Today's "Blog Du Jour" is about education. Specifically, the "No Child Left Behind Act."
If you recall from a couple years ago, President Bush, with the help of Congress, passed
the "No Child Left Behind Act." The act, in short, mandates that before any state gets
federal funds for education, it must raise its standards for reading and math scores.
If the state fails to meet these standards, the Federal Government will shut off the money flow. Secondly, if individual schools failed to meet standards, parents would be allowed to
transfer their children to schools who are meeting the standards.
There's some other features in the NCLB Act, but we'll skip those for now.
States and school districts have been complaining left and right about the standards
so you know that the "tough love" approach is doing some good. One school district was
even saying it will be dropping Art and History classes so that students can spend more
time in reading and math classes.
Remember, the folks hurt the most by bad public schools are the poor. To me, it's nothing
short of a crime that school systems were passing children on to higher grades who
can't even read or write. It's almost "Dickenosian" that children would be condemned
to low paying jobs or have to turn to crime because schools or states were not held accountable.
However, I digress ever so slightly regarding this subject.
One of the most interesting articles I read about the NCLB Act was in the Chicago Tribune.
One parent, whose child was enrolled in a Chicago school on the South Side that failed the standards in Chicago, applied under the NCLB Act to transfer her child to another school on the North Side of Chicago. The child was accepted.
Under the NCLB Act, the Federal Government gave the mother (single by the way), a
$200 monthly stipend to help in transporting her child to the North Side school. Once
the child started school, although bright, was almost already two grades behind in reading
with her classmates. She struggled mightily to keep up. The school, realizing that it
had an underpeformer, provided tutoring for the child. Still, the child was struggling,
She was tired all of the time.
The school asked for a meeting with the mother. Turns out the mother was allowing the
child to stay up to Midnight playing video games. Things it even got worse. The child
was bit by bit, missing class because her mother could not make the effort to make
sure her child got to school. Under the NCLB Act, these actions result in the amount
of the monthly stipend to be reduced.
The school asked for another meeting with the mother. The school would try to find
affordable housing for whole family so that they would be closer to the school. The school
would also find a job for the mother that would be closer to the school. The mother turned
the offer down and enrolled her child into another school on the South Side of Chicago.
If you ask any teacher, one of the dirty little secrets that nobody wants to talk are bad parents. Politicans can talk about raising test scores and making sure that teachers are qualified but nobody wants to talk about parents that:
- Don't make sure their children do their homework
- Don't spend time reading to their children
- Don't teach their kids how to speak or write correctly
- Don't teach thieir children proper morals
That's the hard part about this blog: How many Americans would call on the carpet others who they thought were bad parents? Would we drag these individuals to Court and fine them or threaten them with jail time because they allowed their children to skip school or not do their homework?
I could hear the catcalls: "Who are you to accuse me of being a bad parent? Mind your own business and your own children!!"
The question for our Blog readers is "Could you??"