No Child Left Behind setting below-average goals

Mary Wolf-Francis
When Margaret Spellings visited the Southeast Valley this spring, she was asked to respond to the question about the effects of No Child Left Behind on the average and above-average students.
Her response was frightening.
Spellings declared that No Child Left Behind is about the “vast, vast number of young Americans who lack the ability to be successful in our country. That is our prime directive, our highest priority.”
The highest public education official in our country essentially stated that public schools should be dedicated to below-average students. This may be seen as a call for all parents of average to above-average students to run, don’t walk, to their nearest private school.
Spellings takes it a step further by defining the problem as related to race, saying, “We’re only graduating half of our Hispanic and half our African-American students on time.”
Did I hear you say public education is dedicated to underachieving students of color? Political correctness aside, these are not the only students who lack the ability to be successful. Would you be surprised if we told you that many of our best and brightest students fit this category?
As many as 40 percent of all gifted students are underachievers, according to the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, and between 10 and 20 percent of all high school dropouts test in the gifted range.
Consider, then, that many other populations of students are being left behind, especially as funds are diverted into meeting the mandates of this narrow legislation.

One thought on “No Child Left Behind setting below-average goals”

  1. Wow, Jeff. Thanks for finding this and getting it posted. A published and well-written piece in a real-live public newspaper that typical people can read! Seriously, this is accessible and as thorough in considering the dumbing-down effects of NCLB as one can get in a short newspaper article. I hadn’t heard that particular quote from Spellings, but I have heard similar ones from her that made me do a John-Stewart-like “Wh-huh?!!” doubletake.
    I get to read a lot of this a week or more after it is posted these days, but at least I get to read it in the end. 🙂

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