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Volume IV, Number 11, December, 2006

The Petition to End NCLB

By Jamie McKenzie (about author)

Across the United States a chorus of voices is calling for an end to NCLB, the most destructive, wrong-minded effort to change American schools in the history of education.

A group of educational leaders has launched a petition to tell the new Congress to start over again with a new approach.

I am joining Susan Ohanian, Marion Brady, Philip Kovacs and dozens of others in calling for an end to the damage.

NCLB is terribly flawed and not at all effective. It has done more damage than good and has left countless students behind despite its name. In a remarkable twist, it has allowed many states to ignore many of the children it claims to protect, setting group sizes that effectively left them uncounted and unwatched.

Act now.

Stand up.

Join the chorus.

Let freedom ring!

This statue "The Signer" in Philadelphia is dedicated to the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Declare independence from the dictatorial and harmful education law by signing this petition to bring an end to NCLB. Click here to view the petition.

Sign the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/1teacher/petition.html.

The petition has been organized by The Educator Roundtable
(http://educatorroundtable.org) of which Philip Kovacs is Director.
Assistant Professor in the Department of Education
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville AL 35899

© 2006, Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved. This article may be e-mailed to individuals by individuals, but all other duplication, distribution, publication and use is prohibited without first receiving explicit permission. Contact for information.
What can you do to change this law before it does great damage to the schools and children in your state and town?
  1. Subscribe to "No Child Left" to stay informed about efforts to repeal NCLB. Click here.
  2. Speak with the school board members, administrators and teachers in your community to learn how NCLB will change schools and learning in your town.
  3. Start communicating with your Senators and Representatives to let them know you want this law changed to put more emphasis on capacity building and support rather than testing and punishment.
  4. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper expressing your concerns. Illustrate the dangers of this law with specific and compelling examples.
  5. Emphasize concrete alternatives that would do more to improve the futures of disadvantaged children.

A List of ESEA (NCLB) Amendments

1. Fund social programs that impact school readiness so that all children actually enter school ready to learn as the first President Bush promised long ago.

2. Fund capacity building (enhanced teaching and learning) in districts and districts for several years before engaging in punishing labels and reckless choice provisions. Capacity building might mean providing hundreds of hours of training in effective reading strategies, for example. But it does not mean training everybody in a single highly scripted program endorsed by the administration for pseudo-scientific reasons.

3. Devote public money to truly public schools. Be careful not to divert funds to reckless experiments or diploma mills.

4. Fund enough construction of new schools within public systems so parental choice is real.

5. Support informed school choice within public systems.

6. Emphasize rewards and incentives rather than sanctions.

7. Hold all publicly funded schools to standards for performance and quality, whether actually private, charter or truly public. Be careful about simplistic notions of high stakes testing.

8. Fund recruitment and preparation of effective teachers and aides from all racial and economic groups to close the gap between current staffing levels and what is desirable.

9. End the insulting, broad brush assaults on teachers and administrators struggling against difficult challenges.

10. Capitalize on the good research conducted to discover what works best in schools and avoid simplistic panaceas and platitudes imported from the world of business and medicine.

11. Enrich the options available to all children. Forswear tightly scripted, robotic programs and the fast food approaches to school improvement.

12. Build school improvement on a richly defined foundation of alternatives and strategies.

13. Eliminate Trojan horses, hidden agendas and shameful politics from ESEA.

14. Stop using Madison Avenue techniques to hide the harsh realities of so-called compassionate conservatism.