The entire mission of “No Child Left Behind” is to eventually label every single school in this nation as “failing“—it’s a backdoor way of forcing vouchers or privatization or whatever the hell they want this time.
How do we know this? Because:
The main thrust of the bill is that it requires all schoolchildren to be “proficient” in reading, math and science by the year 2014. Hard to argue with that, until you learn that proficiency has been arbitrarily defined as the current 40th percentile of the nation.
In other words, in 2014 every child will score better than 40 percent of the nation today, or roughly 19 million children. We will be essentially trying to get every child in the nation to be “above average,” …
Any school with less than 100% success is deemed to be failing.
But what happens after being declared a “failure”?
In addition to placing new financial and space demands on successful schools, the law’s requirements will also lay serious new money burdens on the ones with troubles, for such things as additional teacher training and additional classes.
So where is that money coming from? It’s not coming at all:
Not even the No Child Left Behind Act is getting adequate federal funding. In order for millions of disadvantaged children to pass standardized tests, schools need extra resources to help them along. And schools that fail need extra funding for the mandated tutoring, plus the added costs of transporting students to other schools. But the federal government isn’t coming up with nearly as much money as it promised when the act was passed. So far, federal appropriations are almost a third less than what was authorized, about $6 billion under the mark. As a result, a lot of the act’s cost is falling on the states and cities, which can’t possibly afford it.
(Also see Body and Soul.)
UPDATE: More here.