This is a real problem in our schools today. The only way I have
managed to stay in the profession is to constantly juggle myself into
the type of teaching position where I have more freedom over my
decision making and teaching. I do not think I wiould be able to stay
in the classroom and have such systematic rigor stuffed down my throat.
I see the teachers I work with still manage to keep some of what I have
seen in the past, but it gets harder and harder for them. They are not
encouraging young people to get into the teaching profession. It makes
me wonder about the new teachers who do, are they willing to be more
complacent in what they expect?
I do not see all the principles of NCLB as futile, I just think
the measures of what they are expecting are unrealistic and not
reflective of real life skills. I like the philosophy of the late
Marie Clay, whose research developed Reading Recovery and dared to ask,
ponder, and get educators to think is it possible that 15% of our youth
do not have to struggle with literacy. Can that be reduced to half of
one percent? Her revolutionary vision is possible and does happen,
funny though, only recently has it received the acolades that it
deserves and it was not part of NCLB. For one thing, it does not fit
into any neat prescriptive, scribed, packaged and produced product.
Thus no one in corporate America will profit greatly from
implementation. It does require intense dedication and teachers
constantly willing to grow and willing to work with each child to help
them discover the power and fluency of literary with no one given
pathway to the task. And it really works. Each year I start with
children that I think I am supposed to have at what level in 12-20
weeks? And I see them blossom. Now that makes a lot of sense. What
would be possible in the classroom if more Reading Recovery teacherrs
were supported nationwide and by the time children reached 2nd grade
they truly had the literacy skills they need to transfer into multiple
directions? That would be closing the achievement gap and make the
principles of high standards accessible to all.
But wait, how can we measure this? Well believe it or not it can
be, it still isn't just a test that really proves it over time as well
as many measures, formal and informal that shows how much they are
achieving. Too bad this isn't what is being authorized.
Hopefully the legilature will consider supporting more of this
type of outstanding education and totally revamp, revise, and dare we
hope to kick out NCLB? I sort of doubt the last will happen, I just
hope the first two do.