This disastrous law is now being overhauled by the Obama administration, and a new "Blueprint" is being created. This blueprint will be like NCLB on steroids, with more testing (they call it "value added" because now the tests will measure actual growth of individual students, and will cover even more subject areas). Will this result in a dumbing down of the original standards set by NCLB in order for more schools to meet AYP (Annual Yearly Progress)? What is the value of that? Now teachers will be required to spend more time analyzing and collecting data, when that valuable time should be spent on teaching and lesson planning.
The bureaucrats are trying to fix the nonsense with even more nonsense, with no regard for the children. It is all about appearances, and framing data so it looks like there is improvement, so the politicians look good. And money that could be spent on hiring teachers or teacher's aides will be spent on pointless testing. This new "value added" (A Bill Gates idea) data will be tied to teacher performance. Jesse Rothstein, a top economist, has determined through his own research, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2010/09/06/assessing-a-teachers-value/dont-be-too-quick-to-embrace-value-added-assessments that the "value added" model is highly flawed. It does not take into account all the other factors that influence student performance- little things like: high student mobility rate, high rates of absenteeism, lack of sleep, poor parenting, lack of nourishment, influence of other/former teachers. Why not JUST ASK THE TEACHER ABOUT STUDENT GROWTH? Teachers have been trained to conduct formative assessments of their students. It's what they do. Is all this new data collecting and testing really necessary?
Until the real problem of child poverty is addressed, all these mandates and experiments in data driven instruction, scripted curricula, standards aligned systems, and teacher accountability are a complete waste of time and money. The bureaucrats should spend some time in an urban Kindergarten classroom of 26 needy children. It is obvious that what is needed is more teachers in the room/or smaller class size, and a more meaningful curriculum that teaches the whole child. That curriculum should include hands on authentic learning experiences, recess, the arts, and developmentally appropriate practices. If budget cuts result in loss of extended day Kindergarten programs and preschool programs, firing teachers, and larger class size, then we are doomed. Cut the testing, cut administration, and hire more teachers. Let the teachers teach. I cannot support Obama's "blueprint" which is just a continuation of NCLB. Dear President Obama, please listen to education experts like Diane Ravitch, http://www.newsweek.com/2011/03/20/obama-s-war-on-schools.html who speak for teachers. Parents, speak out against more testing!