No Child Left Behind Act will ruin education system

Published: Friday, January 23, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 22, 2004 at 11:16 p.m.

A deeper look at President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act leads me to believe that there is another purpose altogether for this education "reform."

With the No Child Left Behind Act, 100 percent of our nation's children are expected to meet or exceed state standards in reading and math by the year 2012.

States are required to set standards that increase in steady increments between the first year, 2001, of the act and the final year 2012.

The proficiency rate considered for adequate yearly progress for reading in 2001-2002 was 31 percent; in 2005, the standard for adequate yearly progress will be 48 percent, 65 percent in 2008, 82 percent in 2010 and 100 percent in 2012.

In Florida, the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT) is used to judge student competency. A Level 3 out of five levels (5 being the highest) is considered proficient.

By 2012, 100 percent of Florida's students will be expected to receive a level 3 in reading and math.

All scores are reported according to the subgroups of economically disadvantaged, white, black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, students

with disabilities and limited English proficient students.

All children need to be assessed and there must be test scores for at least 95 percent of all students in each school and in each subgroup in order to document adequate yearly progress.

If a school fails to make adequate yearly progress there are severe consequences. After two years, a school has to provide transportation for its students to another school that has made adequate progress.

After three years of no adequate progress, the school has to pay for its enrolled students to receive tutoring or other educational services from a parent-selected provider, including faith-based providers.

At this level, the school will pay for transportation to another school and parent requests for supplemental services such as tutoring.

After four years, relevant school staff will be replaced and five years without adequate progress calls for the school to contract with private management companies to replace the existing principal and staff.

What is the purpose of expecting the impossible from our existing education system?

The No Child Left Behind Education Act is designed to ruin our public education system and, instead, privatize education.

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