|Testing/NCLB - for what purpose?
Almost nine months ago the Washington Post headline read, “Dozens in GOP Turn Against Bush’s Prized ‘No Child’ Act.” The dozens have since turned into hundreds of state and federal politicians. WHY? A May 30, 2007 LA Times article highlighted the hugely increased amount of time devoted just to taking dozens of tests. Plus there is the equally increased time spent on preparing the students directly for the tests. All of this time for tests was taken from somewhere else in the school day—mostly from instruction and a diverse curriculum.
One teacher lamented that her California school district allocated only seven class hours to teach “To Kill a Mockingbird” even though a third of her pupils had English as their second language. Late last June the Pittsburg Post-Gazette’s article said it all about ‘narrowing the curriculum’. “State board refuses to require foreign language studies because of high cost,” was the headline. The author explained that a part of the high cost was the amount of time it took to teach modern languages effectively plus there were no required tests in these subjects. Many schools have also reduced their fine and performing arts curriculum options due to the time crunch.
Another reason why so many formerly loyal GOP leaders have begun to back away from the automatic renewal of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is that an unanticipated and unwanted side-effect of the law and all of its testing was highlighted in a late May article in the Cincinnati Enquirer. The headline read, “Tests thin ranks of grads—Diplomas denied to some after failing exam as seniors.” One girl was highlighted as having passed all of her courses with B grades and honor roll status, but failed two parts of the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT).
She did not graduate from high school in ’07. But many more did not graduate when, as sophomores, they first took the OGT and failed to pass one or more sections. Many of them simply gave up and quit school becoming official dropouts. Some claim that the NCLB not only LEFT these children behind, it provided the push/shove out the back door! This is the exact opposite of the expressed goals of the law.
In a subsequent column I will address the dollar implications of this and other legislative mandates on us as local taxpayers. But for now, I urge you to contact Congressman Turner and urge him to support quality reforms to the NCLB to make it much more workable.
Sorority scholarship funds available
The Dayton Panhellenic Association is pleased to announce the availability of scholarship funds. Scholarships will be awarded to members of collegiate or alumnae chapters/clubs of sororities affiliated with the National Panhellenic Conference. Sorority members with home addresses in Montgomery , Greene, Warren, Miami, Preble, Clark, Shelby and Darke counties are encouraged to apply.
Applications can be obtained by visiting: www.geocities.com/daytonalumnaepanhellenic.
Applications must be received no later than Jan. 15, 2008. For more information please call 298-5528.