

The community, that relationship, just doesn't seem to show to me in NCLB. I believe NCLB is creating more transience than ever, and forcing everyone to keep running, trying to keep up with the motions, is not healthy. There's little communication, little trust, in all of that, and though in the short term you may hear success stories of reading and math scores up from a year ago often, in the long run when the reorganization continues to happen and it exhausts many relationships and schools, I fear some unfortunate and costly consequences will occur.

Besides that, and it is just my opinion and I understand may not be a popular opinion, I just think education should be at least politically-motivated as possible. As far as the funding is concerned, you would have to expect to have the back of the government, but as far as the teaching and programs, communities should decide.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

Huan Yi
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9 posted 01-15-2005 03:58 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Meanwhile:

“  The nation's highest-ranked school districts and private academies look like magnet schools for Asian American students. The numbers get even better at the university level. In California Asians outnumber Whites at UC Berkeley (41%), UCLA (40%), UC Irvine (57%) and UC Riverside (48%). In other UC campuses and virtually all ivies Asians outnumber all other minorities combined, making up 17-35% of students.
     Not bad for a minority comprising barely 4% of the U.S. population.”


http://goldsea.com/Air/Issues/Kids/kids_20123.html
Mistletoe Angel
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10 posted 01-15-2005 04:20 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



That's very good.

I think the basic argument of the article is that Asian-Americans continue to be misrepresented or discriminated, in that despite their educational talents, they continue to be below the radar in many of the greatest professions in America, from Hollywood to politics.

So the article hints out the possible reality of "cultural elitism".

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

Huan Yi
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11 posted 01-15-2005 04:28 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Noah,

“Academic success translates to overrepresentation in professional and managerial slots -- twice the rate of the general population, according to Census Bureau figures. But look beyond the raw numbers and the picture dims. Asians are virtual no-shows in the high profile worlds of media, entertainment, politics, arts and sports -- the fields that, for better or worse, dictate the worldview of Americans.”

“I think the basic argument of the article is that Asian-Americans continue to be misrepresented or discriminated, . . .”

Well that’s a real interesting way of reading it.  Sounds like the
basis for affirmative action.
Ron
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12 posted 01-15-2005 09:51 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
But you can only push so hard that then it just won't help, it just doesn't feel right, and to some, it may further discourage someone or feel abusive to ones emotions.

If you're talking about pushing the students too hard, Noah, I would probably agree (though we'd still have to determine how hard is too hard).

On the other hand, if you're talking about pushing teachers too hard as I suspect is the case, frankly, they lost my sympathy a long time ago. Those doing the job and teaching to acceptable standards don't need to be pushed to do so, and those who are NOT already doing the job should be pushed right out the door. Schools and educators need to be accountable for their failures, else the failures will only continue to mount.
JoshG
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13 posted 01-18-2005 12:11 PM       View Profile for JoshG   Email JoshG   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JoshG

"I think the best thesis to make in opposition of it is, "NCLB is a siege on the public school system". Some may say it is a reform of the public school system. But I look it as an initiative rooted on mistrust and pressure points. I think it's actually a rather cynical initiative that has drawn high expectations for all public school systems, expecting them to reach all these thresholds in test performance, punishing schools who fail to reach the thresholds with sanctioning and budget cutting and making the public school system more competitive than ever before. So I actually see it as an excuse to find an alternative to public schools"

First, holding the school systems accountable for to the system and to the kids should not be pressure.  It is their job to be held accountable and since its a results based market those are the measures of their success.  Anytime you are performing below par, which we all agree that we are, you are going to feel pressure when improvement is attempted.  If we were doing better than what we wanted to be at the NCLB would not present a "pressure point" type of feeling, which I have yet to see documented anywhere as of yet.

Second, you craft your words well, but I ask you to define what is cynical?

Third, what is this "alternative" school system the Bush administration is pushing for so hard?  

My friend asking your kids to be honest is asking them to be accountable and yes there is going to be a bit of pressure felt by both parties.  I would hardly call it cynical to want your kids to be honest individuals.

