26 November 2012
America’s schools are failing
89% of schools in Florida are failing the goals that were set up by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) (Mandell 1). The NCLB sets the guide lines that all schools are supposed to achieve by 2014(Mandell 1). More or less, it defines the guidelines that separate successful schools and failing schools. The problem is why are the failing schools failing? Some of America’s public schools are failing; this is because of several factors: teachers being unionized, kids losing interest, the No Child Left Behind Act is failing and schools are not receiving enough funding.
The first reason that the schools are failing is because the bar that the NCLB sets has been set too high, and that the NCLB is failing. The NCLB itself is failing. The No Child Left behind Act, which was implemented by President Bush, is failing. Many educators would agree that the goals that the act sets, “every student in the country is supposed to be performing at grade level in math and reading by 2014”(Mandell 1), are impossible and that the standards are not fair, not accurate, and unrealistic. According to a survey, 48% of schools in the nation are not making “adequate yearly progress” (Mandell 1). This means that the No Child Left Behind Act is failing in 48 percent of the United States, so the act is clearly not effective and needs to be revised so that it has more obtainable goals. Furthermore, the standards were doubled by the NCLB. States are required to have reading and math tests once a year for 3rd to 8th graders and in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students must take the test once, according to the NCLB. This new rule changes the number of tests from 3 to 7 (Popham 15-16). This rule is unfair because it more than doubles the standard that was previously in affect; this should have been a slow tradition and not have been all at once. Finally, even college professors know that the NCLB is failing. According to Arne Duncan “No Child Left Behind is broken, that's why we're moving forward with giving states flexibility from the law in exchange for reforms that protect children and drive student success"(Mandell 2). Earlier in the year he thought that the percentage of schools that are failing would be as high as 82%. In March president Obama strongly suggested that the law be revised (Mandell 2). This statement shows that high up educators know that the act is failing and that something needs to be done about it; furthermore, even the president knows that the act is failing. The fact that the NCLB is failing is, however, not the only reason the schools are failing. The second reason the schools are failing is because the kids are losing interest in school. Teachers know that the kids are losing interest. Junior high students were studying a topic that required them to be active and participate, but teachers are faced with silence and the faces of students that are glazed over in boredom. One teacher comments that “ The students are so used to having the teacher spoon-feed them what they're supposed to know....Students accustomed to efficient, predictable dissemination of knowledge were confused, silent, even hostile when told they must decide for themselves how to proceed on a project or when confronted with an ambiguous question such as, "What do you think?"” (Wolk 2). This quote shows that teachers know that students are losing interest in school and are becoming less self-dependent. Next, the repetition that the kids endure at an early age is not beneficial to them. Starting as early as the first grade, kids do worksheets for homework to reinforce what they learned in school, but the topics of these worksheets stay the same throughout grade school. This causes the kids to do the same work over and over again, which leads to kids not wanting to be creative. For example, a seven year old who does spelling worksheets was offered the opportunity to do creative...