Really! Who Would Have Thought? NCLB Didn’t Work! Oh, What a Revelation.

Oh my!!!!  No Child Left behind did not improve the cause of education.  Modest assessment, I will claim, and in the book I am writing that is nearning completion, I argue that it was not only a failure but a profound disaster.  Why?  Because it was.  I do not forgive easily.  I cannot forgive McCain and I cannot forgive Bush and I have never forgiven Henry Kissinger (a “dignity present at the McCain funeral) because the results of  actions predicated on their advise and command harmed great numbers of people greatly.

As for NCLB, I cannot forgive those who initiated it and those who perpetuated it, G. W. for sure but Obama chose Arnie Duncan to lead the Department of Education and the reign of error was continued far beyond the time when disaster was acutely apparent.  I will be accused by Diane Ravitch fans of continuing to want to whip the repentant–she has apologized in a hundred different ways for her participation in crafting the legislation that twisted the education system into a more twisted mess than it was before, a deed that showed that the impossible was possible if a few dastardly people could find ways to do their dastardly deeds.

So, the article from which this quote comes, authored by Diane Ravitch, is but another in a series of apologies made without apologizing and speaking to the errors without acknowledging the magnitude of the damage done.

She reports that,

“No Child Left Behind will be recognized in time as the most colossal failure in federal education policy, whose disastrous effects were amplified by Race to the Top.

Its monomaniacal focus on test scores warped education. RTT just made it worse and left a path of destruction in urban districts.

And the gains were, as a new study reports, modest and diminished over time.

Anyone familiar with Campbell’s Law could have predicted this result. Social scientist Donald T. Campbell wrote:

“The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.”

Here is a link to the article: NCLB Got Little and Diminishing Returns.

LITTLE AND DIMINISHING RETURNS!  Understated, to say the least.



By lafered

Retired professor of education concerned with thoughtfulness

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