Education policies intrude on classrooms

February 1, 2015 6:00 pm
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Writing in the Washington Post, Valerie Strauss criticizes the US Department of Education’s overbearing reach into classrooms with policies and programs that provide no real benefit to teachers or students. Federal programs, such as Race to the Top and NCLB (No Child Left Behind), were introduced to regulate education and ensure all students were performing at an appropriate level. However, there is no real proof as to whether these programs have been successful.

In fact, the opposite appears true, with the “graduation rate gap” growing between ESL (English as a Second Language) students and their English proficient counterparts. In addition, the implementation of standardized tests as part of the NCLB program has led to the isolation of students with disabilities, as they are separated from other classes so that they may be taught to pass the test.

Further problems arise when these test scores are considered for teacher evaluations. While arguably a reasonable practice, it has the potential to deter teachers from wanting to work with groups of students that may have more difficulty learning than others – and that are less likely to achieve outstanding scores on standardized tests.

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This post was written by Melissa Yu