Obama to give 10 states a pass on No Child Left Behind deadline

President Obama is set to give 10 states a pass regarding an approaching deadline under the No Child Left Behind law, after the states struggled to meet the proficiency standards for reading and math.

The executive action will circumvent Congress, which has been stuck on how to rewrite the law. A White House official confirmed to Fox News on Thursday that the 10 states will receive “flexibility” allowing them to miss 2014 targets for student proficiency.


No Child Left Behind is a huge disaster for US education. It dumbs down learning to rote materials geared purely to pass an arbitrary test of competance. It has removed much of the freedom to individualize learning to the needs of students and maximize each student’s specific strengths.

THe sooner they get rid of it the better.

Friend of mine is a teacher actually jsut retired). Said it is hated because it holds back entire classes while trying to help kids who refuse to learn.

Despite the “dumbed down” learning, we still have states that cannot pass…but whether I agree or disagree with the Act itself, I certainly disagree with the President once again overstepping his authority to decide which laws are relevant and who has to follow them…

Agreed. No Child Left Behind was directed at the lowest common denominator - now it appears that was aiming to high.

I wonder which 10 states will be picked as winners?

Are they blue states?

States with the lowest test scores and the strongest teacher’s unions will be the “winners” while the students are the losers.

That’s not what wrong with it. It fosters memorization and low level learning as oppossed to real creative learning and individual development.

Kids learn differently. To cast kids seen as “slower” or “problems” is wrong-headed. The truth is standarized tests attempting to guage learning is wrong-headed and simplistic legislation.


The problem NCLD was to correct was that some school systems that didn’t teach anything - and still don’t.

I guess that means that in ten states, the school kids will no longer have to do homework.


Memorization is how kids learn!!!

Instead our education system for years wasted the kids’ time and energy by teaching them coloring or teaching them math with base2 or base5 instead of having them memorize the multiplication tables or practicing sentence structure or or knowing the Constitution and American History and time lines and reading real books from the library.

Check out the learning methods used in Scandanavia and the resultant student achievement (all of Scandanavia is ranked far above the US- Norway is #1 in the world) and see how rote memorization is a lower form of learning than the creative and dynamic learning that breeds passion and curiosity in the student.

I’m not decrying your specific examples (except maybe diagramming sentences) but your notion that learning is best taught through memorization. Reading books certainly isn’t memorization, for instance.

However, Scandinavia is a rather homogeneous culture and even physical traits. (Where I might add, homeschooling is practically outlawed, which is the epitome of letting a kid learn they way they need to). They don’t have a large undereducated refugee population or people who don’t speak the language, or large portions of the populations living in inner city ghettos. Etc.

Rote learning may be the only way to get students who are resistant to learning to learn anything. By mere repetition, over and over again. While I agree generally that rote memorization is not the best way to learn for the majority of students, it might be the best for the least educated, most resistant students. (except of course for things like multiplication tables, spelling, vocabulary, etc. where some rote memorization is necessary).

Wouldn’t those be teaching methods?

Was that neccessary? I am legally blind you see, and so am apt to make mistakes in my typing?

But, yes, that is what I meant.

NCLB was/is an unfunded federal mandate that put states and school districts in the position of having to pay for - among other things - millions upon millions of dollars’ worth of multiple-choice test materials as well as the salaries for teachers, administrators, and support personnel to administer the tests, tests that may or may not reflect the state grade level or content area standards, stuff that teachers have been told to teach all year.

And districts and schools that fail to show adequate yearly progress, which is partially based factors that are completely out of the control of schools, like attendance or the percentage of the student population that is SPED or are ELLs, get even more instructional money taken away from them. Some of the money is completely gone, but some of it is replaced with money that can only be used in very narrow ways (e.g., test prep).

The result is that kids in schools that serve large poor and minority populations spend great chunks of their school days preparing so they test well on standardized tests. And the end-of-year tests have begat quarterly - and sometimes more frequent - benchmark assessments, so that days of instructional time are lost in testing and testing to prepare for testing. In elementary school subjects like art, music, and social studies, and science are either minimized or not taught at all because they’re not tested. I have personal knowledge of elementary schools where five of the seven-and-a-half-hour school day is devoted to skill, drill and kill mathematics and decoding.

Another poster mentioned reading books from the library. Ironically, under NCLB school library funds have been slashed because no one’s shown a significant correlation between having a well-stocked school library and increased test scores.

What Duncan and Obama want to do is give states more freedom and say into how Title I and other monies are spend. Which is a good thing for schools, and students. If this spells the beginning of the end of NCLB, that also be a good thing for schools and students. About the only NCLB provision I agreed with what the requirement that all teachers be highly qualified. This has eliminated cases of teachers teaching classes they don’t hold credentials for.


In my opinion, elimination of “rote memorization” is the reason so few Catholics have a clue as to Catholic doctrine.

We used to memorize the Baltimore Catechism.

Now, what do the kids do? They color.

How do people learn music? They memorize it!!

Yeah sorry, wrong on a couple levels. Nobody likes NCLB. Not the teachers, students, parents, schools or states.

Here’s the list of states given the pass: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, New Jersey and Tennessee.

Not all blue states and not all have strong teachers unions. I know personally that Florida’s is weak.

Well, I’m not talking about Catechism. I don’t know the best way to teach this but I can’t argue with you that kids were better catechised using the Baltimore Cat. than they are today. I went through CCD in the 80’s and it was pretty bad. As a teen I even complained to my Bishop about it. He even met with me- not that anything changed but it was nice to feel listened to as a child. :slight_smile:

As a kid I wanted to be a monk/friar or priest and so did a lot of religious reading for myself.

I don’t see the problems with Catechises as a good metaphor of education in general, however, as demonstrated by the countries in the world ranked as having the top educations. Nearly, all of these, with the exception of South Korea, emphasize a dynamic participatory learning environment.

I can think of few policies as universally dispised as NCLB. No one on the front lines of education likes it.

Socialist Europe does get some things right you know. :wink:

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