As previously noted, the time is now for everyone with an interest in public education (i.e. everyone) to contact Senate Education Committee chair Lamar Alexander about the reauthorization of NCLB. (FixingNCLB@help.senate.gov) If you’re struggling with what to say in your email, here is a selection of links on the topic to give you some ammo. Take what you want from them, or just copy and paste a link and ask Sen Alexander to read it and share it with the committee.
Here’s Carol Burris’ open letter to Sen. Alexander about the faults with, and fixes for, NCLB.
A post from AFT President Randi Weingarten reminds us of the background of the ESEA, which was overhauled by NCLB. “The law was designed to ensure that every school got the resources to teach students, particularly in neighborhoods or districts that were not wealthy… No Child Left Behind has failed to accomplish its goals, and its only real legacy is a standardized testing regime that’s squeezing the joy of learning from our schools.”
This video of linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and political commentator Noam Chomsky covers a lot of ground and really digs into the insidiousness of standardized testing.
An NEA Survey reveals ever declining morale among teachers and the fact that almost half of America’s teachers have thought about leaving the profession due to standardized testing.
Even as Jay Matthews of The Washington Post asserts that “it is difficult to argue that teachers should not be measured, at least in part, on how well their students are doing,” his column highlights the folly of tying teacher evaluations to the current testing regimen.
To see how some other folks are framing their comments to the Senate Ed. Committee, check out the comments on Peter Greene’s blog post.
Sticking with Curmuducation, here’s another post from Peter Greene listing the standard defenses of annual testing and why they all collapse under scrutiny.
Finally, when you send your letter, consider posting it as a comment below to help others generate ideas.
Remember, send your comments to FixingNCLB@help.senate.gov and remind everyone you know to do the same.