One of the few things I have gone on record as having disagreed with George W. Bush about has been No Child Left Behind (NCLB). It was a good idea. Unfortunately good intentions often go awry.
The big problem with NCLB is the fact that the average school administrator is nothing but a sniveling coward. They are terrified their schools will not score well in testing, so they now demand teachers not teach but prep for tests. If the average administrator had the backbone of a jellyfish it would be an improvement to the pathetic excuse of men and women who are only interested in looking good in the next report.
They are so terrified of their own shadows that they enact draconian zero tolerance rules which have seriously contributed to the dramatic rise in drop-out rates throughout the nation. I could tell you the story of a young woman I know, a National Merit Scholar, getting ready to graduate with honors and a fortune in scholarship money. A few weeks before her graduation she was caught smoking in the parking lot, and suspended for two weeks. A downward spiral began that led to her dropping out, losing her scholarship, involving herself in a dramatic early marriage, and no college.
Yes, smoking in the parking lot was a bone-headed move, but it was one that should not have destroyed her life. What was once an extremely bright future turned into yet another New Mexico statistic. Administrators are so worried about lawsuits they are willing to sacrifice, to cannibalize their young. Just a thought, perhaps they should be subjected to a lawsuit every time something like this happens. I wonder what would happen to dropout rates then?
They sure taught her a thing or two. Gone are the days when being busted on school property while smoking pot would result in a week long suspension. Now the same kid is expelled, out on the streets. The teachers who do have the milk of humanity within them, those who want to salvage a kid like this, are no longer allowed to do so. It could result in a lawsuit.
Instead they must cater to administrators who are so woefully ignorant that they do not recognize the professionally acted words of the Witches of Macbeth. Rather than admit a mistake, the administrator to whom I refer castigated the English lit teacher, demanding to know what sort of thing she was teaching her students. She glared at him and handed him the literature book they were using that year, with the page marked to the offending passage. She then suggested he never set foot in her classroom again if he was that poorly educated.
So, he went back to his zero tolerance, making the school safe from parents who might want to file a lawsuit if their precious darling happened to be the victim of a alien terror attack. He never did bother to check on a couple of the kids in his school who had serious behavioral problems. Never fear, his crocodile tears were prolific when one of those young people committed suicide.
We can just about guarantee that the pot smoking young Barry Obama who was chilling out in the parking lot of his very exclusive prep school in Hawaii would no longer get a second chance. Instead, someone like that would be yet another statistic, advertising the joys and pleasures of zero tolerance. That would bring on a lockdown while the local cops brought in drug dogs and sniffed down every locker and checked every single backpack and handbag on the campus.
Remember, the courts have ruled that students have no rights. The only right they have is to remain silent and to have their lives destroyed by those sniveling puddles of alleged humanity.
The average teacher is overworked. They are underpaid. Once they were "educators". Now they are babysitters for a bunch of spoiled brats who cannot be chastised, let alone disciplined. If they are disciplined, their parents come in and abuse the teacher.
Teachers have NO time for any extra work. Their lives are now so programmed, lessons so planned in advance, that there is absolutely no chance for them to do anything else. Now Obama, in yet another tone-deaf move, wants to add more work to the shoulders of these brave people.
It just proves how little the Obama Administration actually knows about what is really going on in our schools. I was going to say they are tone-deaf but that requires a modicum of knowledge. There is no knowledge, they don't know the law, they don't know their own regulations; even worse, they obviously have no working knowledge of how a modern day classroom functions outside of Chicago or an ACORN project.
Instead of being repeatedly alarmed at the overreach of Barack Obama and his court of czars, Perhaps we should simply be pointing to them and laughing. The newly crowned emperor has no clothes. He's stark-nekkid (an old Southern expression for up to no good), exposed for all to see. The overreach from the DOE, distributing a handout telling overworked and harassed teachers how to teach, is simply icing on a cake that should be part of the old Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In end-of-episode wall of ridicule.
Never in my life have I seen a leader so lacking in wisdom and common sense. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham conducted a meeting of health care professionals the other day. He observed that Barack Obama had not one health care professional working on health care reform. Perhaps, Lindsey suggested, we would be better off if we let the people who know something about the field write the reform bill.
Once again, Obama has been exposed in his new clothes. He's stark-nekkid, his abject incompetence exposed for all to see. Unfortunately it's just not that funny.
Suggesting that students examine their lives and their futures is a good idea. It's also a hollow idea. Suggesting they give time and effort for community service is also a nice thought. Unfortunately, many are already required to perform a number of hours of community service to graduate. No, they're not criminals serving a jail sentence, they're just high school students trying to graduate. Community service, volunteer service, when demanded, is not volunteer. It is like conscription.
Kids just don't have time. They are now so busy studying for tests to measure the achievement of their school administrator, they have no time for learning, or doing interesting projects, even if they are promoted by Obama's administration. They have no time to play, to laugh, to run and just be kids. They have no time for recess, tag, or the silly things in life. Instead, to make school administrators and districts look good, even the little ones must be sentenced to 8 hours of hard labor on a daily basis.
Now, you want to know why we have an epidemic of childhood obesity? The answer is simple, and Barack Obama's administration is helping to contribute to it: kids don't have time to run and play.