"In my experience volunteering and helping educate children at local elementary schools with kids with special needs, I have come to realize the importance of the proverb, "It takes a whole village to raise a child". It makes me wonder, "Where is the community? What must be done, or, what is example, to bringing the village together again for the sake of our children?""

I do agree with you that the feeling of community can help, but make no mistake it has nothing to do with accountability.  NCLB is the accountable measure and review of the US school system.  It does not mean that it is a replacement for communities supporting the school, parent teacher activities, etc.  To break it down, we have the father saying these are the rules and you are not going to break them.  It doesn't mean all the other lessons he taught or influence's he has offered are null and void.  It doesn't mean that the "feeling of community" is out the window.  Personally, I think this is something that should be feed from the communities, wow there's an idea.  A community actually supporting a "community feeling".  Yet, I have a feeling you are wanting the government to head up and control this "community feeling" you so strongly profess support.

I have more to comment on your post, but will come back later this evening.
Juju
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14 posted 01-19-2005 12:12 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

Coming back to my point

-Yes I agree that the education committee is wierd. Like I have been saying, since the 60's Public schools have been wierd. And they get weirder. I Think That, like I said earlier, Kids need a push. I am not saying kill them with work. This bill is an advocate for the kids. Like many have already said this is a push with the teachers.

-Look, Kids shouldn't have to take special classes to get in to a decent collage.  There has to be a more efficient way to do this.

-Even the way teachers often teach needs to be revived. Too often children are minipulated and molded to be chameleons, instead of there own persons. Sometimes in to zombies.

-I believe this bill is the starting of such reforms. I think Kids should be able to express themselves, so they can enjoy school. I hated English until I met a teacher who taught me there is more to english then just grammar. That it is an art. Grammer is only a tool used. I learned how love the subject that I once loathed.  I was expected more of and My assignments more harshly then the other students an I came out with an A
Then A math teacher told me I was smart and He was going to grade my stuff tuffer He showed me that math is more then equations and numbers. That it too is art. That it takes imagenation.

My Chemestry teacher was the first teacher in the 12 years of school that told me thinking out side of the box was a good thing and it
it took that to make me in to an origanal person.

The geatest sorrow in school today is intstead of making the children grow, We (As a society) believe in molding. It's even commonly said.  

Any ways this is the reason Why i LIKE THIS BILL.
I am running out of time will be continued.

Juju - 1.) a magic charm or fetish 2.)Magic 3.)A taboo connected woth the use of magic

The dictionary never lies.... I am magical (;

Huan Yi
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15 posted 01-21-2005 07:46 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


“MILWAUKEE — A student whose vacation plans were spoiled has sued to end summer homework in Wisconsin, claiming it creates an unfair workload and unnecessary stress. “

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,145073,00.html

Juju
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16 posted 01-21-2005 10:52 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

Was that in responce to me? Look... I want a the way teachers teach to be changed. By a little push meens like a direction, not killing them. I think techers should use positive constructive way of teaching. I can not count the teachers that would complain what horrible student we were or how there personal life stinks instead of teaching.

I don't know I feal like I am rambling. I just want there to be change in how they teach. not how hard or so forht, but how.  I think this bill is something thsat could do this, because for once techers, especailly thee bad ones will seek out new ways to teach and will improve on what they do. Kids need a push, but a positive one. Kids look up to teachers.  How teachers act is a correlation to how the kids act. Kids are shaped into who they will be, by their surroundings. I don't like "molding" I like "toning" a being.  Will I feal like I rambled but it is what I feal, and it is blurry but it is my opinion. I think Class size means little. Kids need love. They need a positive person to look up to. With love also becomes tugh love, but still.  This bill means Change
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17 posted 01-25-2005 08:55 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Noah:

The problem, Noah, seems to be that you have not witnessed the real benefits.  I have.  The progress monitoring requirements of NCLB are important indicators that help identify children with learning disabilities or special needs so that they receive the explicit attention they need as early as possible.  Children who miss benchmarks very early on are monitored more closely and, if their progress continues to track behind their peers, specific teaching strategies can be designed to help the child catch up.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, it also helps identify gifted students so that they also can have educational programming that challenges them and helps them achieve their potential.

Personally, these measures have have assisted me in roles as both parent and parent advocate (assisting other families and school districts).  In my view, it is impossible to tacitly oppose all of NCLB with out flatly stating, "Don't confuse me with the facts, I've already made up my mind."

Jim
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18 posted 01-25-2005 03:07 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



Hey Jim, let me say I do respect and understand your opinion very much. I think anyone out there just want to see some sort of relief, and so an ambitious project such as this sounds so sound and promising, and indeed No Child Left Behind can leave quite a bright first impression.

Disabled children now make up 13% of the population in schools. Over an eighth of all children in school. I believe every American deserves the right to an enriching and creative education, and that guarantee should be made constitutional.

The problem here I see is I think the attempt to strengthen public education here is being misguided. Under NCLB, all children must attain academic proficiency, reach a threshold as decided by each state. The minimal acceptance levels are in place, but I see a great problem in forcing, straight up, disabled children to pass the same tests as non-disabled students. In result, I think a considerable number of children just won't succeed at the rate he or she wants to and rather than achieve a multi-dimensional, creative education will be limited in fields.

So I see two problems here. States will not only have to lower the bar so disabled children can succeed, but all at once it lowers the bar for all other students. Plus that same bar may still appear too high for some disabled children.

Then there's the sanctioning. If any school doesn't show proficiency for two years in a row, the school is automatically labeled as "failing", no questions asked. On average, the poor and minority children typically score lower on these tests. And we'll need billions more in order to reach these non-achievers.

Finally, though some may see the following opinion as beneficial, I see this initiative as so heavily corporately-influenced, thus affecting the diversity and creative approaches in the public school system.

Edison Schools, for instance, was founded in 1992, and is now the country's leading private manager of public schools. Edison now owns over 150 public schools, with about 80,000 American students now attending their schools. At first Edison Schools struggled financially, but since No Child Left Behind has expanded, Edison Schools have been enjoying their first-ever profits and are expanding. National Heritage Academies Inc. is also enjoying similar success, owning whole school districts in Baltimore, for instance.

Could you imagine all the children of America being taught the same lesson, on the same day, at the same time? That's what's happening at these corporate and charter schools. I fear this will encourage further invasion of corporate schools and further damage the creative options available to our children.

No Child Left Behind, I believe, means well in trying to get somewhere, but I see many cavities and mothholes in this proposal. Like I mentioned here, a heightened level of stress, mistrust, and helter-skelter.

I, myself, come from a unique educational background. I struggled at Warder H. Elementary School in Arvada, Colorado. With Asperger's Syndrome, I have learning differences. I was home-schooled throughout middle school, then went to Denver Academy, a private school, throughout high school, a school which fosters putting their heart and attention to children with learning differences or disabilities, which is a school I will always have my utmost respect for. I came in, crying and fearing for my future and that I may never be accepted in society or seen or treated like everyone else, and left as the valedictorian of the Class of 2002. So many teachers all sent me letters through the mail that summer and told me how I had left a deep impression in all their hearts and at the school they'll never forget. Thinking of their caring, loving words makes me cry warm tears each time I think of it.

Community is the one word I think of when I think of the greatness of Denver Academy. I believe I succeeded because everyone put trust in me. I just think the community approach is lacking in NCLB.

No Child Left Behind truly is a wide proposal. Though key promises within the law have given support to the proposal, opinion polls suggest most people know little about NCLB. There should be some concern there, and I think we all should be aware and really KNOW of this initiative before we allow it to pass. To be honest, I'm not entirely convinced my own arguments I'm making are entirely accurate, because we just haven't heard much about education as of late across the corporate media and such, with other topics getting a much wider rotation.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

 
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